McAfee prepares for ‘mass recruiting’ with new SMB program

Ned DAntonio McAfee

McAfee Canada channel chief Ned D'Antonio

McAfee has introduced an SMB specialization for partners, a community that will essentially be a new small business-focused partner program within its overarching SecurityAlliance partner program.

Ned D’Antonio, director of channels for McAfee Canada, said McAfee has offered solutions for SMB customers and programs for SMB partners in the past, but it’s largely been an add-on to the larger program. This time, it’s building the program from the ground up with the SMB VAR in mind.

“The philosophy of the program is to make it very easy and profitable for our partners,” D’Antonio said.

And the company is expecting to bring on a lot of new partners as a result of that program.

D’Antonio said while the SMB specialization will be open to current McAfee partners, and many are likely to go for the program given that signup is as easy as a simple application, the sheer size of the SMB market means McAfee is in recruitment mode in the channel. The program is focused on businesses of less than 250 employees, meaning there are a massive number of customers to address.

“We’re going to need a lot of partners to get to them and we want to have great coverage across the country,” D’Antonio said. “We have been selective of late, kind of spot-recruiting. But we need to mass recruit at this point.”

At the core of the program is the Partner Acceleration Resource Center (PARC), an SMB-specific partner portal that will play host to host to the masses of SMB specialized partners, both those new to McAfee and those who’ve worked with the vendor a long time. In addition to the usual product training, the site will host market information, video briefings from subject matter experts, and breakdowns of SMB challenges in the security space.

The site offers SMB-specific deal registration, offering up to 30 per cent on net-new opportunities for McAfee in the SMB space. D’Antonio said that for the quick-moving SMB market, McAfee got the process for deal registration approval, previously a 48-hour ordeal, down to just four hours. Also on the deal registration front, the vendor is offering deal registration of up to 15 per cent for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

“As we come out with new suite offerings in endpoint and other solutions, there’s a great opportunity for partners to upgrade current products to a new McAfee suite,” D’Antonio said.

On the marketing front, the site includes “ready, set, go” marketing materials that partners can build off of, including the ability to outsource campaigns to McAfee’s third-party partner, Zinfe, for execution should they not want to take on e-mail campaigns and direct mailing themselves. The marketing site will also include kits for seminars, Webinars, white papers and other tools.

Also under the new program, the company is adding more channel management and sales resources to work with SMB partners, particularly when it comes to developing leads for channel partners.

“McAfee is making a really big investment here in this market and in our partners,” D’Antonio said.

The company pegs the worldwide market for SMB security solutions at $7 billion, and it’s an area where McAfee is 100 per cent channel everywhere, though D’Antonio is quite to remind that in Canada, the company is 100 per cent channel across the business.

The program is a worldwide structure, but D’Antonio stressed that it will be localized where it makes sense, including the ability to “tweak” portions of the program as needed for the Canadian market.