CA Sailing Into Rough System Builder Waters

"They have told us they are going to roll out some good things," said Jalil Mahini, owner of Micronet Systems, Niles, Ill. "I would be interested, but I want to first see what it is they are offering, what kind of incentives they will have."

NEW MARKETS FOR KEY PRODUCTS>> White-box systems represent fertile ground for major CA products and new initiatives, including:
>> eTrust Antivirus
>> Desktop DNA
>> BrightStor ARCserve Backup
>> New ISV and ISP programs

Mahini met with CA executives earlier this year when the company began to talk about expanding its focus on the system builder channel. Micronet is currently installing Norton Antivirus and other solutions instead of CA's products. Still, Mahini said, "I don't mind seeing what [CA] has to offer."

However, this wait-and-see attitude spotlights the work CA needs to do to achieve its white-box goals.

On Aug. 2, Islandia, N.Y.-based CA brought on board Sean Aryai, formerly the director of OEM marketing at systems builder Systemax, to serve as its new OEM channel marketing manager and to focus on white-box PCs and servers.

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CA hopes to capture more white-box market share by initially increasing the push of its antivirus products into the OEM market, a space dominated by Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro, according to Aryai. CA then will try to grab even more market share by offering what most of its antivirus competitors do not have: antivirus system, storage and software management tools.

"The strategy is to get CA's foot in the door with antivirus and then offer the full breadth of CA's products to grab as much market share in the white-box space as possible," Aryai said.

CA is committed to providing significant support to make this happen, said Aryai, who is currently evaluating CA's OEM and system integrator resources. The new channel program is already in the works.

"About 45 percent of the PCs sold in the U.S. are not built by the top 10 vendors. So if you don't take advantage of that 45 percent, that's the size of a market you are missing out on," Aryai said.