McAfee Revamps Hosted Antivirus Service

Available only to solution providers in McAfee's SecurityAlliance partner program, the new Partner Security Service gives solution providers a more flexible contract under which to work and offers expanded upselling opportunities, the partners said.

Based on the latest McAfee Managed VirusScan technology, the new service is a revised take on McAfee's VirusScan ASaP, which has long prompted complaints from partners. Partner Security Service includes Web-based administration and reporting, spyware detection and rapid-response technical support through McAfee's Avert division.

Dave Roberts, McAfee's senior vice president of channels for North America, described the new service as "ideal" for businesses with limited IT expertise or personnel. "This service enables our channel partners to become managed service providers," he said. Roberts added that, as the Santa Clara, Calif., company continues its transition to all-channel sales, the new service shows McAfee's commitment to "enabling our channel partners to make money."

The Partner Security Service features a Web-based policy configuration tool that enables solution providers to manage multiple customers, schedule on-demand security scans and push out new capabilities, Roberts said.

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The new service offers improvements over VirusScan ASaP, which solution providers said was poorly managed by McAfee. Steve Palange, president of TLIC Worldwide, Wakefield, R.I., said the old service did not give his company enough opportunities for recurring revenue streams. "With the interface on this [Partner Security Service], even a sophisticated salesperson could manage customer desktops and upsell them additional protections," he said.

Jeff Leist, president of Microworx Direct, Rochester, N.Y., agreed.

"I have customers who aren't smart enough to manage their own software," he said. "This new service takes care of everything for them and makes us look like geniuses."