CA Changes Name, StrategyBy John Hazard | Print
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The company drops Computer Associates from its name and changes the compensation criteria for its sales staff to reflect a greater reliance on the channel.
Computer Associates International is no longer.
As of now, the company will be known simply as CA, executives announced at the software maker's CA World 2005 conference this week in Las Vegas.
The new moniker, along with a redesigned logo and a marketing campaign titled "Believe Again," are just window dressing to demonstrate CA's redefined visionunifying and simplifying enterprise IT management, executives said. The image makeover also represents a new page for the company that has made progress recasting itself after it was mired in bad press and poor management for more than a year.
"We may have been called CA before, and we are today, but that's about all that hasn't changed," said Don Friedman, CA's chief marketing officer. "There is new management, new processes, new strategy Since there was so much change, it is only appropriate that the name and brand change as well."
The company also announced plans for 26 new products to be launched during the convention and coined a new solution set, Enterprise Technology Management (EITM), that is designed to simplify and unify IT management across solutions for enterprise companies. CA also aligned and simplified its product set around several core functionalitiesSystems and Network Management, Security, Storage and Business Services Optimizations (BSO).
"It's pretty exciting, from our perspective, to see them simplifying the old product set," said Joe Young, president of Global Data Systems, Inc., in Pembroke, Mass., a managed service provider of security. "It's something that has worked well for years, but it will be easier to sell if it is easier to articulate."
Most partners, many of whom said that their customers buy business solutions not products, were unconcerned about the new branding and image makeover. A minority, however, said their customers' confidence should be restored by a potent rebranding.
"I had lost a little confidence in CA. My customers had lost a bit of confidence in CA. Their direction was unclear," said Tore Fribert, administrative director of Netsecure Danmark, a Danish security provider. "I have a lot of confidence in this aggressive style to build respect."
In his keynote address to customers, partners and industry analysts, John Swainson, CA's president and chief executive officer, named building customer satisfaction the company's number one priority. Other company executives said that channel priorities would be critical to reaching the goal.
The company established 300 account directors, who will be judged not on sales, but on retention and bringing value to customers, often through partner alliances. CA also modified the compensation of its direct sales force to reduce channel conflict.
"We used to be a company built on a small number of very large accounts," Swainson said. "Now, even the largest companies are telling us they are serviced by channel partners."
CA's channel revenue is growing at a pace double that of its direct sales force, said Jeff Clarke, CA's chief operating officer. Channel revenue now accounts for about 10 percent of the company's gross, but he said he expects it would eventually rise to be 20 percent to 30 percent in the next decade.