McAfee may head into UTM space

Security firm's acquisition of Secure Computing lent it "some elements of unified threat management", and there could be more related buyouts, says APAC head.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor on

SINGAPORE--Security vendor McAfee's push into the unified threat management (UTM) space will not be a surprise, if it materializes, according to a senior Asia-Pacific executive.

Steve Redman, McAfee's president for the Asia-Pacific region, told ZDNet Asia in an interview Thursday that the company's acquisition of Secure Computing has lent it some elements of UTM.

Acquisitions that McAfee is currently looking at, he added, could also beef up its UTM capabilities, he said on the sidelines of the McAfee Partner Forum held in the island-state.

According to Redman, out of McAfee's last 30 or so acquisitions, the purchase of Secure Computing was probably the one that made most sense to customers. Product integration has also been completed, making the company "18 months ahead in terms of proper integrated portfolio", he said, noting that a competitor had indicated a timeframe of two years for full integration. The acquisition was completed last November.

Citing market studies McAfee conducted, Redman noted that the company's addressable security market opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region for 2009 would be worth about US$1.8 billion. The company expects to have about 10 percent share of the pie, and is targeting more of its revenue growth from the enterprise segment.

In addition, while its research has shown that the region's security services market is worth about US$1.4 billion, McAfee does not intend to become "an IBM", he pointed out. Instead, it prefers its partners to take on the role of services provision.

McAfee's focus for the year, said Redman, will not so much be to milk new business from existing clients but to go on the offensive to secure business from its competition. The company grew its regional business 24 percent year-on-year in 2008; its Southeast Asian market grew by 50 percent.

Apart from beefing up its partner program, McAfee will become more aggressive in terms of pricing, Redman added. The "region-based pricing project" could see McAfee apply special discounts in specific verticals to close large deals, he explained.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, McAfee plans to increase its headcount by over 40 personnel, said Redman. Most of the new hires will be field sales representatives focused on mid-market opportunities, he said, adding that hiring activity will be more significant in the markets of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

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