Security vendor, McAfee, will roll out a new partner portal designed to completely automate the way it interacts with partners. It will also continue consolidation throughout 2009.
McAfee’s Asia Pacific channel director, Andrew Littleproud, said the new portal will be rolled out to premier and elite partners this quarter, andl become standard for all partners from April 1.
“If you think about usual partner programs and the elements of how you interact with partners, if you can automate much of that, it makes the partner’s job a lot easier,” he said.
The new portal will feature automated deal registration, automatic renewals online, price configuration and partners can also become certified online.
“It will basically automate the [partner] program itself. So we can track how many people are certified through the system. It can flag when you fall out and need to re-certify staff and things like that,” Littleproud said.
The overhaul of the partner portal was motivated by partner feedback, he said, as was the decision to introduce classroom training.
“We’ve got online training but our partners across the region have been asking for consistent classroom training and we’ve just revamped our partner training program so that we can now provide, free of charge, classroom training for our partners which will allow them to go deeper in terms of certification levels on McAfee products and solutions,” he said.
Coming off the back of strong Q3, 2008, results in which McAfee grew its business by 27 per cent, Littleproud signalled the vendor’s intentions to continue consolidation within the security industry throughout 2009.
“I think if you look at the state of the security industry there is still quite a lot of fragmentation and boutique players out there. McAfee is definitely acquiring and building out a wider solution portfolio, so we’re being the consolidator in that respect.”
McAfee is also holding partner forums in Melbourne (February 17) and Sydney (February 19) in coming weeks, where it is expecting between 140-180 partners to attend. The day long forums will be split into morning and afternoon sessions, with the morning devoted to all McAfee partners and the afternoon set aside for a partner advisory council workshop.
In attendance will be McAfee’s Asia-Pacific president talking through strategy and direction for McAfee globally in 2009, as well as the vendor’s technical director outlining McAfee's technical roadmap and how it will drive change within the security industry through consolidation.