McAfee Offers Top VARs Deal Registration

The deal registration program applies to some 500 solution providers selling the company's intrusion prevention solution (IPS) and antivirus appliances.

David Roberts, senior vice president of North American channels at McAfee, said that channel partners will receive a 10 percent back-end rebate when they register deals of $25,000 or more.

"For us, moving to deal registration is in an effort to help our partners maintain some level of profitability on a deal," Roberts said. "This is all part of our ultimate plan to drive 100 percent of these sales through the channel."

As Roberts explained, if a registered opportunity is closed by another McAfee channel partner, the registering partner will receive a rebate of 3 percent. In the event that a customer requires a registered transaction to be placed directly with McAfee and not through a channel partner, the registering partner still will receive its 10 percent rebate.

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Still, Roberts admitted that the majority of McAfee solution providers will not be eligible for these rebates. In order to qualify, solution providers must participate in the SecurityAlliance partner program, launched in October and must be certified to sell the company's IPS and antivirus products.

Of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor's 2,700 partners, some 500 are in the program, all of which are authorized to sell the WebShield antivirus appliances. Only 20 percent of those partners are authorized to sell McAfee's IntruShield, Entercept and Foundstone IPS products.

Despite this exclusivity, solution providers said the deal registration program should help to restore faith in McAfee's commitment to the channel after years of the company selling through direct and closed distribution deals.

"All too often technology becomes mainstream, and too many partners are bidding against each other for the same piece of business," said Edward Smith, director of security solutions at Forsythe Technology, a solution provider in Skokie, Ill. "With deal registration and increased margin levels, resellers are less likely to move competitive alternatives."

Steven Palange, CEO of TLIC Worldwide, a Wakefield, R.I.-based solution provider, agreed, adding that he has seen his company's McAfee sales decline significantly in the past two years, and that all of those sales went to resellers such as CDW and Insight.

Under McAfee's new deal registration system, Palange said he expects the trend to reverse and looks forward to increased revenue on deals that he generates, nurtures and sees to fruition.

"Programs like these are channel sales 101," he said. "McAfee's move to deal registration isn't just good, it's about time."