Securing confidence: NAI attempts to rebuild its channel image

Security software vendor Network Associates (NAI) has appointed four senior executives to its national channel team in a bid to clean up its muddied channel image.

NAI came under fire earlier this year from resellers who claimed the vendor bypassed the channel for updated licence sales (ARN print addition 9 Feb. 2000), and now it appears the vendor is out to make good.

Former HP marketing manager for Mobile Computing Peter Wilson has been appointed to head up NAI's new-look channel division as channel sales manager, and has been charged with getting the vendor's channel strategy back on track.

In doing so, Wilson has hired Ray McIntyre (for QLD), Chris Hughes (for NSW) and Matthew Campbell (for VIC), who combined, represent up to 25 years of channel experience.

"I was given the challenge of coming up with the 'Dream Team' as we call it. These guys mean NAI has some of the best channel experience of any vendor in the market," says Wilson. "They might not know [NAI] that well yet, but they know the channel. It's easy to learn a business, but it's not easy to learn the channel."

While Wilson was coy about detailing NAI's plans to announce a total re-engineering of its channel approach, he was willing to admit the security vendor is reviewing all reseller relationships before it appoints five top tier partners in a couple of weeks.

"We haven't always had the right partners," says Wilson.

According to Wilson, the ideology behind the restructure is to return NAI's focus back to "developing cutting-edge products" while encouraging resellers to "provide complete solutions" by getting product out to the market.

"What we've done is asked the resellers what they really wanted in the program," says Wilson. "I've spoken to 40-plus resellers in Australia alone."

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