McAfee trims prices, enhances partner margins on new SMB portfolio

McAfee has retooled its SMB offerings, with three new suites which feature McAfee’s next-generation anti-malware technology, which is being deployed for the first time in these solutions.

ED Metcalf mcAfee

Ed Metcalf, Director of Endpoint Solutions at McAfee

McAfee, which is part of Intel Security, has announced three new security suites targeted at the SMB market. One, the McAfee Small Business Security suite, is aimed at the sub-25 device space. The other two are focused on businesses with up to 250 devices. They are the McAfee Endpoint Protection Essential for SMB and McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced for SMB.

McAfee – like some of its competitors in the security space – has been much more focused on the enterprise and consumer spaces than the SMB. While McAfee has had software suites aimed at that market, its major SMB focus recently has been in the software-as-a-service space.

“Our recent focus has been predominantly SaaS based offerings, and there is still a need for that,” said Ed Metcalf, Director of Endpoint Solutions at McAfee. “But as we have done more research, we have seen more demand for an integrated module with a common set of services. Our SaaS focus hasn’t gone away, but these new offerings are the right solutions tooled for the SMB segment based on new technology, new management, and advanced functionality.”

Metcalf also said that while McAfee has not been strong in the SMB space, they do see good growth opportunities there.

“In terms of bookings, the business is a lot smaller, but we do believe the SMB is still a good opportunity to go after,” he said. “Sub-250 node organizations are still being attacked, and in some cases attacked quite frequently. With the introduction of the new endpoint suites, we want to retool for this segment.”

At the heart of the retooling in the three new offerings is next-generation anti-malware technology, which McAfee is deploying for the first time on these solutions.

“The actual technology we deploy on the endpoint is different from past products,” Metcalf said. “It is the next generation of our endpoint technology we have been developing over the last 18 to 24 months. This technology is much easier to manage than before, and these are the first solutions on which it has been deployed.”

The new offerings are similar to their predecessors in offering escalating levels of protection, although there are fewer SKUs than before.

The entry level solution is McAfee Small Business Security, which offers protection for PCs, Macs, Android smartphones and tablets, through firewall, email and web protection. A simple, centralized dashboard is easily accessible from the cloud so businesses can manage and monitor their security subscription. Unlike the other two solutions, it does not utilize the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator.

“It’s a standalone product because organizations under 25 devices don’t typically use any management console,” Metcalf said. “Some customers in this space will use the SaaS product, but others which are highly regulated or guided by compliance will want the on-prem software.”

The two offerings aimed at the market up to 250 devices, McAfee Endpoint Protection Essential for SMB and McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced for SMB, are managed by McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, which is now available in cloud-based or premises-based versions. McAfee Endpoint Protection Essential for SMB provides endpoint, firewall and web protection, while McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced for SMB adds email security, encryption, and visibility and control for mobile devices.

“The advanced version has some technology that we haven’t had in our SMB products before, like mobile device management, which gives the ability to manage mobile devices more securely, and encryption management, which includes the ability to manage native encryptions,” Metcalf said.

McAfee’s SMB business goes to market through channel partners, and pricing on these products has been adjusted because the channel said the old product pricing made it hard for them to compete.

“The price points have been optimized because partner feedback said we tended to be priced at the higher end, so we repriced some of the offerings to be more competitive in the marketplace,” Metcalf said. “We were often 15-20% higher. Now on the Essential suite we are up to 20-30 per cent less than some of our competitors. We have really sharpened our pencils to win some business, and are going to market with better-priced solutions.”

Metcalf also noted that they have made some enhancements to their channel compensation to encourage sales of these products.

“We want to make it easier for our channel partners to talk about these and sell them,” he said. This includes up to 25 per cent accelerated deal registration in some cases, and an enhanced 10 per cent deal margin for registrations partners bring in which had formerly been with a key competitor.