CA Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CA) has introduced a re-worked partner program as part of its path to becoming a more channel-friendly company. The new CA Global Partner Program comes after the company announced its intention last year to becoming easier to work with and expand its business through the channel.
“It became apparent to the company that we really had to expand our customer base and to do that effectively, we had to change our go to market model,” said David Bradley, senior vice-president of global channel sales at CA.
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The new program was an opportunity to bring the various pieces of CA into one unified program, which will include solution providers, service providers, alliance members and resellers. It includes a platform agnostic portfolio and improved sales and marketing tools to help partners build cloud solutions. It’s an effort to bring more clarity to the company’s portfolio after recent acquisitions, as well as a shift to a more partner-friendly approach.
The company’s data management business* is already done entirely through the channel with the exception of a few legacy contracts, according to Mike Crest, senior vice-president of worldwide growth market sales at CA. Now, the company is balancing that channel-built model with the rest of its portfolio, he said, adding being able to provide “total solutions” makes partnership with CA more compelling.
In CA’s last fiscal year about 40 per cent of its enterprise solutions business, which encompasses many of the company’s offerings outside of its mainframe business, came from channel partners. In fiscal year 2013, the company is aiming to reach 50 per cent, Bradley said.
The new program is less about opening new products to the channel than it is matching which enterprise solutions fit best with which partners, he said. The company will work more with regional managed service providers as well, through offerings such as Auto Suite Cloud.
CA worked with partners in all regions and business models to rework the program.
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The program is also a response to partners’ shift from doing IT maintenance to delivering more innovative services. “We recognized that partner business is very much in a state of transition and evolution,” he said.
The program offers benefits for broad pool members, as well as Advanced and Premier tiers. Existing partners will be integrated into the new program, and CA has communicated to partners what revenue and training requirements will be for those top tiers, Bradley said. However, CA wants to work with partners to establish joint business plans as well.
The updated program also includes the MyCA Partner Portal, an upgraded portal built on a Salesforce.com platform that is tied into CA’s own content management system. It includes a redesigned interface and targeted content based on partner level.
This summer, CA will also roll out a new pricing model to simplify how partners realize discounts on deals. Currently, because of internal complexity, partners have to go through a special bid process to use volume discounts alongside other program discounts, but that will be simplified.
CA is also in talks with various regionally-focused partners to expand its channel reach. It’s also working with existing volume-based resellers to help build out more services-based, speciality models.
*Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that CA Technologies’ data management business focused on the company’s mainframe solutions. Its data management products are separate from its mainframe business. CA’s data management products are sold almost entirely through channel partners, while its mainframe-focused products have typically been sold direct.