McAfee has announced what it describes as a “new alignment” of its business units, one that it says reflects customer interest not in point products but in solutions. The new divisions are:
- Endpoint security
- Network security
- Content security
- Risk and compliance
What it doesn’t say in this particular press release that I have referenced is that this shift comes with a realignment within the sales and channels divisions, and that Alex Thurber, McAfee’s senior vice president of worldwide channel operations, will now head McAfee’s mid-market organization. The spokesperson that alerted me about the shift describes this as a natural evolution of the company’s go-to-market strategy, since most of McAfee’s mid-market sales go through the channel.
Personally, I’ve always been a little conflicted about whether or not a company’s direct sales and channels sales operations should be run separately. One the one hand, I believe the separation of these two functions sort of encourages conflict. Managing them together could encourage tighter collaboration, if the right compensation model is in place. On the other, I think the high-tech channel deserves specific advocates within the companies they are serving.