How the Intel Acquisition Will Affect McAfee's Channel Parters

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Should McAfee's channel partners be worried that Intel is the new boss in town now that the chip maker has announced plans to acquire their security vendor?

What will Intel's acquisition of McAfee mean to McAfee's channel partner program? It's still early days on this deal, so no one knows for sure yet, but the smart money is that Intel is unlikely to change it much for a couple reasons.

First, Intel said in its statement announcing plans to acquire McAfee that McAfee will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary. That indicates more of a hands-off approach to McAfee's existing business operations.

Second, the deal infuses McAfee with access to some of Intel's substantial capital, opening up new possibilities for the security vendor.

"McAfee was in distress, and this should shore them up significantly, and their lines will likely shift to premium offerings with base offerings being provided for free on Intel hardware," industry analyst Rob Enderle told Channel Insider.

Another industry analyst, Charles King, noted that Intel is spending quite a premium to buy McAfee at $7.68 billion. It's the largest acquisition that Intel has ever made. And because of that, Intel will tread carefully rather than make significant changes to McAfee's revenue model.

"I wouldn't expect this to affect McAfee's channel at all," King told Channel Insider. "You don't put this much money into an acquisition and then upset that company's very successful apple cart."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com