Computer Associates loves the channel now

Computer Associates loves the channel now

Past reluctance by Computer Associates International (CAI) to embrace all channel players appears to be turning around following the announcement of two new reseller programs this week.

Introduced in North America immediately, the VIP Channel Partner Program (CPP) and a revised Open Licensing Program (OLP) will both get rolled out internationally, including Australia, in September.

According to Mark Stabler, CAI's US-based senior VP, channel marketing, who was speaking at CAI's annual user and partner conference in New Orleans last week, the programs will be suitable to resellers of all sizes as all its products are these days focused on being "fully scalable".

"We want to make sure we provide business solutions for resellers who are concentrating on the smaller guys as well as those catering to the big ones," Stabler said. "Our product line scales from the smallest enterprise right up to the largest."

The CPP, which replaces VARsity reseller scheme, delivers a two-tier channel strategy for CAI including Business Solution Provider (BSP) and Enterprise Solution Provider (ESP) categories. BSP will be for resellers of CA's Workgroup Edition and Advanced Edition solutions while the ESP tier will be for resellers of Enterprise Edition and Unicenter TNG.

Stabler said resellers will get good margins, won't have to make huge commitments and will get plenty of value adds including rewards and incentives, sample copies of the software (not for resale) and market expansion assistance.

There will also be comprehensive training and certification and sample software which will allow clients to analyse the products with "live trials".

Stabler predicts approximately 70 per cent of the channel sales will be going through ESPs and the remaining 30 per cent through BSPs. According to company statements, channel sales are currently running at "about a third" of CAI's quoted $US5.3 billion global turnover, a figure which is expected to be pushed to 50 per cent by 2001.

The OLP has been around for a year or so but has been "enhanced" with a new quick quote system, order tracking, simpler programs with incentives and sales tools that will help with cross- and up-selling.

All CAI products will be available under the CPP scheme, according to Stabler, who said there are tremendous opportunities in enterprise network and data management as small and large companies "use technology to build business" as opposed to creating efficiencies.

* Gerard Norsa attended CA World 99 in New Orleans as a guest of Computer Associates International

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