McAfee scales down in UK rejig

McAfee scales down in UK rejig

Security vendor McAfee has claimed resellers will be unaffected by its shock move to downsize its UK channel sales team.

Sources close to events believe up to eight of McAfee’s 11-strong channel team could be axed this week as part of the anti-virus giant’s global restructuring drive.

Sarah Whipp, vice president EMEA marketing at McAfee, told CRN the vendor was currently in consultation with staff impacted by the change.

“In order to align with McAfee’s global channel model, the company will be restructuring its channel account management team, as it moves focus from partner recruitment to partner development and opportunity support,” she confirmed. “Moving forwards, there will be greater day-to-day interaction between McAfee’s channel partners and its own sales teams to deliver increased opportunities.

“Relationships with distributors and systems integrators will not be affected.”

However, top McAfee partners fear the change could see McAfee ramp up its direct business.

Steve Reynolds, managing director of Civica Services, said: “It will be interesting to see how McAfee plays the duality of direct touch and a channel model. We will be watching closely how it develops its partner model.”

Paul Spencer, managing director of Axial Systems, said he was waiting for an official policy statement from the vendor. “I think it would be strange for McAfee to move away from its commitment to the channel,” he said.

Spencer said he had not been informed whether Axial’s account manager would be among the casualties of the move.

Wayne Carter, UK and Ireland sales manager at rival security vendor Websense, said: “At a time when lots of vendors, including Websense, are investing more resources in the channel, McAfee appears to be going the other way.

“When things like this happen it sends a negative message to the channel,” he added.