Hints at new certification program in the offing
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When Ken Fitzpatrick, chief marketing officer at CA, counts the number of software companies that have reached the ripe old age of 25 years, he recognizes only a handful of organizations, including his employer, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.
"There are perhaps one or two others, but that's it," says the IBM transplant.
What do these companies have in common? Innovation and brand awareness, Fitzpatrick says.
Of late, he's joined CEO Sanjay Kumar on the road at various analyst briefings designed to promote and explain the new CA. These briefings have taken Fitzpatrick around the United States and abroad.
"There's no doubt in everyone's mind that CA has more visibility than ever before," he says.
Credit the company's brand-awareness campaign that has resulted in increased print advertising, as well as a first: radio and TV ads. All told, CA will spend upwards of $100 million on advertising this year alone, Fitzpatrick says. With visibility of the company increased, people are beginning to ask what are the underpinnings that support the company's brand message that CA makes the software that "manages your business." That's put Fitzpatrick on the offensive, out ling the strategies and campaigns that support that message.
He's proud to point to the progress the company has made in the past 14 months. In October 2000, for example, much of the investment community was focused on the company's accounting side of its business, and not enough was focused on the customer side of the business, Fitzpatrick says. That led senior executives to conclude that they needed to become an easier-to-do-business-with partner. And it also meant they needed to eradicate what Fitzpatrick calls "unnatural, end-of-the-quarter behavior."
To achieve the former goal, the company launched a series of initiatives designed to improve its communication. On Jan. 2, 2001, for example, every single person in the company--including janitors and the manager of the company's in-house health and fitness center--received a business card and information on the company's software strategy. Employees were routinely quizzed and rewarded on how much they knew about the company's value proposition. A TV spot that coincided with the company's new branding campaign is estimated to have reached 1 billion households.
Later in the spring, CA began honing its 3x6 strategy, which segmented its expansive product family and divided it into specific categories. At the time, the entire portfolio numbered 1,244 products.
"It was an awesome array of technology," says Fitzpatrick. "We were literally sitting on a volcano of technology. And I had to figure out a way to unlock that awesome array off value."
Then, CA divided its products into brands: Unicenter (enterprise management software), eTrust (security solutions), BrightStor (storage management) and Jasmine (object solutions and tools). Later in November, the company rolled out three new brands in Advantage, AllFusion and CleverPath. Fitzpatrick says today the company is the United Nations of software, with products that mix and match and run in a variety of settings; from mainframes down to desktops and in competing software environments, to boot.
Forty percent of CA's revenue comes from the sale of products developed for mainframe systems, withthe balance from the sale of software that runs on distributed systems.
The company's 3x6 strategy represents the six brands that fit into infrastructure management, information management and process management.
Taking the refined portfolio has been nearly as challenging as fitting all of the company's technological innovations into the 3x6 matrix. That's been especially true with regard to building loyalty among partners. CA, after all, has one of the world's largest direct salesforces in all of software. To create new opportunities for partners, CA has refined the way customers can buy its products, from subscription to business outcome. Allowing customers to buy products in new ways has opened the door to selling to more types of customers, namely small and midsize enterprises.
"Here's where we need tremendous help from channels," Fitzpatrick says.
To help the more than 10,00 channel companies worldwide that use and sell its products, CA has created an online resource center using its own portal technology. It's a one-stop resource center full of tools, information and advice for getting training, closing sales and solving customer problems. CA has also refocused its channel marketing group to make it more responsive to partners' needs.
"The channel partners that are with us today are going to benefit immensely from all the investments that we are making today," Fitzpatrick says.
That includes the more than $2 billion the company has invested in the past two years in R and D. That's helped CA remain a technology leader. In the past six months, for example, the company has delivered more than 70 new products. That kind of track record, he adds, should go a long way to quelling critics who argue that the company has done little with the companies that it has acquired, including Sterling Software. Thanks to the introduction of the new BrightStor enterprise backup products in July, which addressed the previous lack of software for high-end Unix systems, CA can count hundreds of new customers, many of whom were wooed from rival Veritas, he says.
"A small to-medium-sized business partner of CA has a tremendous advantage over their competition in teaming up with us because of the breadth and depth of what we offer them," he adds.
Despite all the enthusiasm, however, certain realities exist. For example, when asked specifically if CA would spend more next year on channel-related activities than it will this year, Fitzpatrick waffles somewhat. Spending, he says, will be "more focused." He says previously CA did not do enough market due diligence to understand all of the market's dynamics.
Now the company has new campaigns to target key customers, including one campaign that is running with a third party to target existing Arcserv customers, who are now being offered new security products in CA's expansive suite. All sales, Fitzpatrick notes, are going through partners.
One thing Fitzpatrick vows the company will do better is communicate. One way is through a program enhancements coming in January to CA Smart, originally introduced at CA World Orlando in July 2001. Through the program, CA will train partners to become certified in various CA products. CA Smart certified partners will soon be able to brand and distinguish themselves, thanks to their new certification, according to Fitzpatrick. CA plans to sink a significant amount of money to brand and promote the program, both to partners and to end users.