McAfee UK channel boss outlines plans to extend reseller capabilities

McAfee is looking to expand and fine-tune its reseller base in order to move its core base beyond just anti-virus products.

McAfee is looking to expand and fine-tune its reseller base in order to move its core base beyond just anti-virus products.

Spearheading the overhaul of the partner base is UK and Ireland channel director Jill Henry who has been in the job for five months with a remit to integrate the dealers that have been picked up via various acquisitions the vendor has made.

“It is a balancing act to keep a big base of trading partners with us because those partners are a valuable asset to any company,” she added. “But I need to expand the reach of our portfolio so all of it is represented to customers.”

Plans on the table include encouraging more existing resellers to get skilled up to carry more products, putting more emphasis on vertical markets as well as looking to recruit potentially up to 20 partners to bolster its ability to service specific sectors.

On the training front Henry has recruited an enablement manager to work with resellers on their skills and those efforts will be stepped up next year.

On a global basis Alex Thurber, worldwide head of channels at McAfee, has been working on a channel review and Henry said that one plan already being acted on was to encourage more vertical focus.

That vertical focus could in turn leads to the recruitment of specialist resellers that work in those niche markets.

“We are expecting that we will have joiners but not in the volume category. We will recruit a small number of resellers that will align behind vertical markets. We will finalise the verticals in the new year,” she said.

On the distribution front McAfee will reduce its numbers but by the time the review has been carried out and the letters to tender have gone out, been sent back and responded to, Henry believed the changes will impact in 2011.

Letters to tender are going out to existing distributors – Ingram Micro, Computer 200, Sphinx and Arc Technology – as well as three other potential candidates with the aim of rationalising the line-up.

As it changes its distribution structure one demand it will be placing on those left in the programme is to provide reseller account management for those not covered by direct handlers offered by the vendor to the top tier and the call centre in Ireland available to other accredited partners.

“One of the pieces of distribution community that is in the call for tender is for them to be more active. We aim to give 100% coverage for every partner,” she said.

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