CA Eyes Channel In Wake Of Reorg, Concord Acquisition

Computer Associates International co-founder Russ Artzt, in his new role as executive vice president for products, now oversees the five business units that make upthe Islandia, N.Y.-based software vendor's new organizational structure. In addition, he also faces the challenge of integrating the people and products from CA's recent acquisition of Concord Communications. Artzt discussed the reorg, the Concord deal, CA's channel outlook and other topics in an interview with Senior Editor Dan Neel.

CRN: Will network management tools from Concord, as well as its January acquisition of Aprisma, be available in the Total Protection Suites that CA plans to roll out for the midmarket this summer?

ARTZT: Not initially. Initially, we've got our Total Protection Suite well-defined with ARCserve and PestPatrol and Antivirus and [Unicenter Desktop] DNA, though I think you're going to see down the road that we'll be expanding our Total Protection Suites. So our first cut is frozen. [For] the first integrated suite, the dates are frozen and the functionality's frozen. I do think we'll be expanding our Total Protection Suites for the small marketplaces, and I do think that some of our network management products might make sense there.

CRN: Will Concord's direct-sales force be retained in full? If so, will they all be selling for CA's Enterprise System Management unit, or will they sell products from other CA business units like security?

ARTZT: Here's what we do today. We have a very large direct-sales force. The direct-sales force is organized geographically. So for each region, we have Unicenter specialists, sales specialists, security sales specialists, BSO [Business Service Optimization] sales specialists and storage sales specialists. Concord products will be sold by the Unicenter sales specialists, and we'll be moving the Concord sales force into the CA Unicenter sales force, yes.

Sponsored post

CRN: Are there channel goals for each of the five business units to hit?

ARTZT: That's interesting. Certainly, in the channel historically, we've pretty much sold ARCserve and Antivirus and now PestPatrol through the channel, and that's really been it. Ninety-nine percent of our channel sales have been through those three products. I think in the future, we've established ourselves within our direct-sales force to be able to sell through regional partners. And that's something that, for example, in North America, George Fisher [CA's senior vice president of North American sales] is taking on beginning now, beginning this new sales year. It has worked pretty well with BrightStor with our ESPs [Enterprise Solution Partners] there. They're indirect channel partners, but it's a one-tier distribution. We're looking to do the same thing for Unicenter, and we're looking to do the same thing for the eTrust identity access management products. I think you're going to start to see some growth in that area.

CRN: Do you mean indirect sales growth?

ARTZT: Yes, I think you will [see that]. BrightStor is already dominated with ARCserve and our channel partners, but you're going to start to see more ESP one-tier channel partners selling parts of our Unicenter product line and our eTrust product line.

CRN: What are the indirect sales goals for individual products lines?

ARTZT: I don't have those goals. But I do know we're setting up for that and that responsibility is going to the sales force in the field to recruit and train these indirect partners. And I know we're planning on recruiting for Unicenter and eTrust. In the past, it's strictly been ARCserve and Antivirus and PestPatrol.

CRN: One of CA's ESP Partner Advisory Council members recommended last week that CA stop recruiting partners on a mass scale and just identify 60 or so VARS, set quarterly revenue targets and help them reach it. Is that an idea you would consider?

ARTZT: It's an interesting idea. Yeah, we're open to all kinds of ideas, to tell you the truth. We realize we want to grow our business in that [channel] area. It is an important area. We're so strong in direct sales; we just know that there are some growth opportunities in the channel. We'd be open to all kinds of ideas. What I would suggest is, maybe to get into some of that stuff, we should really get our sales team that's responsible for it to get together with the right people.

One thing we're going to look to do is leverage our Concord channel program. Concord has a nice channel program. I know, for example, Aprisma's Spectrum has been selling a lot through the channel. The majority of sales in Europe is through the channel. Concord has a strong channel program, so I think one of the things we're going to do is leverage that program. Maybe that channel program, if leveraged right, will start with the Concord products and then can lead to all the Unicenter products.

CRN: A year from now, where do you think CA will be in terms of its percentage of indirect sales?

ARTZT: You know, I don't want to make a prediction. I don't really know. I can tell you, long term, we want to change the ratios. I would be guessing on what the ratios are going to change to, but we are going to put more emphasis on it.

CRN: What would you like to see fill out the rest of CA's product portfolio, as far as functionality across the new business units?

ARTZT: I think we have strong business units. You go into an acquisition like a Concord with a lot of integration to do, and we'll be spending a lot of time putting road maps together, doing the integration so the products come together well. There are always going to be additional capabilities we're going to want within each area. I feel like in security we're in real good shape with identity access management. In Unicenter, this Concord acquisition, I'm very happy with. It gives us the growth we needed in that area that we want as robust as other areas. We have a new business unit in BSO, and we're going to look to strengthen it through organic growth as well as possible acquisition so it can happen.