CA Scrutinizing Its VAR Relationships2:43 PM EST Wed. Aug. 27, 2008
CA continues to make adjustments to its channel programs in North America, focusing its reseller account managers on channel partners it deems worthy of platinum and gold status and assigning others to work through distributors.
While some of CA's products are sold direct, it relies heavily on the channel to sell its data storage and recovery management software, such as ARCserve and XOsoft, and its Internet security and anti-virus products.
At Everything Channel's XChange conference in Dallas last week one CA reseller from Canada complained about changes being made to CA's channel organization in that country.
CA channel partners in North America are being designated platinum, gold or silver based on their level of commitment to selling CA products and the investments they make in CA sales and technology training. Bill Lipsin, CA's corporate senior vice president of global channels, acknowledged in an interview this week that the number of solution providers that win platinum status would be small, numbering in the "handfuls."
CA works with distributors Arrow Electronics, Avnet, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data and Lipsin said CA's moves, which began early this year and accelerated in April, are designed to leverage those relationships more effectively. He said some channel partners prefer working with distributors rather than trying to attain gold or platinum status.
In Canada Lipsin said CA channel account managers will be focusing their efforts on fewer VARs. He also said resellers in Canada may see fewer channel-specific managers in the company and "start to see different faces." But he said the comments by the VAR at XChange was a "misunderstanding" of CA's plans.
With more complex products such as CA's Clarity project and portfolio management software, resellers that have a more transactional relationship with CA will now work through distributors while others that work more closely with CA to sell, implement and support those products continue to work with CA account managers.
The number of resellers of CA data storage/recovery and security products numbers in the thousands, Lipsin said, while the number that resell more complex products like Clarity is in the hundreds. He declined to say how many would be designated gold or platinum, but acknowledged the number would be small.
Lipsin said other facets of CA's channel program, such as the partner portal, remain open to all partners and the company continues to recruit resellers, especially for its ARCserve and XOsoft products.