McAfee has launched into 2010 with a revamped channel partner program that promises a raft of new benefits. The changes cover three main areas – Secure Computing partners, enablement and profitability. Following McAfee’s acquisition of security vendor, Secure Computing, late last year, the vendor left Secure Computing partners outside its channel program as the integration process was worked through. Those partners are now entitled to the deal registration and rebates offered to McAfee’s wider channel. McAfee has also introduced enhancements to its enablement strategy including a new learning program to allow sales and technical staff to become specialists under the ACE banner. McAfee director of channels and operations, Asia-Pacific, Gavin Struthers, said the ACE program was developed on the back of consistent demand from partners for more educational tools. “There has been a real call to help sales and tech staff within our partners become better equipped, and have a nice path to certification within a renowned program,” he said. The final tweak to the channel program comes in improving partner profitability. To this end, McAfee is introducing additional margin for deal registration to encourage partners into new business targeting, as well as rewards for sales engineers through its rebate program. Previously, only sales staff could claim rebates. “It was another thing we’d had a lot of feedback into – recognising the importance of the sales engineers in making a sale,” Struthers said. The program changes are global and in line with McAfee’s mandate last year to bring consistency into its global channel approach. Struthers said additional resources would also be funnelled into the in-house channel teams across Asia-Pacific. “We’re appointing more channel account managers across Asia-Pacific,” Struthers said. “In Australia, we’re bolstering the mid-market sales team to support the channel partners. It’s an area we see strong opportunity for growth.”
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