CA Sees Partner Opportunities In Hybrid Cloud Environments

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CA Technologies is updating elements of its channel program to support solution providers that implement hybrid cloud/on-premise IT systems for their customers.

CA, which held its CA World conference in Las Vegas this week, also said it's boosting rebates for partners that identify new sales opportunities and re-emphasizing its channel neutrality policies.

About 1,300 partners were at CA World, said David Bradley, senior vice president of global partners, accounting for about one-third of the total attendance.

[Related: CA Acquires Layer 7 To Bolster Cloud, Mobile Security Strategy]

While CA once focused on direct sales, it's been growing its channel sales in recent years and putting more resources into its channel efforts. Bradley, in an interview with CRN, said that in the vendor's fiscal 2013, which ended March 31, channel partners played a role in more than one-half of new product bookings as opposed to product and subscription renewals.

That resonates with Bob Schwartz, a managing principal at Digital Celerity, a San Francisco-based solution provider that works with CA's project and portfolio management, IT management and IT governance products. Schwartz said he began to notice the "sea change" at the company three years ago in its channel efforts and "now that change has pretty much come to fruition" as channel-focused policies and investments kick in.

"This was really CA's year for partners," Schwartz said in an interview, pointing to the company's policy of letting channel partners take the lead in sales to midsize companies with sales between $50 million and $2 billion. Saying there was a high level of energy among partners at CA World, Schwartz added: "CA is making the right decisions [and] we see our investments paying off."

Bradley said that with most elements of the CA Global Partner Program in place, the emphasis is on execution. "We're going to continue to grow our partner business because we're making it more a part of the fabric of our overall business," he said. "The focus is on creating the right partner engagement model."

CA, for example, had previously unveiled its channel-neutral compensation plan and its policy of focusing sales to unnamed accounts through the channel. Under CA's channel-neutral policy, CA account managers and account directors can count those channel sales toward their sales goals. At this week's conference the company said it is offering partners an additional 5 percent rebate for new deals to enterprise customers.

On the hybrid IT front, CA said it has augmented its presales organization to help partners sell hybrid cloud/on-premise systems. It's also shifting some funding into training and business development programs focused on hybrid deployments.

"Our partners are creating hybrid models for customers migrating to hybrid environments that require transitions across multiple platforms and providers," Bradley said. "The enhancements to our CA Global Partner program address this industry shift." He pointed to CA's Clarity PPM software and Nimsoft service desk software as cloud/on-premise opportunities for partners.

Later this fiscal year the Islandia, N.Y.-based company said it would launch a co-branding program for managed service providers to qualify their service offerings.



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