McAfee Wants to Make Its Partners Rich on ServicesBy John Hazard | Posted 2006-08-08 Email Print
The company builds a services ecosystem around partners to make them more profitable.
McAfee is adding a glut of service offerings to its portfolio and turning much of it over to its partners, in part to make them more profitable.
Partners in the Authorized Partner Solutions Services program will be selling and/or delivering an expanded menu of service SKUs by January 2007, McAfee executives told The Channel Insider. Some SKUs are available already, but the bulk will launch after Jan. 1, 2007.
The plan is in part to enhance the value proposition for customers, but McAfee expects to make no profit on the offerings, said Alva Purvis, vice president of Worldwide Channel Enablement.
"We're not looking at these as profit drivers, but cost recovery," Purvis said. "Partners make the margins and make revenue. It's not revenue producing for us, but it ensures their businesses grow."
Purvis called the program part of McAfee's commitment to partners and a move away from service delivery to product development, a process that began last year.
The vendor this year has launched programs, training and road maps outlining best practices for implementing and installing products to create a uniform delivery model. Pre-sales technical evaluations will be available by late this year.
The program, launched in April as a beta, is currently open to Elite partners only, but it will open to Premiere partners in January and to SMB partners by 2008.
Not all partners will be interested in the entire solution, Purvis said. Instead, some may only sell the service and some will only deliver it.
The commitment to partners comes after years of channel chiding that left partners upset, Purvis said.
"Partners were hostile," she said. "There were too many false starts, too many things on the table that were taken back. I can still hear them clamoring."
Since then, she said, the vendor has added improved deal registration, new service offerings, eased distribution availability, and cut much of the cost out of training and certification.
"All politics is local," she said. "Make a commitment and make the expense It's the little things. They must be trained certified to give some preference to your product. That's just the cost of doing business."