McAfee Talks DeepSAFE, Intros Channel Initiatives

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Print this article Print

McAfee used its SecurityAlliance Partner Summit to showcase its first product co-developed with Intel -- DeepSAFE -- and to provide details about some new channel initiatives.

This week at the McAfee SecurityAlliance Partner Summit, the company finally rolled out its first product co-developed by its acquirer of nine months, Intel, and announced that it would be launching some new channel initiatives for partners while at the same time culling a number of inactive partners to better support  the consistent producers.

"We are going to lead the transformation of the computing experience to one that is more mobile, seamless, and secure," said Alex Thurber, senior vice president of worldwide channels at McAfee.  "We are evolving our channel strategy to fuel this transformation by helping our channel partners innovate and differentiate themselves."

The product that McAfee believes will lead that transformation is DeepSAFE, a layer of protection placed between the processor and the operating system to secure in-memory system software from malware and offer visibility into drivers and other system applications. Initially unveiled in September at the Intel Developer's Forum, DeepSAFE was lanched this week as a part of McAfee's new Deep Defender endpoint security suite. The use of DeepSAFE in this new suite is intended to avert the flood of rootkits and other malware designed to avoid detection through infection of system level software.

"The bad guys are getting smarter about hiding malware, but they can’t hide it when interacting with the hardware, memory or operating system. We can now detect these interactions, and provide an unprecedented level of protection to our customers by blocking an entirely new range of stealthy threats," said Todd Gebhart, co-president of McAfee.  "McAfee Deep Defender represents an entirely new approach to security and shows the power of what McAfee can do as part of the Intel family."

On the channel side of the house, McAfee told partners that it will now offer a couple of new programs. The McAfee Accredited Channel Engineer (ACE) program will give partners the training to independently drive technical pre-sales activities and close deals faster. And the previously piloted McAfee Authorized Support Provider (MASP) program is being given the green light, giving certified organizations the training, proprietary tools and third-level support engineers  to directly deliver first- and second-level McAfee support.

Additionally, McAfee is further trying to embrace the managed service community by adding a new Managed Service Partner (MSP) Program to its SecurityAlliance partner program. The MSP program will be tailored specifically to MSSPs, giving them better opportunity to sell and support their own branded service solutions on the back of the McAfee portfolio.

McAfee told partners that these new programs should help them gain more share and margin, just as its SMB Specialization and SMB Accelerated Deal Registration program has in the six months since they rolled it out. According to the company, those two investments by McAfee have yielded 25 percent margin enhancement for involved partners.

In order to the company up to provide the higher level of investment necessary to roll out these kinds of programs, McAfee honchos said at the event that it will continue to sift out inactive partners in favor of those better engaged in the brand. Last year the firm cut over 40 percent of its partner base down and it will shorten its list of partners by one-fifth again in 2011.