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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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News & Articles

August 17, 2011 |

McAfee Makes a Bigger Play for SMB VARs

A new SMB Specialization in the company’s SecurityAlliance program helps partners sell to SMBs using a host of enablement tools. By Elaine J. Hom

McAfee has introduced a new SMB Specialization in its SecurityAlliance program to help partners sell to SMBs using new enablement tools.

By Elaine J. Hom

Earlier this summer, McAfee Inc. launched the SMB Specialization within its SecurityAlliance partner program, with the goal of helping partners to improve their profitability while addressing the needs of SMB customers with fewer than 250 employees. Partners can take advantage of enablement tools, turnkey marketing programs, and dedicated sales resources while offering their customers email, Web, data, and endpoint security solutions, either in an on-premises or software-as-a-service delivery model.

It’s no surprise that the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is focusing on SMBs. In 2009, McAfee acquired MXLogic, a managed email and Web security provider with more than 90 percent of its business in the SMB space. “It’s all about making it easier to do business with McAfee,” says Steve McCutcheon, senior director of marketing, who came to McAfee with MXLogic. “It’s the power of McAfee’s name combined with the understanding of the SMB market that [MXLogic] brought in.”

According to McCutcheon, McAfee adopted much of what MXLogic offered its partners, particularly marketing on demand and sales on demand. “Marketing is not necessarily one of the native skills of IT guys,” says McCutcheon. “They tend to be good at the technical side, but when it comes to lead generation or promoting the brand, everybody could use help.”

The SMB Specialization satisfies a demand from McAfee partners within the existing SecurityAlliance program. Partners were having a tough time selling into the SMB space because they spent as much time on small accounts as they did on large accounts, notes McCutcheon, but large accounts yielded more profit. As a result, partners focused on larger accounts. “That’s why we came out with this specialization,” he says, “to give that extra profitability and the resources and enablement to make [selling to SMBs] worth their while.”

The specialization is also geared toward partners that have not yet worked with SMBs. “All of the things they may not know, like how to sell into the SMB, promoting the benefits of cloud services and SaaS services—that’s what [MXLogic] had been doing for nine years.”

SMB specialization benefits can be accessed through McAfee’s online Partner Acceleration Resource Center, or PARC. Enablement tools include streamlined deal registration as well as enhanced McAfee Rewards and margin programs. Sales tools and turnkey sales acceleration kits use McAfee best practices in creating demand. Partners can also learn about McAfee products, from the technology to market research, and how to conduct marketing campaigns. Much of the marketing resources are delivered in a video format to simplify training, says McCutcheon.

“If they don’t have time to do [marketing], we have the resources and market development funds that will help make it [possible and] affordable for them,” he says. “The understanding of customer needs is all about selling, so we show them videos of how to do demonstrations and how to present the benefits of our product sets to their customers.”

Use of these services is up to the individual partner. Some simply don’t have the time to demonstrate products and pitch them to customers—particularly partners that are SMBs themselves. These partners can call in the McAfee SMB sales team to conduct product demonstrations for them, at no cost. “We act as an extension of their sales and marketing team,” says McCutcheon, “so they can do a better job for their customers. When we do that, it tends to build loyalty and more sales for everybody.”

The SMB Specialization is one of a series of specializations that McAfee has introduced to its SecurityAlliance Partner Program. In early June, for example, the company launched the U.S. Federal Partner Specialization and the Mobile Security Specialization in North America. For interested partners, there are no required prequalifications for the program.

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