McAfee’s Quickstart Services bring enterprise capabilities to SMBs

Security software vendor McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) has launched McAfee Security Quickstart Services, targeting the small and medium-size business (SMB) market with services saleable through the channel designed to offer full lifecycle service support including implementation assistance, user training and ongoing maintenance, security management optimization and best practices.

The Quickstart services, which can either be purchases in bundles or a la carte, are designed to bring enterprise-class service to SMB customers that don’t have the ability to devote dedicated resources to IT security said Darrell Rodenbaugh, senior vice-president, global mid-market, McAfee.

“Mid-sized organizations often need help taking advantage of the security technologies they’ve acquired,” said Rodenbaugh. “Plus, they often don’t have the security expertise on staff, so we decided we wanted to help them out.”

The service offerings are focused around three specific areas, said Rodenbaugh.

McAfee Security Quickstart Experts-On-Demand includes McAfee remote expert consultants that provide best practices and support around implementation, configuration and support of McAfee solutions.

“Our experts can guide customers through implementation, advise them on best practices, and help them get the best value from their products,” said Rodenbaugh.

McAfee Security Quickstart Training includes one year of unlimited access to a library of McAfee product and technology video training modules, and is particularly aimed at those IT managers for whom security isn’t a full-time job.

“It helps them get up and running fast on specific functional items, such as how to add users or change a security standard,” said Rodenbaugh. “They can go to the portal, view a 45 to 90 second clip, and then do the task.”

Lastly, McAfee Security Quickstart Healthcheck helps customers automatically assess their security policies. The tool interprets their security policy settings, compares them to a selected baseline, and offers metric based on at-risk settings.

“This allows customers to evaluate the effectiveness of their security policies and gives guidance on actions to improve their security efforts,” said Rodenbaugh.

Thus far, Rodenbaugh said the feedback from McAfee’s channel partners to the offerings, which they can sell and earn margin on that is similar to other McAfee offerings, has been strong. Many partners see it as a fit for smaller customers that don’t have the resources onsite to devote to security.

“This allows them to provide a solution for satisfied, safe customers in the lower end (of the mid-market), whereas in the past they may not have had a solution there,” said Rodenbaugh. “Also, many partners see this as a potential safety-net for their consultants onsite, to make sure they’re deploying effectively.”

The enterprise service market is reserved for partners with onsite service. McAfee sees the sweet-spot for Quickstart at around 100 to 250 users, where the partner was probably not dispatching onsite technical skills in the past.

“What we’re really trying to do is make sure the IT manager who is a generalist and who can spend less than an hour a week on this can practically manage security with tools that are as safe and secure as those in the enterprise,” said Rodenbaugh. “They shouldn’t have to compromise.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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