McAfee Channel Chief McCray: Loyalty Big in Partner Program Rebuild



MCAFEE MPOWER — That’s a wrap for McAfee‘s MPower Security Summit in Las Vegas, and partners departed with a lot of information about opportunities that lie ahead in the cloud.

During the conference, CEO Chris Young said his company has realized its cloud-native vision with its acquisition of Skyhigh Networks, a provider of cloud access security broker (CASB) software, and its Mvision product portfolio, which is all about security end-use cases in, for and between clouds.

The next few years will define where McAfee’s going, Young said. The goal going forward is delivering “actionable information that allows you to be smarter,” mined from data from nearly 1 billion sensors identifying 20,000 threats per day.

During a partner summit prior to MPower, Ken McCray, McAfee’s head of channel sales and operations for the Americas, outlined his company’s road map going forward and new opportunities for partners. He also said his company plans to rebuild its partner program.

McAfee's Ken McCray at Mpower 2018

McAfee’s Ken McCray

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, McCray addresses changes in channel management and the role partners play in his company’s strategy of providing data protection and threat defense from device all the way through the cloud.

Channel Partners: It was reported back in July that McAfee launched a new organization in charge of partner and customer management. How has channel management changed?

Ken McCray: In July, we announced the office of revenue and John Giamatteo was named president. And what that included was a combination of marketing, our customer success group, and the other functional areas, bringing everything together. And so really pulling all of those assets together under one leader. John came over from our consumer business; he had been there for five years and been very successful in establishing relationships with the partner community, and then driving adoption of our technology on the consumer side. So what [McAfee CEO] Chris Young did was … pull everything together, and what that did for the channel organization is really elevated awareness around the channel to John. So I will tell you, from that point to now, I’ve met with John five times. He was at the partner advisory council meeting on Monday – a four-hour meeting with select partners that represent a large portion of our business – and then he also had a keynote at our partner summit. We’ve removed some of the layers and now I have a direct line. I report to [senior vice president of sales and operations for the Americas] Bill McCalister, and he reports to John.

CP: McAfee Wednesday reported the discovery of a new cyberespionage campaign using source code from a Chinese hacking group. Can partners make use of this information?

KM: I have my own personal channel Rolodex, so when things like that happen that are big in the industry, I actually will take that message and I’ll cascade that out to all of the executives of the channel with my own personal email. We also will follow up with our blog, with anything that we do from my Twitter and LinkedIn account. But what we do with that is we inform the channel partners immediately after, because we want to make sure that they have a connection to us and they can inform their customers.

The other thing that we’ve done with our channel partners is they have direct access to …

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