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LAS VEGAS—CA has renewed its commitment to the midmarket by introducing at the CA World user conference here a new business unit dedicated to enterprises with between 500 and 5,000 employees.

The Mid-Market and Storage Business Unit, intended to address customers with between $100 million to $1 billion in revenue, will be strictly a channel-focused organization.

The aim is to better serve the needs of midmarket customers, according to the unit’s general manager, Bob Davis.

“The midmarket customer has the same needs for simpler, more integrated products as large enterprises have, but they expect different packaging, their integration needs vary and they work with the partner differently,” said Davis. The focus of the new unit is to build or add more solutions similar to a list of 16 existing product areas sold primarily through channel partners, he added.

Products represented in those 16 areas include ARCserv, XOsoft, Service Desk, Clarity, Desktop DNA, Erwin, Spectrum, eHealth, IAM and CA Threat (security) products.

As part of the new business unit launch, CA also came out with a new version of its CA Recovery Management software, which integrates backup and recovery functions with continuous application availability technologies.

The enhanced software brings to the core ARCserve backup and restore real-time replication, application failover, and unlimited restore times. It provides a common user interface across both ARCserve and XOsoft technologies.

CA pledged to take a hands-off approach to the midmarket, allowing its channel partners to exclusively address the market, which represents about 66,000 companies and a $10 billion opportunity in total.

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“We’ll put investments for marketing, training and demand generation behind this. The key is let’s make sure we identify how to go to market together [and] make sure we have the right combination of technologies to solve the customers problems,” said Bill Lipsin, senior vice president of worldwide channels at CA.

The new business unit, with about 350 employees, will cover a range of functions, including research and development, product management and marketing, business developer, and pre- and post-sales support assistance.

To help channel partners better address the market, CA said that it will provide the same training resources it uses for internal sales and technical personnel. The training will include interactive online courseware for partners. Those partners who complete specified programs will have access to CA’s Virtual Solution center and the technology specialists within it.

CA will also boost its Web-based and classroom training.

“We’ve made investments in training around the world—some fee and some for free. We have 150 new or enhanced courses to make sure our partners have the same skills as our direct support organization,” said Lipsin.

CA’s goal in the midmarket push is to contribute half of its indirect revenues.

As a part of the new midmarket push, CA will “be doing certification and testing [of channel partners]. We have to make sure we equip the partners to be successful,” said Lipsin. That could result in CA adding partners in some geographical regions, and dropping some in others, he said.