Network Associates: Driving the Field

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2004-04-04 Print this article Print

Network Associates, offering what some customers say is the best management tool on the market, has racked up its share of touchdowns against antivirus archrival Symantec.

Network Associates, offering what some customers say is the best management tool on the market, has racked up its share of touchdowns against antivirus archrival Symantec.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools has installed McAfee antivirus software on 50,000 of its 80,000 computers since August 2003. It chose Network Associates in part because its pricing was more attractive than Symantec's, says Debbie Karcher, executive officer of information-technology services. But Karcher's team encountered a small problem with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO): The management utility at first did not allow all of the school district's 450 site administrators to access the system.

"We're so large that we ran into things that I'm sure they had not run into before," she says, adding that Network Associates' technical support was "excellent" in resolving the issue.

That snafu may be an exception. In 2001, when Ticketmaster Corp. merged technology operations with Citysearch—both are now units of InterActiveCorp—the companies standardized their software. Citysearch had adopted Symantec for antivirus protection, while Ticketmaster was starting to roll out McAfee. The balance tipped in Network Associates' favor because "ePO, as an umbrella management product, was far superior to anything else," says Christian Horner, head of information systems at Ticketmaster. Symantec's System Center, by contrast, is unable to manage third-party antivirus clients: "They don't play nice with McAfee," Horner says.

But Network Associates has also tripped out of bounds at times. Other customers have found that its desktop software requires more maintenance than that of other vendors (see Voice of Experience, p. 71). And some say the application drags down PC performance. "It's minimal, but we do see a performance hit after we install the McAfee antivirus software," says Michael Stern, vice president of information technology at Handex Group, an environmental-consulting firm.

Network Associates defends its antivirus software as quick, reliable and easy to manage. "Our agent is extremely fast, and in terms of size we're probably one of the smallest in the industry," says John Bedrick, the company's group product marketing manager for systems security.

Network Associates
3965 Freedom Circle
Santa Clara, CA 95054
(972) 963-8000

Ticker: NET (NYSE)
Employees: 3,663

Vincent Rossi
Senior VP, Product Management, McAfee Security
Responsible for managing the security-business product line, including antivirus offerings. Had been executive VP of products for Entercept Security Technologies, acquired by Network Associates in April 2003.

Vincent Gullotto
VP, Research, McAfee Security
Oversees the McAfee Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT), the security-research arm of Network Associates.

McAfee VirusScan Enterprise finds and removes viruses from desktops and file servers. GroupShield checks e-mail servers; NetShield protects Novell NetWare servers; and WebShield appliances scan Web and e-mail traffic to stop viruses and spam. EPolicy Orchestrator provides central management and reporting.

Reference Checks

Christian Horner
National Dir., I.S.
Project: Ticket broker runs McAfee VirusScan on most of its 5,000 desktops and is switching over groups running Symantec's software as they come up for renewal.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Debbie Karcher
Executive Officer, I.T. Services
Project: School district has McAfee software on about 50,000 machines, GroupShield for e-mail servers, 12 WebShield appliances and ePolicy Orchestrator for management.

Major League Soccer
John Sullivan
Director of I.T.
Project: League operates the WebShield e250 gateway device on the network and VirusScan on 250 desktops.

Handex Group
Michael Stern
VP, I.T.
Project: New Jersey-based environmental-consulting firm uses McAfee software on its Microsoft Exchange e-mail servers and 600 desktops.

Alachua County
Martin Albanese
Network Analyst, Security
Project: County government in north-central Florida operates two WebShield e500 appliances, plus VirusScan on 750 desktops.

City of El Paso
Jose Aguirre
I.S. Manager
Project: Uses a WebShield e500 appliance to filter out e-mail viruses for 3,000 desktop computers.

Executives listed here are all users of Network Associates' products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.


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