Aware of the needs and nuances of the Indian consumers, McAfee goes beyond customer expectations and strengthen technical and customer support capabilities. Focusing on Tier 2 cities to reach its business, McAfee is eyeing Gujarat and Maharashtra as the potential cities for business. In conversation with Rupa Roy, head of Marketing, McAfee, India and SAARC, ITPV finds out how channel plays crucial role for the company and move up the value chain.
What are the emerging trends in Security solutions?
McAfee Labs through our proprietary Global Threat Intelligence (GTI) service has analyzed the threat landscape and following are some consumer security trends prevalent today-
• The fragility of mobile platforms is proven and exploitation of vulnerabilities is clearly on the rise. In the second half of 2013, new PC malware growth was nearly flat, while appearances of new Android samples grew by 33%. With businesses and consumers continuing their shift to mobile, we are seeing ransomware aimed at mobile devices, attacks targeting near-field communications vulnerabilities, and attacks that corrupt valid apps to expropriate data without being detected.
• Indian households are increasingly becoming tech savvy with multiple internet enabled devices at their disposal. High usage of these devices and a flood of vulnerable devices in the market with lack of comprehensive cross-device security measures expose personal data to numerous security issues. With internet enabled mobile phones, today, an individual carries out online banking, bill payments etc on the device. Consumers are mostly unaware of the techniques malware authors use to infect devices. From use of clever social engineering to drive-by-exploits, there are numerous ways by which malware can arrive via the web, email, network or even removable devices. This opens a window of opportunity for cyber fraudsters largely because many people still see their phone and tablets as communication devices, rather than the value of the assets it stores.
• “Social attacks” will be ubiquitous by the end of 2014. We expect to see more attacks that leverage social platform features to capture passwords or data about user contacts, location, or business activities. Such information can be used to target advertising or perpetrate virtual or real-world crimes on consumers.
The threat landscape has become more sophisticated and mature; which also needs to translate into maturity of using security solutions. There is a need to move from mere ‘anti-virus’ protection to using holistic security solutions that are strengthened with comprehensive malware and identity protection. Additionally, cross device security is the order of the day with multiplicity of devices becoming a mainstream trend.
What security solution McAfee offers for consumers through Channels?
McAfee offers a variety of products designed to secure consumers’ PCs, devices, online experiences, and the content they create and share-
• McAfee AntiVirusPlus(MAV) offers essential security for PCs. It provides antivirus, anti-spyware and two-way firewall protection. Additionally, McAfee AntiVirus Plus software incorporates anti-phishing technology and SiteAdvisor, a powerful Web site safety advisor so users can safely surf the Web.
• McAfee Internet Security(MIS) keeps users safe from online threats, and also shields them from risky Web sites. It offers antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and two-way firewall protection. Additionally, it includes anti-spam, parental controls, 1 GB of online backup and SiteAdvisor, a powerful Web site safety advisor so consumers can safely surf the Web.
• McAfee Total Protection(MTP) is McAfee’s most comprehensive security suite. It offers antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, anti-phishing and two-way firewall, in addition to parental controls and identity protection. It includes SiteAdvisor Plus, a powerful Web site safety advisor, 2GB of online backup and bonus McAfee Anti-Theft File Protection software to secure valuable files.
• McAfee LiveSafe provides unlimited cross-device security service using cutting-edge facial and voice recognition technology to protect users’ digital lives. It includes McAfee Anti-Theft, which is designed to protect consumers’ personal information and keep their PCs safe and secure in the event they are lost or stolen. McAfee LiveSafe service also brings an innovative application of Intel® Identity Protection Technology (IPT), a tamper-resistant hardware authentication mechanism. Its intuitive cloud-based “safety deposit box”—Personal Locker— allow users to store their most sensitive documents, including financial records, copies of IDs and passports, or anything else that is personal and private, in a convenient, ultra-safe online location.
Do you have Call centers or toll-free numbers in bilingual languages?
McAfee is cognizant of the needs and nuances of Indian consumers. We continuously strive to go beyond our customer’s expectations and towards this goal we have further strengthened our technical and customer support capabilities. We have both Hindi and English technical and customer support services catering to the needs of metro and non-metro Indian populace.
Besides providing bilingual customer support services, McAfee has also introduced a separate India page http://service.mcafee.com). This enables Indian consumers to choose from phone and chat options to meet their technical support and customer service requirements.
For any queries, consumers can log on to http://service.mcafee.com or dial toll-free number 1800 3000 2454 for services and support requirements
How you train your channel partners and make sure they move up the value chain?
At McAfee, we recognize that our channel partners form the core pillars of our growth. We are cognizant of the crucial role played by the retail channel partners in demystifying security to end consumers, increasing usage and thereby expanding the industry. Therefore, we have numerous partner profitability and enablement schemes under the Rakshak program.
McAfee has been working with retail channel partners in India for over 3 years now and has an extremely robust and successful partner framework. Incepted in 2011, RAKSHAK Retailer Channel Program (http://www.mcafeerakshak.com/) is aimed at rewarding McAfee’s retail partners in India for purchase of the company’s consumer product portfolio. In addition to a simple and convenient point system that can be redeemed for exciting prizes, partners also receive support on branding & visual merchandising. We currently have over 2400 resellers registered on this program across 213 cities in India. We also work with 13 sub-distributors in India. We work very closely with our partners and distributors to ensure that they are up to date with all the developments at McAfee.
On which criteria do you set up the sales team? Do they have some technical knowledge?
McAfee has ‘Feet on street’ team that constitutes a link between sub-distributors and resellers. They bear sound technical knowledge, relevant experience in software sales and are armed with comprehensive understanding of IT market in the region. A lot of emphasis is given on training this team as we believe that training enables our sales team to excel at their job. This team undergoes frequent trainings, during which they are trained on McAfee products, features and basic level troubleshooting technicalities.
Do you provide buy back of old stock or replacement of old stock for consumers?
We continually focus on enhancing the McAfee selling experience for our channel partners. In this regard, we introduced version-less stocks of our products this year. Now our partners can focus on sale without having to worry about return/ replacement of stocks. If there are old box with valid keys they can still be updated to latest build online.
Kindly share your Geo expansion plans and the channel engagement programs for 2014?
We are currently present in markets of Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Lucknow& Rajasthan.
We will continue to consolidate our presence across distributors and broad-base ourselves in the up-country and Tier II towns especially in Gujarat and Maharashtra.