McAfee, formerly known as Network Associates, is revamping its global channel program following criticism that its channel lacked structure.
McAfee Australia marketing director, Allan Bell, said the company had previously lacked the formal structure to recognise resellers that had made the investment in McAfee.
Under the new McAfee Security Alliance Program, partners will be grouped into tiers with the vendor offering greater rewards to those providing customers with more services.
The new changes will define partners by their business model, grouping VARs into Elite, Premiere and Partner levels.
The classification will depend on the extent of training partners have undertaken and the level of installation and services they offer. In return, partners will gain varying sales margins.
McAfee also intends to streamline its channel into four main areas: intrusion prevention (both network and host), security forensics, traditional antivirus and McAfee Corporate, which concentrates on software licensing.
The company will also launch a partner portal by the end of the year, which promises SME lead-generation and training, certification and co-marketing initiatives.
While McAfee is shaking up its European distributor networks, Bell said the vendor was happy with its distribution arrangements for Australia.
Currently, McAfee has three major distributors in Australia: Tech Pacific, Lan Systems and Ingram Micro.
However, Bell did hope that new channel programs would prompt partners to improve their services and skills.
“It’s an increasingly competitive market today,” he said. “To survive, resellers need to upskill themselves.”
McAfee also announced that the number of Australian resellers offering its Web-based Partner Security Service, launched earlier this year, was about to top 100. Bell said the service was built around McAfee’s managed services solution and let resellers remotely monitor the security of small business customers, to help protect them from attack.