McAfee targets midmarket channel

IT security vendor McAfee will roll out another strand of its SecurityAlliance Global Partner Programme in the Middle East in January 2005. McAfee will look to recruit between 30 and 40 resellers at PremierPartner status with the necessary skills and reach to crack the region’s burgeoning midmarket customer segment.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  November 19, 2004

IT security vendor McAfee will roll out another strand of its SecurityAlliance Global Partner Programme in the Middle East in January 2005. McAfee will look to recruit between 30 and 40 resellers at PremierPartner status with the necessary skills and reach to crack the region’s burgeoning midmarket customer segment. “We will start a recruitment road show looking for resellers with the right profile,” explains Peter Kwisthout, UAE territory manager at McAfee. “These are resellers not playing in the enterprise space or the retail space, but those used to dealing with end-user companies with several hundred staff. They need to have the ability to sell security solutions and will be able to leverage in support from McAfee and our value-added distributors where necessary.” Saudi Arabia will be a primary target during McAfee’s PremierPartner recruitment effort. “We are moving ahead quickly with this programme because we are seeing strong interest at both a customer and partner level,” says Kwisthout. “We had many meetings with potential midmarket partners at Gitex and they are extremely interested in developing the ability to target customers with a full IT security offering. McAfee’s recent acquisitions have allowed it to offer the channel and customers a complete portfolio of security products.” The new category will sit between McAfee’s small and medium business (SMB) channel programme and its top-level ElitePartner status. At present, McAfee has 11 partners at ElitePartner level in the region and is looking to strengthen this channel through further appointments in Oman. “We want the region to be covered properly at each level but do not want partners cannibalising each other’s business,” adds Kwisthout. “Partners are only rewarded when they hit their target customer segment. If they sell to customers above or below they do not qualify for all the rewards, rebates and benefits. It is logical to segment these channels very clearly.” McAfee is one of many vendors looking to add even more structure to its Middle East channel programme in 2005. To make the grade at either PremierPartner or ElitePartner status, partners must meet qualification criteria in terms of training and certification. Benefits are commensurate with status and include market development funds (MDF), marketing support, discounts, planning opportunities and vendor support.

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