Computer Associates International (CA) kicked off its 2004 fiscal year with word it has formed CA Technology Services, which is meant to help customers more quickly implement the company's software products and receive support.
As part of its new service-focused initiative, CA is slashing 450 jobs worldwide over the next several months, with cuts in North America happening immediately.
Una O'Neill will oversee CA Technology Services in the role of senior vice-president and general manager.
She was previously in charge of CA's presales technical area.
The new unit would combine CA's presales technical and professional services organisations and work with the sales force, the company said. CA Technology Services was "fully operational" and had about 2,500 worldwide employees, O'Neill said.
"CA Technology Services will provide services and assistance to our channel organisation just like we do with our sales organisation," she said. "We're ready to go immediately."
The company would honour all existing customer deals involving products that weren't from CA, but the new services unit would focus only on CA product support, the statement said.
CA was also restructuring its North American channel organisation to give channel partners more responsibilities as the main path to customers for the eTrust, BrightStor and AllFusion brands.
The channel restructuring includes an investment in CA's telesales-teleleads operations that are based primarily in Tampa, Florida.
Company chairman and chief executive officer, Sanjay Kumar, has previously noted CA's shortcomings in selling through its channel.
In January, when financial results were released, Kumar said that the services side had "room for improvement." The new Technology Services unit was aimed at rectifying that situation, O'Neill said. It made for a "very clear and focused strategy."
The job cuts were being made across the board based on "redundancy of skill sets, overall capacity and demand," she said.
However, CA Technology Services would be hiring additional employees, although O'Neill said she did not know how many workers would be added over time.