McAfee Adds Incentive Program To Channel Offerings

To qualify for the program, partners must meet all North American program criteria, including having Elite, Premier or AssociatePartner status. The minimum size new-business opportunity that can be registered for the program is $25,000 and is limited to McAfee Enterprise IntruShield Entercept, WebShield Appliances and Foundstone product portfolios.

McAfee VARs say the program is a very welcome addition to McAfee's channel blueprint.

"It rewards the creation of value and gives you the level of protection you need to secure a deal," says Ron Ben-Yishay, senior vice president of sales for DynTek, a security-focused systems integrator headquartered in Irvine, Calif. "We partner with other manufacturers, such as Juniper, that have programs like this, and they do very well."

Ben-Yishay says the program is particularly valuable for DynTek's work with state and local government agencies because it provides protection against the public sector's hyper-consciousness about price.

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"Selling to these groups is a unique challenge because there's always a rather expensive presales component, and once you move past the procurement stage, government-purchasing people are all paid to simply get the best price," Ben-Yishay says. "When you have this registration added, it's like giving you a 10 percent margin enhancement."

David Roberts, McAfee's senior vice president of North American channels, says the registration program is the latest example of how McAfee is trying to strengthen its channel ties.

"A key initiative for us in 2005 is to look at our profitability strategy for resellers, and we've done a lot of things on our back-end systems to lower costs for distributors and resellers," he says. "We're looking at what we can do to incentivize people on our program, and one of the things is to make it more straightforward and simple."

He says that since last fall, the company has done numerous things to broaden its channel programs, including adding about 400 new partners and about 100 employees to its North American channel operation, and adding new technology via its purchase of security vendor FoundStone.

"We want to increase the breadth of our resellers and make sure we increase the depth of our business with programs like this," Roberts says. "Our goals are to increase our SMB revenue and add more channel capacity while increasing the margins to our partners."

The SecurityAlliance Opportunity program offers an online deal-registration approval process that's available to eligible partners and uses deal-registration methodology fortified with multiple checks and balances. To register new opportunities, partners must provide specific details, including information about the final decision maker, budget and project specifications. McAfee will then approve the registration based on whether it meets all offering requirements and is considered new, incremental business. The submission will not be accepted if it is already in the McAfee sales forecast or registered by another partner. Opportunities approved by McAfee will be valid for 90 days.

The program is available in North America and EMEA and in selected Latin American and Asia Pacific countries. The partner Web site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.