CA Targets Midmarket With Channel-Only Pledge

In a press conference at CA World in Las Vegas, Bill Lipsin, senior vice president of worldwide channels, said the new unit will focus on companies in the 500-5,000 employee segment, with revenue of between $100 million and $1 billion.

CA, which expects to get half of its indirect revenue through the new unit, believes the midmarket represents a $10 billion market opportunity, and the vendor plans to tap into it exclusively through its channel partners, according to Lipsin.

"This will be exclusively for CA partners, there is no direct sales coverage here," Lipsin said.

CA will work with partners to develop joint go to market plans that take into account the specific needs of midmarket customers, and will invest heavily in marketing, training and demand generation, said Lipsin.

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The new business unit reflects CA's desire to move away from using an enterprise-focused strategy for the products it sells to midmarket customers, said Bob Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the new midmarket and storage business unit.

In addition to going to market through partners, the new unit will be fueled by dedicated partner support and sales enablement, said Davis. "Top partners will have a technical assistant right in the business unit to work with the channel problem to sort through problems," he said.

The new business unit is part of CA's Enterprise IT Management vision, which seeks to reduce the complexity of managing the disparate infrastructure found in most corporate networks, added Davis.

CA also launched a new product around the business unit. CA Recovery Management is an offering that weaves together backup and recovery technology with the realtime continuous data protection (CDP) the vendor gained from its acquisition of XOsoft, Davis said.

With CDP, changes to data are backed up immediately or at certain pre-defined intervals to allow users to be able to instantly recover a deleted, corrupted or modified file. While many applications allow data changes to be captured on-the-fly, others back up the changes at set intervals.

Recovery management solutions are often structured with defense in depth architecture, which creates significant complexity and cost for midmarket customers to deal with, said Todd Pekats, director of strategic alliances at Houston-based integrator Compucom.

While some midmarket customers have been addressing this through managed services and outsourcing, most "are really looking for a hybrid" of solutions, noted Pekats.

Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, a Cleveland-based storage solution provider and CA partner, said that while his company's go-to partner for CDP is FalconStor, he will evaluate the new CA offering. "We evaluate everything," he said. "We owe that to our customers."

CA's plan to integrate CDP into ArcServe is interesting, but such integration is not critical to the product, according to Knieriemen. He said he will need to see how the integration is done before he can determine whether customers will accept the product.

"Our past experience with CA is, when they integrate something to ArcServe, it's sometimes disjointed," he said. "Two years ago, they added disk-based backup, but it used the command line."

--Additional reporting by Joseph F. Kovar