McAfee chief touts new acquisition for VARs

McAfee Inc.’s recent purchase of a network risk management appliance maker will be a boon for resellers, according to the company’s CEO.

“”The two hottest things we think are revolutionary today are our IntruShield line of [intrusion prevention] appliances and the Foundstone technology,”” George

Samenuk told reporters last month at a Toronto press conference.

“”This opportunity is enormous for McAfee,”” he added, because Foundstone had a small direct sales staff. Now it has access to thousands of McAfee VARs.

The security applications company paid US$86 million in October for Foundstone.

However, the channel is only just being prepared to handle the new lines and consulting services.

“”We’ve been providing training, demonstration boxes and the expertise for them to go out and reach their customers,”” Samenuk said.

In an interview, Jack Sebbag, McAfee’s Canadian general manager, said he hopes its Gold VARs here will be certified before the end of the next quarter.

“”This is a complex product line and we want to make sure we do it right. So I think between the next six to 10 weeks we should be in good shape.””

Samenuk, who was in Canada for his annual visit with major customers, spoke proudly of how the company has moved in the past year from having both direct and indirect sales strategies to going channel-only.

Increasingly the company has been turning towards enterprise products, as typified not only by the Foundstone purchase but by last year’s acquisition of IntruShield.

Recent releases

Among the more recent product releases are McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise edition module for VirusScan Enterprise, which itself has just been released in version 8.0i. A consumer version won’t be released for several months.

McAfee is also releasing security software to run on new generations of 3G cellphones.

About 41 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from consumer products and 59 per cent from enterprise products.

However, Samenuk wouldn’t say if that ratio will continue.

“”We don’t know how big the spyware product can be, we don’t know how big the Foundstone acquisition can be, how big the Intrushield business can be.

The tough-talking former IBM executive called on governments to stiffen sentences for computer crime.

“”Governments also have the role to educate,”” he said. “”There’s been millions of dollars spent on educating about disease and medical problems, not millions being spent on telling the average Canadian or American citizen about phishing problems or spyware.

Sebbag also said the company isn’t looking to expand the 300 resellers it has in the country.

“”We’re trying to get our resellers to better understand the security industry,”” he said, “”to build up their expertise because there is a huge market out there for them.””

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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