… the partner program and what we are doing with the partner program,” McCray said.
“So we’re working with our partners to take a look at [it] and take the opportunity to rebuild a partner program that’s future-looking,” he added. “The current program is somewhat dated, so we’re taking this opportunity to ask for feedback from partners to make sure that we build [one] that actually resembles where the customers are going because that’s really what it’s all about right now. Where are customers, where are they making the buying decision, and a lot of that’s in the cloud. Our partner program didn’t address that before.”
There is no set timeline in terms of launching the new partner program because “we want to be make sure we interview our partners and we look at what’s happening in the industry,” he said.
“So many manufacturers rush to build a partner program that has platinum, gold or silver, whatever type of minerals you want to put in there, and I know that’s not what we’re going to do this time,” McCray said. “We’re actually going to step back and say, ‘Hey, the first thing that we need to continue to do is train and enable our partners,’ so that won’t stop. But what we’re trying to do is revamp the rewards within the partner program, the benefits of being a participant in the program. We want to give partners flexibility, so we’re not defining value for them; they’re defining value to us. That’s the biggest shift, because when you think about it, too many manufacturers build partner programs so they can determine what benefits you can get. If you’re going to invest with us, and you’re going to say, ‘I’m going to be loyal to you,’ then we should have a program that mirrors your business, not ours.”
Since it split from Intel a year-and-a-half ago, McAfee has invested in the back end of the company, he said.
“We’ve actually not only changed the face of the company in terms of what we’re going to customers with – Mvision – but we’ve also changed the back end to support partners,” McCray said. “So the investment in internal tools, that’s been a huge focus for us as a company.”
Raja Patel, McAfee’s vice president and general manager of corporate security products, said partners play a big role in influencing his company’s road map, “influencing how we as a company come together because, after all, partners are always at the forefront of touching our customers, and we want to make sure that they are an extension of our family.”
“With Mvision, it is a new path for us because we believe device and cloud are the new control points,” he said. “But you need to bring them together operationally — management, threat intelligence, insights, automation and orchestration all have to play well together. And so we see ourselves with Mvision fulfilling the promises that we’ve committed to. With Mvision, we’ve delivered on those promises.”
Joe Peruzzi, co-founder of Tychon, said as soon as McAfee makes Mvision available to partners, “I think a lot of us will move along with it.” His company fully integrates with McAfee’s platform.
He said channel partners and SIA partners need more time together at McAfee conferences.
“A big change that has to happen is SIA partners need to have more communication with the channel partners so they know what the integrations are and what they look like, and I don’t think that vision is there yet,” he said.
Peruzzi also said McAfee should provide more opportunities to brief customers during the conference.
“To expand into a partner panel would be helpful for customers to get more aware of what these integrations are … and how we enhance this framework that they’re investing into,” he said. “There [are] a lot of choices out there.”