The past 12 months have seen Intel Security work on its channel approach and make strategic investments into its partner engagement strategy.
In July, it was formally integrated into Intel’s operations under the leadership of general manager, Chris Young, since its acquisition in 2010.
Intel Security A/NZ channel sales director, Luke Power, said in the past 12 months, it has doubled down on its channel resources in supporting its partners.
“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into training our sales force, educating them on the channel and the rules of engagement. We want to really look after our partners,” Power said.
Under the McAfee umbrella, the vendor maintained a collection of various vendor programs, and up until 12 months ago, it introduced new changes within its tiers from premier to elite to now platinum and gold statuses. On top of providing increased benefits, rewards, rebates and interaction.
Partners will have until April 2017 to sharpen their skills in the new tiers, before being demoted.
“We’re making sure that the partners we’ve now picked from our strategy are fully equipped, enabled and know how to have conversations with our customers, install and implement our equipment,” he said. “That’s what will make them more profitable. In FY15, it’s been about the strategy and FY16 is about how we’re going to grow and pursue that.”
For partners to achieve platinum status, they need to have enough in-depth knowledge across the whole platform, meaning mandatory credentials and solutions in three areas such as SIEM, DXL and TIE.
In Australia, Intel Security maintains a 100 per cent channel model.
“We’ve come along way from being a transactional business, but there’s more progress to be made,” he said.
The vendor recently held its Focus event, detailing to partners its corporate strategy and exit from some of its businesses that didn’t aligned with it such the McAfee SaaS Endpoint Products and SaaS Email Protection and Archiving.
“We firmly believe the approach we’ve been taking of trying integrate a wide number of technologies that aren’t working together into a security defense system, isn’t the way to approach it,” Intel Security global channel operations senior vice-president, Richard Steranka, said. “We’re taking more of an architectural solutions approach.
“When we align with our partner community, we will deliver the strongest, threat defense life-cycle architecture in the industry. Intel behind us, is adding more capabilities to that. The threat landscape is expanding beyond what traditional IT used to be and IoT is a good example, and it’s a place where Intel plays extensively today.”
Steranka highlighted his three areas of focus for the next year, which included being its customer’s number one security partner, ‘new next’ and ‘better together.’
“I told my partners that we can’t be our customer’s number one if we’re not first and foremost your number one security vendor and that requires a lot of things,” he said. “We’ve got to have superior and innovative technologies; a business model that’s profitable to the partner community, and ease of doing business with each other - whether it be systems, interacting with the sales force and engaging, all of those are very critical elements.”
‘New next’ Steranka explained was about innovating faster than the market and being a leader rather than a follower.
“What we’re telling partners is that we’ve got to be prepared to change. We’ve got to move from products to outcomes and move from what we call creating these walls of defense to protecting, detecting and correcting,” he said. “There’s also a move from transactional buying towards a consultative approach.”
“As the market shifts, the challenges become greater and meeting customer expectations, we want to partner with the strongest security solution providers in the industry.”