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IT channel partner program news for August 2009

Notable IT channel partner program news for August 2009 includes headlines from Microsoft, McAfee, Oracle, Bell Micro and Symantec.

Microsoft Golds laud ARC pilot

Microsoft's new Analyst Relations for the Channel (ARC) pilot program gives participating Gold VARs access to Gartner Inc. or Forrester Research Inc. analyses and resources. For a fee, the VARs get a one-year subscription that includes teleconferences with analysts and access to research that can help them plan out their own business strategies, partners said.

McAfee names new channel chief

McAfee Inc. this week tapped Alex Thurber to head its worldwide channel operations.

Thurber comes from Cisco Systems where he helped develop channel strategies and programs for security, wireless and emerging technologies, McAfee said in a statement. In his new role as senior vice president of worldwide channel operations, Thurber will report to Michael DeCesare, executive vice president of worldwide sales operations. McAfee is coming off a string of acquisitions -- Secure Computing, MX Logic and other companies -- and has experienced some channel tumult of late. Roger King, who was executive vice president of channels, left the company in early July

Oracle claims 500 AIA-validated partners

Some 170 ISVs have validated that their products integrate with Oracle applications, including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Siebel. Overall, more than 500 software packages now tie into Oracle apps via its Application Integration Architecture for Partners (AIAP) initiative, Oracle said earlier this month.

Participating ISVs include Avaya, Axeda, Brainware, F5 Networks and UC4 Software.

AIA is Oracle's blueprint for easing integration among its own diverse applications and between Oracle and third-party apps.

Bell Micro appoints Kostalnick as president

Chuck Kostalnick is the new president of North American distribution for Bell Micro.

Kostalnick is responsible for all sales and marketing business units for the region and reports to Graeme Watt, president of worldwide distribution.

Kostalnick has 20 years of experience in the electronic distribution industry and has held senior management positions with Arrow Electronics Marshall Industries, Avnet Electronics Marketing and Bell Micro's Technology Solutions Group.

Symantec launches Extended Terms Financing program for partners

Symantec is offering its Symantec registered and silver partners free 60-day extended payment terms on select Symantec products through its Extended Terms Financing program.

As part of the program, registered and silver partners that source Symantec products through Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Douglas Stewart are able to defer payments. Financing is provided by GE Capital.

Partners are considered eligible for the program once they have achieved Symantec SMB Specialization status. The program is currently available until Jan. 20, 2010.

Check out last month's IT channel partner program news roundup.

Dig Deeper on Channel partner program news

McAfee reseller program overhaul adds new incentives, rewards When a bad McAfee Inc. antivirus update disrupted corporate machines across the globe, it was the channel that was responsible for cleaning up much of the mess, admits Alex Thurber, senior vice president of worldwide channel operations. Thurber said the McAfee update problem was a horrible mistake, but presented an opportunity for partners to show themselves as trusted advisors working with the affected customers. When the issue was finally concluded, he said McAfee stepped up and adequately compensated channel partners for their work.

Thurber took his role at McAfee in 2009 after a succession of channel leaders served short stints in the position. Thurber arrived when McAfee was fresh off of two acquisitions (Solidcore Systems and MX Logic). Thurber, who was responsible for security channel programs at Cisco Systems Inc., had to integrate the Solidcore and MX Logic programs into McAfee and pick up the pieces from his predecessors. Fortunately, Thurber said, the program only suffered from a lack of execution.

Today, an almost completely overhauled McAfee channel program includes strong incentives and rewards, including deal protection for partners. In this interview with, Thurber talks about the issues his team confronted and the future of McAfee's channel program.

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