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McAfee: Simple yet effective channel focus

27 May 2014

Information security vendor McAfee takes a refreshingly simple approach to its route to market: being channel focussed in all that it does, partners can expect rapid response and generous rewards when they do business with the company.

That’s the essence of the message delivered by Craig Nielsen APAC Senior Director, Channels and Alliances at McAfee, an Intel Company.

“We start with a comprehensive set of solutions, then go much further to create value for our partners,” he says, noting that McAfee has “the most complete security portfolio available in the market and is ranked as a Leader in 9 of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants.”

Nielsen says McAfee applies a ‘security connected’ philosophy to security architecture and a ‘partner connected’ philosophy to its channel relations.

“The core of our channel strategy can be summed up in its three pillars: investing, growing and optimising for partners. Our investments are focused on partner support and, perhaps most importantly, their profitability,” he notes.

Investing, continues Nielsen, includes understanding the focus of each partner to facilitate accurate passing on of leads to the best placed reseller and helping to focus on appropriate new product areas.

“We are committed to fierce engagement and helping partners build profits while making it easy to find the right resources at the right time.”

Acknowledging that the information security market is highly competitive, he says McAfee combines its product and technology portfolio with a determination to make it worth working with the company.

He draws attention to the McAfee SecurityAlliance programme, which enables resellers to jump-start sales and provides detailed training, education and support to boost knowledge of McAfee security technology — ensuring partners meet their customers’ needs for a secure network.

Responsiveness and engagement

As part of this programme, the tools provided are designed for ease of use and speed of turnaround. “Optimisation means making it as simple as possible to work with McAfee.

Deal registration is easy and has a 4 hour turnaround for SMB sales and 48 Hours for Commercial/ Enterprise Sales; each region has internal SLAs with a partner dashboard to monitor our delivery and we really like seeing green lights,” Nielsen explains.

So much so that McAfee is tracking at less than 45 minutes for quote turnarounds. “We’ve also implemented automated Deal Registration notification to provide resellers with expiration emails 60, 30 and 7 days before deals expire, with a link back to the opportunity to minimising searching,” Neilsen adds.

New enhancements to the McAfee Rebate Portal make it easier for resellers to track eligibility and payout. “Over the course of this year we have made strides in enhancing the partner enablement experience.

"We have brought more value to the ‘Continuing Education’ experience, allowing resellers to earn credits for engaging with us. We have also reduced the certification time, while you choose the courseware relevant to your business.

"And now I am excited to announce the McAfee Partner Enablement Framework, which provides the tools and resources required to build a successful McAfee security practice,” says Nielsen.

And as for profitability, Nielsen says McAfee provides plenty of incentive for its partners.

“Through analysis, we know that when partners sell three or more products, they increase revenue by 8 times. That’s a real benefit; we also provide incentives that go beyond the salespeople to include systems engineers, too, recognising their efforts in delivering customer value.”

It’s not only the ‘big deals’ that attract rewards, either; McAfee’s ‘Everyone’s A Winner Rewards promotion compounds partner sales, technical and distributor profitability potential within the McAfee Rewards programme.

“Participants earn opportunities to win, simply by submitting a McAfee Rewards claim,” says Neilsen,

“And in addition to that, we have an ‘Incumbency’ programme which provides a 5% reward for partners who renew existing clients. That makes it attractive for our partners to stay engaged with their customers, furthering value creation in the channel,” he concludes.