No Canadian channel chief but more channel investment: McAfee

Last month, CDN reported on the departure of Canadian channel chief Ned D’Antonio from security vendor McAfee Canada. This week, McAfee’s Canadian president and its worldwide channel chief told CDN the vendor is refocusing and increasing its investment in the Canadian market.

With the departure of D’Antonio, McAfee Canada president Luc Villeneuve will add the responsibilities of channel lead to his own. Villeneuve, a veteran of the Canadian channel himself from stints with NCR Canada, Sun Microsystems Canada and BCE, said change in the industry is constant and adjustments are always made to support the channel better.

“This was the right time for us to analyze the overall market in Canada, and we’re now in a position to invest more in the channel and support partners closer to the field,” said Villeneuve. “As part of this assessment we were able to look at Western Canada and add a channel manager in the West. I’ve been spending more time in the channel in the last month and I’ve enjoyed learning more and meeting more partners.”

Gavin Struthers, vice-president of worldwide channel programs for McAfee, added McAfee has always had a globally and regionally-consistent channel program, and leverages the resources of its Americas channel team to provide marketing and sales support to Canadian partners. Investment in marketing development funds and other programs has increased in recent years, he added.

“We’ve got a (Canadian) president who is very strong in the channel in (Villeneuve) who put his hand up and said he wants to be very involved in the channel go to market,” said Struthers. “It’s very good to have him involved in driving some of the coverage.”

Villeneuve added McAfee’s commitment of a 100 per cent go to market in Canada hasn’t changed.

“Every one of our opportunities will be done with a channel partner, and there are no plans of change in that front,” said Villeneuve.

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McAfee’s channel strategy, said Struthers, is focused on a “two-speed economy.” Some customers want pre-sales technical services, and McAfee is working with partners to help them to build a security practice and earn trusted advisor status to help partners solve business problems. Others, particularly SMBs, are more focused on simplification.

McAfee’s product breadth is also a profitable advantage for partners, said Villeneuve, with its offerings from endpoint security and mobility to the cloud.

“We’re uniquely positioned to help a channel partner bring an end to end solution, and that creates a lot of repeat business, cross-selling opportunity and services opportunity for them to monetize every segment of our business in a much more profitable way,” said Villeneuve. “It resonates very well from a services perspective.”

And with parent company Intel, Struthers added McAfee is uniquely positioned to help partners provide the integrated look at security that customers are looking for, as threats get increasingly complex and customers seek to limit the number of vendors they’re working with.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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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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