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Network Associates opens consulting group

Network security company Network Associates (NA) has created a professional services group to offer consulting and educational services to its customers.

Network Associates Expert Services will specialise in helping companies address networking and security-related issues and will offer courses on using NA products.

The announcement marks a shift in the company's business plan from a product-focused model, based upon network and security products such as Sniffer Technologies and McAfee antivirus, to a model that blends products and services into customised business solutions.

Under the banner of Expert Network Services, NA is offering a variety of packaged and custom consulting services. Depending on their needs, customers can hire NA consultants for on-site or remote analysis of a set number of network segments.

The company is also offering "jump start" services in which Network Associates consultants help a customer's IT staff deploy and configure NA products such as Sniffer Distributed appliances, nPO Manager and nPO Visualizer or help integrate third-party products into customer networks.

As part of its Expert Security Services, NA is offering antivirus screening and policy audits, gap and risk analysis, penetration testing and wireless security assessment. That program also provides jump-start services for the NAI antivirus product line, including ePolicy Orchestrator, GroupShield, WebShield e500 appliance and McAfee Desktop Firewall products.

The company is offering emergency response services that provide customers with assistance to overcome network outages, security breaches and virus outbreaks. Customers can also contract with Network Associates to provide customised network and security consulting services apart from their packaged offerings.

Wrapped into the Expert Services group is NA's existing training organisation, which offers courses and certificate programs through McAfee University and Sniffer University.

NA calls the educational component of the group Expert Educational Services. It was unclear if there would be any changes to the company's educational offerings as part of the new services.

The group brings Network Associates in line with competitors such as Symantec, which also offers consulting services to its customers.

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