CA’s channel crisis

When last we left CA they were a company that was eagerly trying to become a channel company. This was the middle of last year at CA World, when the company opened up new business units in the mid market and put its stamp on the market with Enterprise IT Management, or EITM.

To be fair, CA’s mainframe business prevents it from being more of a channel-centric organization. It is a real dilemma for CA because, from speaking to its executives over many, many CA Worlds, they understand that everything around them in IT is going channel. But on the street, CA is perceived as company that does not “get” the channel.

A year and half later at CA World and the company makes another launch with its Instant Recovery Software-as-a-Service. It is totally channel and the company is going about it in the right way by first offering it to channel partners with managed services offerings and by being flexible about it, later scaling it upwards with the help of distribution.

Oh, and one more little thing. They’ve built-in healthy margins of 30, 40 or even 50 per cent. That will get a channel partners attention.

The danger CA faces if it doesn’t become more open to the channel is it will lose out on the best channel partners available. Let’s face it: their competition is open to the channel, reselling in other mid-range and larger server systems.

Granted, CA is open to the possibility of that by offering Governance Risk and Compliance Manager along with Clarity to the channel. But at the same time, CA believes they can also be sold direct and through other non-traditional channel partners.

What’s at stake here is that CA will lose out on the top channel partners and be forced to battle it out with competitors who have an armada of solution providers selling on their behalf.

CA is headed in the right direction with its channel but the question is will it be fast enough.

One quick hit before I go. Former Viking Components (remember them?) executive Tim Brunt has left Panda Security to venture into a new career choice at IDC Canada as an analyst. Brunt is a long time reader of CDN, and we wish him well in his new career path.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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