McAfee Partner Summit – An Interview with Tony Abrahall, General Manager for First Distribution

Intel_SecurityFirst Distribution General Manager Tony Abrahall attended the McAfee Partner Summit in Marbella, Spain recently and came away with some interesting insights.

First Distribution Marketing sat down with him to get the latest information on the security landscape.

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Tony Abrahall, First Distribution GM

In which areas is McAfee investing?

McAfee has four main focus areas – Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Advanced Threat Detection (ATD) and EndPoint. From First Distribution’s point of view, our focus remains on Endpoint, although we are seeing growth in our NGFW and SIEM operations as well. Advanced Threat Detection is an exciting area for us to be in – we’re looking closely at investing further in this area in the near future.

There is some confusion regarding the change in ownership and how this translates to branding and CI. Can you clear this up for us?

McAfee now has Intel Security as its masterbrand.
McAfee is part of Intel Security, but not all of it.

The ‘Internet of Things’ is one of the industry buzzwords of the moment.
What did you take-away from the conference in this regard?

Our expectation is that with the ‘Internet of Things’ hundreds of billions of devices will have embedded security – wearables for example. Babygrows (onesies) that will monitor babies’ breathing and ingestible medical devices that will monitor blood pressure are just two examples of IoTthese.  I believe that all of these will need to be secured, and industry research shows that by 2020 each person will have on average 27 of these types of devices. This obviously represents a big opportunity for the IT security industry.

Security is not going away is it?
In fact, if anything, its importance to businesses seems to be growing…

Indeed. Security is now on the agenda of most boards of companies – particularly following the recent data loss that Target experienced which exposed credit card and personal data on more than 110 million consumers, and the CEO having to step down as a result. Legislation will be rolled out in most countries by 2015 that will impose huge penalties on companies for data loss resulting in privacy issues.

Did you know that an innocuous mobile application displaying train timetables in the UK extracts personal data from your phone including contact details, phone numbers, tracks your location, etc.? This is commonplace and we have no idea as to how exposed we are. Personally, I believe we need a bigger security focus on mobility in SA, particularly where companies allow their users to access corporate networks with mobile devices.McAfee_shield

What were the main highlights from a partners’ perspective?

There was quite a lot going on from a partner’s perspective –
here’s a few of the main points:

– There is more value to customers and to partners in embracing more of McAfee’s offerings, so the message to partners is to upsell the portfolio and look to sell McAfee’s suites of offerings to deliver more value at a better price point.

– Most partners are using the McAfee Partner Programmes such as Teething Plans, Incumbency and Deal Registration with participation up by 150%. Partners need to be aware of all of the available programmes to maintain profitability.

– McAfee has now made hardware available under an MSP-type model with monthly billing and a minimum of 12 months commitment.McAfee_security_connected_A+

– There is a New Partner On-Boarding Best Practice managed by Partner Care which takes partners through the entire on-boarding process, including enablement around all of McAfee’s technologies.

– The Partner Portal has a wealth of marketing info including Partner Recruitment Kits, ready-made mailers, etc. McAfee also has a series of partner campaigns for recruitment called ‘Security Made Simple’. Additionally there is a kit for resellers who have Windows XP customers. I believe that there is a big opportunity here.

– As part of the Smart Marketing Programme, you can register for the McAfee Smart Marketing Platform (http://mcafee.zift123.com). This will allow partners to integrate their websites with McAfee to get automatic content updates, web analytics, social media posts, monthly newsletters, email campaigns, lead generation forms, etc.