CA CEO Says Channel Progress Will Continue

recently departed channel chief

Swainson said CA still aims to boost channels sales from the current 10 percent of total sales to 30 percent, and it will probably take the Islandia, N.Y.-based company "several years" to do so. Swainson made his comments to CRN just before his keynote address at Interop New York 2006, held by CRN publisher CMP Media.

CA is currently looking to hire a new channel chief to replace Gary Quinn, its former executive vice president of indirect business operations. Quinn resigned last month to spend more time with his family.

Weeks before resigning, Quinn articulated a plan to increase CA's indirect sales from about $600 million a year to $1.3 billion, or 30 percent of the vendor's total annual revenue, over the next three years.

Swainson said he's confident in the ability of George Kafkarkou, senior vice president of SMB and consumer markets, to run CA's channel until a replacement for Quinn is found. The ideal candidate to replace Quinn would be someone who can balance CA's current partner programs with the need for some changes, according to Swainson.

Sponsored post

In his Interop keynote, Swainson focused on the need for CIOs to take better charge of managing their IT infrastructures. He said too much time, effort and money are tied up in maintaining IT networks, which results in organizations "running in place" when it comes to advancing their infrastructure. Right now, only 40 percent of a typical IT organization's budget goes to buying new, improved technology, and 60 percent goes to operational expenses such as maintenance and labor, he said.

What's more, company IT networks -- both inside and outside, across the Internet -- are rapidly becoming more complex, Swainson said, adding that complete virtualization at the hardware and software layers will be here in five years.

If CIOs don't act now to change things from a state where IT management is a constant headache to a state where IT management can be automated and optimized according to business procedures, companies' profitability will begin to be sapped, according to Swainson.

"We have reached a critical point in IT where innovation threatens to deliver diminishing returns," he said.

As a result, CIOs should embrace best practices such as ITIL, Swainson said. And to that end, he concluded his presentation with a pitch for CA's overarching IT management vision: Enterprise IT Management (EITM). EITM is CA's brand of ITIL, which concentrates network configuration, management, reporting and performance data in a central, integrated database.

Swainson opened his speech by saying that, historically, a great deal of IT innovation has been hype and that going forward, real innovation will entail controlling technology. "I believe the next big thing will be to manage all the other big things," he said.

Interop attendee Dan Beckmann, president of Selahkraft Technologies, a solution provider in Linden, Va., said Swainson's message about IT labor and cost control was extremely relevant. But he disagreed with Swainson's level of focus on the importance of management and integration over innovation.

Integration is key, but innovation is more important, according to Beckmann. "There will always be a dominant technology that takes center stage. But whether that's integrated with the others, I don't know," he said.