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Change is nothing new when it comes the channel at CA Technologies. But with the naming of Alyssa Fitzpatrick as senior vice president of global partners and alliances, things related to the channel at CA Technologies may finally be changing for the better.

Ever since Michael Gregoire became CEO in January 2013, the wheels of change at CA Technologies have been in motion. There’s not only greater emphasis now on the cloud and other emerging technologies, the senior executive team at CA Technologies has figured out that the only way to really grow the company’s revenue is to enlist the aid of the channel.

Fitzpatrick readily admits that, when it comes to the channel, CA Technologies’ history has been spotty. Not only has the company historically favored direct over indirect sales, its approach to the channel has been at best tactical.

As CA Technologies enters fiscal 2015, Fitzpatrick said one of the company’s primary goals is to develop a strategic approach to the channel. With support from senior management, Fitzpatrick is also pledging to address compensation issues that often lead to CA Technologies’ salespeople trying to take deals direct.

These issues won’t be resolved overnight. But since taking the helm of CA Technologies, Gregoire has shown a willingness to wean the company off its dependency on mainframe products and services for most of its profitability and a sizable chunk of its revenues.

Fitzpatrick said she’s looking forward to feedback from partners about the current state of the relationship, of which there is probably going to be plenty. The thing about channel partners is that they never forget who did them wrong in the past. The good news is that a fair number of them won’t let that necessarily stand in the way of a good deal.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.