Stuart Preston, CA country manager, says the amount of business going through the channel has been steadily increasing and now represents 60% of sales. Preston believes this is due to a combination an increase in the size of the local partner team, tailoring the US partner program to the New Zealand market and broadened the product range available to partners. “Many people are still suspicious because CA sells direct but the internal team is encouraged to work closely with partners, in fact they get paid an incentive if a sale goes through a partner which I see as extremely positive,” he says. On that note Preston encourages partners to work closer with CA.“Partners shouldn’t be afraid to engage with us early on in the sales process. We aren’t in the least motivated to take the deal direct but will offer any help we can.” George Hladilo, director channel sales ANZ, says CA realises the channel is critical to doing business in this country. “In terms of the program we’ve applied a fair bit of pragmatism. For example if a partner doesn’t have the necessary certification for certain products CA will take care of the services and it goes through on one bill from the partner to the customer,” he says.Equally, when it comes to certification, Hladilo says partners are free to choose depending on the solution set that’s relevant to their business. “Partners do well when they focus on what they do best, there’s absolutely no point in trying to ram a program down their throats so instead we let them pick what they want to focus on.” With an increased product portfolio through CA’s acquisitions Hladilo says he is always interested in hearing from new resellers. “It’s about looking for new partners we can bring into the mix with new products. CA has such a broad portfolio of products that partners will find something in the mix that doesn’t compete with those from other vendors.It’s a good way for resellers to develop incremental revenue. Our goal is to plug solution gaps rather than ‘rip and replace’.”Both Preston and Hladlio insist that CA’s move into the consumer space shouldn’t be of any concern to its SME resellers. “The retail product is designed for one to three computers and most resellers aren’t focused on those users - if they are then it’s with a focus on further revenue streams through services anyway,” says Preston.
CA’s channel partner programOpen to partners of all sizes and types – from value-add resellers to integrators and ISVs – CA offers three categories; Affiliate, Premier and ESP. Most importantly there is no fee for participation, CA says profits should come from mutually beneficial relationships with partners – not by charging fees for program benefits. Affiliate partners are resellers and VARs focused on the SME market and generally have a regional focus. Affiliates are required to maintain revenue activity through CA distributors Ingram Micro and Datastor for six months continuously. Premier partner status can only be achieved by meeting a minimum sales commitment and/or obtaining sponsorship from the channel account management team with an approved business plan. Additionally 20% of the sales staff must have a CA sales specialist certification. ESP partners are high-end systems integrators, consultants and solution providers who meet specified technical certifications and contractual obligations to sell, service and support CA’s enterprise-class technology. ESP partners are certified to resell CA’s ESP Solutions and/or Unicenter solutions. Participation in the certified sales specialist program a web based, self-paced training course – is by invitation only.