New CA channel chief puts the focus on partner value

New CA channel chief puts the focus on partner value

Software vendor's vice-president of channel sales, Allan Smith, says managed service providers are a growing area of opportunity

Managed services is a growing area of business for CA and increasingly becoming a focal point of investment, the vendor's new channel chief claims.

CA vice-president of channel sales Pacific, Allan Smith, who was appointed to the role in June, said it had recently broken out managed service providers (MSPs) from its valued reseller business to put more emphasis on the category. CA's channel business is structured into three divisions: Volume/distribution, value resellers and managed service providers. The MSP team is manned by three staff.

"Some of those managed service providers are also value resellers: Fujitsu is a good example and does both, but their managed services area is quite separate from the resell area," Smith said. "The value proposition is different. So we have set up a different team of people to focus at a partner enablement and a technical level [on MSPs]."

Smith said CA had brought on a number of new MSP partners and was recruiting at least one new provider every month.

"Managed service providers are interested in a subset of our stuff including infrastructure management and SLA monitoring. Some [MSPs] are interested in security or product management, others aren't," he said. "If we can reverse engineer and go from what the partners are interested in, rather than say 'here's a logical way for CA to break it up', I think we will be more successful."

Driving distinction across its value reseller ranks is another major objective for CA, Smith said. The vendor recently brought on former IBM channel representative, Klasie Holtzhausen, as director of channel sales last month to head up its 12-strong value reseller team nationally.

"Our resellers can sell all of our value products but what we are trying to do is put a focus on particular solution areas so we can help them sell better," Smith said. "When you go to a reseller and say they can sell 1200 products, it can be confusing.

"Our focus is compatibility between what the partner is currently marketing and what we can add. This approach takes longer but gets better results."

Smith said CA's marketing group had already commissioned a profile report on its top 100 partner organisations.

"We have partners we know very well already that are specialised, so we're also talking to them about logical extensions to that business," he said.

Smith has spent over 17 years with CA in various roles. He worked in the vendor's Australian, Hong Kong, Korean and US offices before taking five years out to work with Ariba. He rejoined CA as vice-president of sales before being assigned channel following the departure of Bosnar in May.

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