Intel-owned security giant McAfee has announced several key channel initiatives, along iwth a new name for its partner program and more flexible approaches to partner training and certification.
Starting January 1, McAfee is changing the name of its SecurityAlliance Program to the Intel Security Partner Program, and plans to consolidate from five product competencies to three solution areas: Endpoint Security, Network Security and Security Management.
“Together with our partners we have a massive opportunity to lead the security market transformation,” said Gavin Struthers, senior vice president of worldwide channel operations at McAfee, part of Intel Security. “In order to do so, we must think big about how we partner together to protect our mutual customers as they embrace a new computing era and deal with today’s more sophisticated threat landscape.”
McAfee is also removing the need for partners to complete baseline certifications, and is expanding its continuing education program; partners can earn credits for training that is most relevant to their business. This company said that it expects about a 30 percent reduction in overall training requirements for McAfee Elite Partners.
It’s also adding a couple of specializations: As of Jan. 1, it will integrate the existing Managed Service Provider Program into a specialization to streamline requirements. And the Authorized Support Specialization, available in the second quarter of next year, will incorporate the existing McAfee Authorized Support Provider (MASP) Program, in an effort to scale the program.
And, McAfee is introducing post-sales services training and certifications. There are eight, four-day, instructor-led certifications for post-sales services enablement, including for NGFW, McAfee Security Information Event Management, McAfee e-Policy Orchestrator, NSP, McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention, McAfee Advanced Threat Defense, McAfee Drive Encryption, McAfee Application Control and McAfee Change Control.
An implementation specialization, the first specialization built under the new partner program framework, will use these certifications as a core requirement. It will be available in the second half of 2015.
In 2014, McAfee identified enablement as an area of focus and tripled its investment in that arena; now it says that the effort has driven a 40 percent increase in continuing education participation.
The company is now adding some additional enablement enhancements, including the CloudRunner Platform, an on-demand platform for showing product demonstrations to customers, without the need to have an appliance, box or virtual machine set up in a customer’s environment. CloudRunner will be available in early November. The Partner 360 Dashboard meanwhile provides partners with a detailed analysis of their performance and profitability, allowing them to make better business decisions. It provides a detailed view into approximately 10 different business indicators, including sales performance, rebate and marketing development funds. The platform will be piloted with a select group of North America partners in Q4 2014 with a broader roll out aimed for the first half of 2015. And, a new marketing platform as part of the McAfee SMARTmarketing initiative offers tools like syndicated web content, email marketing, social media syndication and Website analytics.