The Web site Dictionary.com defines the word focus as "a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity." This is an apt description of McAfee's inaugural customer event, McAfee Focus.
McAfee customers received the message that the company is focused in three areas:
Growth through acquisition. McAfee is intent on becoming a one-stop shop for governance, compliance, and risk management. To this end, the company purchased outside firms like Reconnex, SafeBoot, and Secure Computing. Look for McAfee to continue this trend by buying companies in areas like application security, identity management, IT operations management, and security management.
Product integration. McAfee has two areas for integration: the endpoint (i.e., one agent for security, encryption, network access control, etc.) and its management platform Enterprise Policy Orchestrator (ePO). McAfee wants to surround its customers with broad functionality AND central command-and-control.
Industry relationships. In the past few weeks, McAfee announced partnerships with Commvault, HP, Intel, and VMware. The goal? Make McAfee a development nexus for anything related to security integration.
These initiatives come right from the playbook of McAfee CEO, Dave DeWalt, a veteran of the software industry. The results of this game plan seem good so far: McAfee reported record revenue of $410 million (27 percent growth) in the third quarter.
So will this focus and aggressive behavior continue? I expect McAfee to back off the gas pedal a bit to feel its way through muddy economic waters but the company will also capitalize on deflated market capitalization values to acquire more companies and a softening job market to grab top talent. In this growing global recession, McAfee may be one company that is able to swim against the tide.