Intel Security Delivers Second Phase Of Partner Program Updates

Intel Security rolled out the latest update to its partner program Thursday, building on the changes it revealed late last year to simplify the program and add more of a focus on managed services.

The theme of the latest update is profitability and engagement, said Lisa Matherly, head of Worldwide Partner Programs, Marketing and Operations at Intel Security, in an interview with CRN.

To accomplish that, Intel Security eliminated a complex tiered pricing model and shifted margins over to deal registration and teaming plans. Intel Security also consolidated its deal registration offerings onto a single form for all opportunities and is ensuring partners get exclusive deal registration with partner-found sales.

[Related: Intel's Massive Reorg, Exec Shakeup: Getting Ready For Mobility, Communications]

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"The program is built on the evolving security landscape, how customers are buying, how partner businesses models are evolving," Matherly said. "[We are building this to be] a flexible, profitable and sustainable program for us and our partners as we continue to see this change in the market."

The changes build on the revamped Intel Security Partner Program, which was unveiled at the company's Partner Summit in October. At that time, the Santa Clara, Calif., company reduced the number of competency areas from five to three (Endpoint Security, Network Security and Security Management), extended training, and integrated the McAfee Managed Service Provider and Authorized Support Provider programs by adding new specializations around those areas.

Matherly said the changes are the result of many acquisitions and program additions that had built complexity into how the company goes to market through partners. Simplifying the program to help keep customers and partners top of mind and drive profitability is "at the core of the change," she said.

"We knew we needed to evolve the program to meet the changing needs of the customer and the partner," Matherly said. "One of my first goals coming in a few years ago was assessing the situation and figuring out how do we simplify this from an offering perspective, make it more profitable for partners, and help automate it so it's easier to take advantage of and do business with."

One Intel Security partner, who did not want to be identified, said the most recent changes are sorely needed as the program has been incredibly difficult to navigate, to the point where he has limited his portfolio with the company. However, he said if Intel Security is able to simplify how partners interact with and profit from the company, that could change things for a lot of partners.

"That would be exciting," he said.

The updates come as Intel undergoes a massive corporate reorganization, including the departure of President Renee James. As part of the reorganization, Intel is creating three new groups: the Client Computing Group (integrating the company's tablet, long-term agreement phones and PC Client Groups); the Communication & Devices Group (integrating its China Platform Engineering Group and its wireless platform R&D); and the New Technology Group (integrating Intel Labs, Perceptual Computing Group and New Devices Group). As for Intel Security, the group was formally integrated as a business unit into company operations as of July 1.

Matherly said Intel Security has tried to focus on the customer and partner perspective as it integrates further with the Intel portfolio. While the partner program was not tied directly to the corporate reorganization, she said it fits under the simplicity theme at the "core of the change."

"We have said we're maintaining our go-to-market model and our sales momentum in making sure we're addressing customer needs and how customers are buying security, and we wanted to make sure we had a strong channel program to support that. That's not changing," Matherly said.

Matherly said partners can expect Intel Security to continue evolving its specializations, particularly around opportunities in services, as well as boosting its post-sales services enablement.