Differences between Australian and US channel go beyond size: McAfee

Differences between Australian and US channel go beyond size: McAfee

Security vendor shares insights into how different the US channel is compared to Australia

There are distinct differences between the Australian and North American channels that are not just limited to market size, according to McAfee Worldwide channel operations senior vice-president, Gavin Struthers.

He said the North American market is large, with the security vendor competing in a $60 billion dollar market globally, where product is 40 per cent of that and services is the rest.

What really stood out for Struthers was how many channel partners in the US have a larger commitment to security focus and practice orientation compared to Australia.

“The very mature and sophisticated business focused solely on security was eye opening,” he said. “Another area was security practices with depths of resources.”

McAfee’s top 25 partners in North America and Europe are growing at greater than 50 per cent, and Struthers said it is because they have already consolidated their strategy.

“They have realised that a coverage model is less effective,” he said.

At the same time, Struthers concedes that an approach like this is “a bit of a risk.”

“You have less coverage of the market potentially, but because you can go deeper and wider, you’re able to get far stronger synergies with the vendors you have stuck with,” he said.

“That’s why the ‘give-to-get model’ is working very well,” he said.

Power of licensing

Another difference to Australia is the large “corporate reseller” market in the US.

For that reason, Struthers said direct marketing and reseller (DMR) organisations that have a big online and licensing presence are well represented there.

“It is similar to what is in Australia, but there is less of it than what I have seen in North America,” he said.

What these organisations do is provide procurement services, as well as asset and inventory management for customers.

“These are not necessarily deep security skills per se, but on the software licensing side they are very effective,” Struthers said.

Managed services and Cloud security services are very well established in North America, and with the help of the acquisition of MX Logic four years ago, Struthers said McAfee has a strong Security-as-a-Service business there.

“We are getting significant adoption of SaaS archiving in the US than anywhere else in the world,” he said.

“That is our opportunity in Australia, as well as in other markets.”

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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