CA overhauls regional strategy for services

A lot has happened at the Middle East division of infrastructure management software firm CA this year. Now the company has revealed plans to fortify channel relations in the form of a modified services strategy.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 15, 2008

A lot has happened at the Middle East division of infrastructure management software firm CA this year. Now the company has revealed plans to fortify channel relations in the form of a modified services strategy.

"I think it was very much a model that equated to the US market and parts of EMEA, and it just didn't work for us in the Middle East," admitted CA's regional services director Gerrardt McGowan-Le Roux, contemplating a channel strategy that, until recently, was built on a philosophy of the more partners the merrier.

"We found that the partners were in competition with each other and so it was more destructive than anything else," he conceded.

To say CA's Middle East operation has radically overhauled its go-to-market policy during the past six months would be an understatement. Forced at one stage to contend rumours that its days in the region were numbered, the firm has since detailed a bold new strategy based on 23 VARs, rather than the 70 it worked with before.

These 23 resellers - and Le Roux confesses there is a chance this number will reduce further - each serve as CA ‘champions' for specific solutions and geographies as part of a strategy to prevent over-competition. With a portfolio now comprising everything from project management software to access management solutions, CA wants to ensure VARs are specialised in at least one core area.

Bizarrely, however, CA refuses to name its revised list of Middle East partners. "A circumstance could be foreseen where our competitors start targeting the partners we are working with on specific solutions," stated the company in defence.

The shift in sales strategy has also manifested itself in CA's approach to delivering services. Le Roux, a former Cognos and IBM chief who was hired three months ago to oversee CA's regional services strategy, is confident the new model CA has created will avert some of the complaints that partners have levelled at it in the past.

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