McAfee, still in the first year of its spin-off from Intel, is working to shed its reputation as an antivirus-focused firm to be more looked at as a vendor focused on the broader security landscape, according to the vendor's channel chief.
During MPower Cybersecurity Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada this week, Richard Steranka, head of global channel operations at McAfee, said that the company has seen a lot of "lift" since being re-branded from Intel Security back to McAfee.
"Bringing the concept of ‘Together is power' was all part of launching the new McAfee, and that is really resonating, not just with our partners but with our customers as well," he said. "It's more than a tagline. It's been backed up with our desire to be open and to be inclusive of any and all industries so we can better help customers."
While Ken McCray, head of Americas channel sales and operations at McAfee, said his partner business hasn't spiked since the McAfee name returned, he said the company did get "brand equity" back. He added the vendor also maintained some big channel partners it met through Intel, including World Wide Technology and Presidio.
Back when the vendor was known as Intel Security, channel partners were finding themselves having to explain to customers Intel Security's relationship to McAfee, Steranka said in April, when the brand saw ownership shift from Intel to TPG Capital. Since the rebrand, that challenge has gone away, Steranka said.
Shedding another brand-related challenge is still a work in progress, however.
"All brands… have some history that goes with them, and what we are still very focused on doing is evolving perception [of us] being an antivirus company... into a full cyber security platform company," Steranka explained.
"One of the main priorities that we are focused on is upgrading our base of endpoint customers. We still have a lot of them on our VirusScan Enterprise products, and those customers simply cannot extract all the value out of the McAfee relationship if they're not on all our latest technologies.
"The Endpoint Security 10.5 product is the gateway into opening up all of this integration with other vendors and [into] bringing better threat intelligence back into our ePolicy Orchestrator product, into Threat Intelligence Exchange and into Data Exchange Layer - it's so core."
The channel chief added that McAfee has launched programmes to incentivise channel partners around this and also offers training and shadows migrations for partners. He said McAfee is migrating an average of over 500,000 nodes a week.
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