CA Outlines Latest Channel Game Plan

Gary Quinn, executive vice president of CA's indirect business operations, said plans call for the Islandia, N.Y.-based company to double its partner head count, provide dedicated call-center support to partners, sharpen CA's product message, specify named accounts and boost field support.

CA aims to double its number of channel partners by 2006, Quinn said. "We have to double our [channel] business," he said.

The goal is to raise bring CA's indirect sales from about $600 million a year now to about $1.3 billion over the next three years, or 30 percent of the vendor's total annual sales, Quinn said.

To that end, CA is directing all of its Customer Interaction Center (CIC) call-center efforts to partner sales support and lead generation, Quinn said, adding that CIC will no longer assist CA's direct sales force.

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A new program called TeleCATs also will begin assisting partners with on-site product demonstrations. TeleCATs is essentially an extension of the CIC operation that is mobile, Quinn said.

Partners, too, will find it easier to sell CA products as the company begins paring its product lineup over the next 30 to 60 days, according to Quinn. CA now has about 15,000 product part numbers and wants to cut that down to the most critical offerings, such as its Protection Suites, ARCserve and XOsoft for midmarket partners and then iLumin, eHealth, and ID and Access Management for enterprise partners, he said.

"We want to begin to rally around certain products," Quinn said, noting that CA still will support products even if they aren't given a priority marketing message.

Also within the next couple of months, CA will give details about its named accounts and their locations "so [partners] know who is in their area," Quinn said. CA recently reduced the number of named accounts from about 12,000 to 3,000, he said.

Other efforts by CA include developing a way to productize its offerings for MSPs. Currently, it's difficult for MSP to use CA's products because of licensing issues, security keys and their inability to allow for multitenant management, according to Quinn. "We will have something for the MSP space," he said.

XChange attendee Stacy Hayes, vice president of DS3 Data Vaulting, a storage archiving and backup solution provider in Fairfax, Va., said CA has a job ahead of it when it comes to convincing new partners where the software vendor fits into their portfolio.

"I look at these guys and say, 'service component.' Then I say, 'Help me grow my business,' " Hayes said.

On Monday, CA announced plans to cut about 1,700 jobs to save $200 million annually by fiscal 2008. However, Quinn said the cost-cutting measures won't effect the channel organization, which has been given a larger budget to accomplish its goals.