McAfee alliance program provides partner choice

Published: February 9th, 2009

Security vendor McAfee (NYSE: MFE) is expanding and adding new support to a program that gives its VAR partners access to third-patty security solutions certified to work with the McAfee platform.

The McAfee Security Innovation Alliance (SIA), launched one year ago, now includes over 40 vendor partners in areas such as database security, PC forensics, application white listing, security information event management and log management. All the partner security solutions have been tested for interoperability with Mcafee ePolicy Orchestrator, the vendor’s security and compliance management platform, as well other McAfee products, including McAfee Endpoint Encryption and McAfee Vulnerability Management Service.

Joe Gottlieb, vice-president of corporate strategy and technology alliances with McAfee, said the SIA’s goal is to complement McAfee’s own robust suite by giving partners access to a rich ecosystem of third-party solutions certified to work with McAfee’s offerings, allowing them to take a fuller solution to the customer.

It all stems, he said, from McAfee’s desire to really be a leader in the security space.

“If you want to be a leader you have to keep up with the ever evolving threat horizon, which in security never stops,” said Gottlieb. “We only have a finite amount of bandwidth to develop our own solutions and acquire companies, so this really helps us fill gaps in areas where we don’t yet have solutions.”

He added McAfee will continue to develop solutions in areas it considers to be core to security as well as acquire companies in strategic areas, perhaps even out of the SIA ecosystem.

“We’re not distributing these products. We’re working with partners to really be the meat in the channel model,” said Gottlieb. “The channel partner will be representing these companies directly, yet benefiting from the messaging and ease of deployment behind the integration of these products, which we’re branding McAfee Compatible.”

The heart of the program, said Gottlieb, is identifying a use case that a customer will find valuable and an integration-point in the McAfee architecture that will support it, and then working with a partner to adapt and integrate their solution with McAfee. The vendor pre-tests it, and then it’s tested by McAfee, which provides a McAfee Compatible logo for use to the vendor.

“We’ve had good response from higher-end partners that would already be representing multiple vendors,” said Gottlieb. “The security VARs have been the most active in embracing this, and in many cases they already represent many of these vendors.”

The newest addition to the SIA program is the Sales Teaming Program. Involving select SIA partners, including AccessData, Catbird and SenSage, the program will see sales teams from the partner vendors and McAfee working together to drive sales through the channel.