McAfee gets aggressive with new SMB channel program

Security vendor McAfee (NYSE: MFE)is taking the $7 billion SMB market head on with a special section inside its McAfee Security Alliance program specific for solution providers catering customers of 250 employees or fewer.

Called the SMB Specialization, this sub-set to the main program will feature a new deal registration area that cuts down the approval time from 48 hours to just four. Margins have also doubled in this area from 15 per cent to 30 on net new opportunities brought to McAfee Canada. The program consists of on-premise and SaaS delivery models along with enablement tools, turnkey marketing programs and other dedicated resources.

McAfee Canada channel chief Ned D’Antonio said the company has been addressing the SMB for many years, but that this new program sub-set finally pulls all of the company’s resources together for the channel partner community.

“Today, SaaS (deliver model) is mainstream business and it makes sense for the small and mid-size customer. We are addressing this community of 250 employees or less because they are different than the banks or other financial institutions. They don’t have the financial resources or a sophisticated IT staff who can make a decision on who their environment gets protected,” he said.

D’Antonio added that while most businesses of 200 plus employees would have an IT staff it would not include a security specialist. He said that even in 1,000 person organizations you wouldn’t necessarily see a security specialist as part of the IT staff.Another major challenge for D’Antonio and McAfee Canada is recruiting new channel partners specifically for the SMB. According to D’Antonio hundreds more are needed. The company will start its look inside its own Elite and Premier partners first and then will go to its primary distribution partners Ingram Micro Canada and Tech Data Canada for help.

Supporting this SMB specialized zone is PARC (Partner Acceleration Resource Centre, an around the clock dedicated online resource site for information with a rewards area and margin programs just for SMB partners. PARC also has product reviews, tutorials, best practice sales tools, turnkey marketing campaigns, webinar and seminar tools including help from third party Zinfy who can do it on their behalf.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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