CA Pursuing a Bifurcated Channel Strategy

CA global channel chief David Bradley

CA global channel chief David Bradley

To listen to CA Technologies global channel chief David Bradley, the software vendor has the right volume of partners to take its cloud management, application development and business automation products to market. The challenge, he comes to, is getting them to either become or partner with service providers.

“We have 237 partners in our premier network and that likely won’t change,” Bradley told the audience partners at last week’s CA World conference in Las Vegas.

On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Crest, the vice president of ARCServe backup and data protection products, is looking for rapid expansion of his channel network. The intent: drive deeper penetration into the midmarket to capture white space and displace the plethora of cloud and hybrid competitors.

“If you’re a midmarket customer, we want you to think ARCServe,” Crest told Channelnomics. To do that, Crest needs an army of solution providers to take the message to market.

The two strategies are a reflection of a resurging CA that is addressing the needs of the market at multiple levels with different solutions that, ultimately, meet up to create holistic systems.

On the high end, products such as AppLogic for cloud automation, ITKO for application development and quality testing, and Clarity for application management and service catalogs are designed for service provider environments that scale to thousands of users.

On the low end, which for CA is the midmarket, there are products such as ARCServe for backup and Nimsoft for managed services that automated basic business data protection in conventional, virtualized and cloud environments.

The two channel philosophies are not in conflict. The global channel program being developed under Bradley is a work in progress, but making significant strides in providing common frameworks for developing cloud businesses and transforming the current channel from product sales to service-oriented businesses. Envisioned by CA is a channel that not only delivers products, but value-add services that result in higher business outcomes.

Given there are a finite number of service providers in the world and a limited number of system integrators and value-added resellers will matriculate to the levels of Rackspace and Amazon. The strategy makes sense that CA will either help develop existing service providers into better cloud businesses, or help conventional solution providers partner with service providers to expand their value proposition and scale cloud adoption.

The underlying channel enablement, training and resources developed by Bradley’s program will apply to the other divisions. The goal remains the same: help partners build better businesses, expand CA’s sales reach and increase market share.

This is where the global channel program benefits the ARCServe side of the business. ARCServe is in a highly competitive market with rivals ranging from Symantec and Veeam to Axcient and Intronis. Backup products and services have the highest adoption rate among solution providers than any other technology, in large part because every end user regardless of size requires data protection and recovery insurance.

The bifurcation of channel objectives when it comes to recruitment should give solution providers comfort. CA seems to have properly defined the swimming lanes, ensuring it focuses attention in the right way for its different products. This strategy should give solution providers on all levels in the CA ecosystem a solid chance at success in their various endeavors.