CA Moves To New Model

In a letter sent to CA channel partners this week from Gary Quinn, executive vice president of partner advocacy, and George Fischer, senior vice president of North American sales, the Islandia, N.Y., vendor said it will transition its "direct-sales force to a named-account model with new incentives for driving sales through our partner channel."

This new model will give CA's direct-sales force preferred access to 12,278 named accounts in North America, and offer unspecified incentives for direct-salespeople to enlist partners in the delivery of professional services and broader solution sales based on a VAR's particular expertise. CA partners can solicit named accounts, as long as it's in conjunction with the direct-sales force, Quinn told CRN.

"This does not mean that you can't rely on CA for any go-to-market support you may need. It simply means that our direct-sales force will not seek and pursue opportunities that are best served by our channel partners," the letter said.

Mark Demeo, senior vice president of consulting and infrastructure at Pomeroy IT Solutions, a Charlotte, N.C.-based CA enterprise partner, said by naming more than 12,000 named accounts, CA appears to be making sure it retains the maintenance resale and upgrade license opportunity on every account that has already purchased a CA product.

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"It's early to tell if this is the case, but it sounds like the same thing Oracle does," Demeo said. "With Oracle, you only get paid on the initial deal. You don't get the maintenance opportunity. It sounds like what they are trying to do is give the CA sales force the first shot at maintenance renewals. We are awaiting more details on how the actual program will be executed."

Valeh Nazemoff, vice president for DataTech Enterprises, a CA enterprise partner in Fredericksburg, Va., said CA has a deeper problem that may not be effectively addressed by the named-account model.

"What CA needs to look at is how DataTech can help CA," she said. "We have got a strong federal systems market niche and we are not working as effectively as we could as a team with CA."

To its credit, CA this summer plans to roll out new SMB product offerings called Total Protection Suites, which will give partners a new product portfolio to sell into CA's midmarket-enterprise and small-enterprise arenas. This week's changes create a space for those products to fill, Quinn told CRN.

"We have a portfolio of technology that spans beyond those named accounts," he said. "This provides a runway to now start identifying what markets will receive what products and what the sales coverage model will be."