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CA, EMC Unveil Partner Programs

Computer Associates and EMC have taken the wraps off their respective new enterprise partner programs, which they contend will encourage their direct sales forces to work cooperatively with solution providers to sell high-end products that they previously did not offer through the channel.

Two key providers of storage and infrastructure-management software are overhauling their efforts to bring their products to market through enterprise partners: Computer Associates and EMC have taken the wraps off their respective new enterprise partner programs, which they contend will encourage their direct sales forces to work cooperatively with solution providers to sell high-end products that they previously did not offer through the channel.

While both CA and EMC have had their new enterprise channel programs in the works for some time, the rollouts couldn't be more critical for the companies or their partners. With the proposed merger of Symantec and Veritas, CA faces a much larger rival in the security and storage-management segments, while EMC is primed to leverage its acquisitions of Dantz, Documentum and Legato (and soon SMARTS, an infrastructure, applications and business-services management firm EMC has recently agreed to acquire) to position itself as a key provider of storage and content-management software.

CA's new Enterprise Solution Provider (ESP) program is noteworthy because it represents the most concerted effort in recent memory to bring partners into large accounts. It's also CA's first organized attempt to sell its highest-end products--particularly the company's Unicenter systems-management platform--through the channel in nearly four years.

Gary Quinn, CA's executive vice president of partner advocacy, believes the current effort to sell its flagship Unicenter platform through the channel has a better chance of success than past efforts.

"We've integrated the channel components into the mainstream of CA as opposed to a separate organization," Quinn says. "We put behind it the tools and [channel] needs, such as deal registration and rebates, that are not just revenue-driven but behavior-driven."

CA's new field sales organization, assembled last year, is intended to encourage multiple routes to market that include both direct and indirect sales. Part of that structure includes partner managers who provide overall development of business plans, marketing programs, training and certification in conjunction with the direct sales force. As part of the company's overall effort to move more business through the channel, CA is evolving its compensation model to ensure, if not encourage, its direct sales force to bring partners into engagements, Quinn adds.

"We believe the renewed channel focus will be good for us and good for the channel," says Todd O'Bert, CEO of Productive, a Minneapolis-based solution provider and pilot member of CA's new ESP program. "They are making a more cohesive effort from the top down," he says.

Meanwhile, EMC has kicked off its new Velocity Program, which will provide a common channel program for its software products, selected Documentum products and the Legato software stack. EMC officials are hoping to roll it out by midyear with a common partner portal and recognition of partner sales across product lines. Among other new offerings will be a deal-registration program and recognition of partners based on their overall commitment to EMC, says John Koury, EMC's vice president of channel-marketing programs.

Notably, partners who sell Documentum or Legato will get more points than if they sold the same dollar amount of Clariion arrays, says Lance Sedlak, director of marketing, enterprise storage at Arrow Electronics.

"The point system recognizes the overall value proposition," Sedlak adds.

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