As Intel Security Cuts And Sells Multiple Products, Waves Of Uncertainty Hit Partners

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Ken Phalen, chief technology officer of Montvale, N.J.-based Gotham Technology Group, said the big question for partners is whether Intel Security will be carrying the lines that partners like Gotham sell going forward. That creates a challenge for partners who want to invest in adding one of Intel Security's product lines, as there is some uncertainty around how long current product lines have to prove themselves to remain in the portfolio.

"If you buy elements of that portfolio, you have to have a certain amount of concern about them," Phalen said.

That being said, Phalen said he didn't get the impression at the company's recent event that the company was looking to abandon its channel partners. About 400 channel partners attended the partner summit portion of the event in Las Vegas.

"I still feel that Intel is committed to the partnerships," Phalen said.

An Intel Security spokesperson declined to comment on the NGFW sale and cited an FAQ for the product end of life steps that said: "We are working to create an integrated system that delivers faster protection, detection and correction. To create that security system, we are investing in solutions for the endpoint, cloud, threat detection, and management that will ensure the security of the endpoint and cloud and all data traversing in between. Increasing our investments in these critical areas required exiting other product areas such as McAfee email security solutions."  

Jon Robinson, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Digital Scepter, said the exit moves seem to be taking place primarily in product lines where Intel Security wasn't necessarily the market leader. Digital Scepter partners with Intel Security around MXLogic, one of the email security lines being discontinued.

Having to do R&D to keep up with the company's many product lines is challenging, Robinson said, and the move should allow Intel Security to funnel more investment into technologies such as SIEM, from the NitroSecurity acquisition in 2011, and ePO, where he said the company can lead by integrating third-party vendors for threat intelligence.

"I think they just are getting beat in the market in some areas and they just want to focus on what they're good at," Robinson said.

Phalen agreed that Intel Security appeared to be positioning itself to lead with ePO and its SIEM solution, calling them "best of breed." He said he expects to see investments and possibly some acquisitions in those areas.

"I think they’ve pared it down, and the question is, what's the next step?" Phalen said. 


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