McAfee launches referral program for SMB services

McAfee worldwide channel chief Gavin Struthers

McAfee worldwide channel chief Gavin Struthers

Intel Corp.’s McAfee security unit isn’t writing off the SMB security market, and is paying partners for referring accounts to its security services offerings.

McAfee – soon to be known simply as Intel Security – is rewarding partners with commissions on registered SMB accounts for services such as its SaaS Endpoint Protection and SaaS Web and Email.

“The threat landscape is becoming more sophisticated and is escalating, and we’re seeing customers endure a crisis in confidence. The total addressable security market is massive, and the opportunities for McAfee SMB partners and distributors are significant. The SMB space is growing, and we want you to be profitable and relevant,” wrote Gavin Struthers, McAfee’s global channel chief, in a blog post to partners.

The referral program provides McAfee partners with coded Web links, advertising banners and other marketing materials that links customers directly with McAfee’s ordering system. If the customer converts into a paying customer, the partner gets a percentage of the revenue.

McAfee is better known for its enterprise security products, such as ePolicy Orchestrator and Nitro security information management. It’s made the marketing of its newly acquired StoneSoft next-generation firewall a priority for 2014. While McAfee has SMB products, its focus is typically to the large midmarket customer and above.

Services, though, has been a weak spot in McAfee’s portfolio. In 2009, McAfee acquired MX Logic to enter the managed security services market. McAfee has been encouraging partners to develop their own managed services, as well.

By emphasizing security services to SMB, McAfee is looking to cover the complex needs of smaller businesses with distributed infrastructure and resources that typically carry a lower cost.

The SMB security market is garnering more attention of late, as increasing hacking volumes are targeting smaller organizations that have fewer resources to protect their data, devices and infrastructure. Symantec last week launched a virus removal guarantee for its Norton Small Businesses users. And AVG Technologies is pushing its Cloud Care service platform as a means for safeguarding smaller organizations.

This article originally appeared on Channelnomics.