CA Resets Channel Base With New Partner Focus, Support

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CA is adopting a channel-first strategy across its entire product line in a move to finally arrest the ups and downs its solution providers have faced in working with the company over the years.

Under the program, 1,500 of CA's top customers are considered named accounts, where CA takes the direct sales lead but where partners can participate and collaborate, said Adam Famularo, senior vice president of partner sales for the Islandia, N.Y.-based software vendor.

Famularo, who in November took over as CA channel chief, said that under those 1,500 named accounts are 15,000 companies deemed partner-exclusive, Famularo said. "These customers have the same buying needs as our named accounts," he said. "But we will not have any direct reach into them."

[Related: CA Technologies Promotes Former Cloud GM To Channel Chief Role]

CA also is working closely with the top 60 partners in each of five product areas, including security, service desk, DevOps application delivery services, Nimsoft IT systems and cloud monitoring, and Clarity product and portfolio management, Famularo said.

Those partners will work closely with specific outside CA reps and technical specialists to develop their business in their area of technology focus, Famularo said.

For solution providers outside the top 300 to 350 partners, CA has assigned Wendy Petty, senior adviser for North America partner sales, to manage them through a two-tier distribution model via distributors including Westcon Group, Ingram Micro and Carahsoft, Famularo said.

CA is showing a real change of direction, said Jon Freeman, CEO of Mycroft, a New York-based solution provider and CA channel partner.

"CA has never been the most channel-friendly company," Freeman said. "But in the last six months, with Adam in his new position and Mike Gregoire as CEO, we've seen a lot of changes in how CA handles sales and channels. ... CA has never been as partner-focused as it is now."

CA's new focus on working closely with specialized partners outside the top named accounts is a good opportunity for Mycroft, Freeman said.

"We're actually interested in going after the new markets not visited by direct CA account reps," he said. "The top-tier enterprise customers have long 18-month sales cycles. We want to be in the midmarket where customers have much smaller decision chains."

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