Don Friedman is new to CA, but he is not new to marketing, or for that matter re-branding company and developing channel marketing strategies.
He has been hired by CA, which used to stand for Computer Associates and now is just CA, to build up a brand that has gone through the wringer in the last few years.
One area of great importance to Friedman is the channel. CA has mandated that it wants to triple its channel business, which stands at 10 per cent.
Over the past four months Friedman has travelled to many places, talking to more than 400 customers and channel partners. He found that the challenges facing customers and the channel are consistent around the world and that is how to better manage IT, which is coincidentally CA’s new focus.
CDN spoke to Friedman when he was in Toronto recently for the Canadian Innovation and Productivity Awards.
CDN: Your job, as I understand it, is to build up the CA brand to where it was before the scandals. How are you going about doing that?
Don Friedman: To be different than the way we were before all the scandals. If you go back to the CA brand we knew before the scandals we were known to be big in software, but as a holding company for software with all of the acqusitions we made.
I want people to think about CA differently. I want them to think of CA as a company with one mantra how customers focus on IT. The old CA would not have acquired Wily and Clarity because it would have been too costly. We are now doing more strategic acquisitions.
CDN: Enterprise IT management, or EITM, which isn’t the greatest of acronyms, is a current CA initiative.What are you doing there to get the message out?
D.F.: The funny thing is, in America it is pronounced spelled out EITM and in Europe they say, “item.” We did a brand survey and one question we asked was “Have you heard of EITM?” And you know what? Fifty-three per cent have heard about it and we just launched it at CA World.
It shocked me. We also asked if they knew what it meant and half the people got it right.
Considering the short time since it has been announced, it told us that the way we marketed the story has resonated in the marketplace.
CDN: Vista is about to be released and there are several vendors tying their marketing campaigns to Vista in hopes of a huge migration. Is CA going to do the same?
D.F.: We are working with Microsoft closely and we will be launching a huge number of products at Microsoft events. So we are very involved. Without giving you specifics, you’ll see scores of new products from CA to support Vista.