CA Launches New Partner Program As Cloud Technology Sales Grow2:33 PM EST Wed. Apr. 18, 2012
CA Technologies today unveiled a new partner program that the company is counting on to reverse its reputation as a company that solution providers find difficult with which to work.
The formal launch of the CA Global Partner Program fulfills a promise company executives made at CA World in November to focus more efforts on the channel -- a move necessitated by CA's growing sales of cloud computing technologies to mid-market customers.
"This is part of our ongoing transformation at CA for how we go to market with partners," said David Bradley, senior vice president of global channel sales, in an interview. Reliance on the channel has "gone from a strategy to a fundamental belief within the company."
CA's work with channel partners has historically been limited to a few products, such as the ARCserve backup software and ERwin data modeling tools, while the company focused on direct sales of its mainframe-centric products to big companies. But after spending more than $1 billion in recent years to acquire a number of cloud-computing products, the company is selling more to midsize customers and that's driving a new emphasis on the channel.
In fiscal 2012 channel partners were involved in 40 percent of all sales of products within CA's enterprise solutions business, which includes almost all products not mainframe-related. "And we know that's going to grow significantly in 2013," Bradley said, forecasting that partners would account for 50 percent of such sales in the fiscal year that began April 1.
CA's partner efforts have the support of the company's top executives, including CEO Bill McCracken and George Fischer, executive vice president and group executive of worldwide sales and services -- both of whom have backgrounds at companies with extensive channel operations, Bradley pointed out.
"We've got senior management commitment, from the board and from the CEO," said Tony Orlando, who took over as senior vice president of North American alliance and partner sales on April 1.
NEXT: Partner Endorsement For The New Program
Most of the components of the new program were unveiled at CA World -- today's announcement is "executing on those commitments we made" at the November conference, Bradley said. The company has been fine-tuning program elements since then based on partner feedback.
GreenPages Technology Solutions is an example of a partner that's been working more closely with CA in recent months. GreenPages CTO John Ross told CRN at CA World that the solution provider was "making a pretty big bet with CA [based] on their strategy and their vision."
This week GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler reiterated that commitment, saying in a statement that the new CA partner program provides "a comprehensive offering that enables us to capitalize on the cloud computing market and help our customers navigate the changing IT landscape."
The overhauled program includes what Bradley described as "structural and systemic changes" that resolve such problems as partners' previous inability to earn both volume discounts and partner discounts under an older volume licensing plan. And the company now offers a single master partner contract with modules for different partner types including resellers, volume partners, MSPs and ISVs.
While CA will continue to sell directly to its existing large customers, the company will work with partners to sell to new enterprise accounts and let partners take the lead selling to "growth" customers -- those with annual revenue up to $2 billion, according to Bradley.
The partner program includes a new partner portal, called "MyCA Partner Portal," backed up by a new partner relationship management system, with marketing support, sales tools and training content. Partners at the Advanced and Premier tiers have access to dedicated sales support, assigned account management, and market and business development funds. And an enhanced Global Service Center will be available for partners in May via live chat through the portal.