Computer Associates (CA) has announced three staff appointments aimed at speeding up the company's transition to a channel-focused model.
The vendor's current channel sales manager, Vicki Bain, has been appointed to the role of A/NZ channels and alliances director. She will be responsible for growing partner numbers, relationships and joint sales.
Bain replaces Chris Wilson, who has been promoted to channels operations manager Asia-Pacific and Japan. He is tasked with setting up new strategies for CA's partner programs, OEM sales and business alliances at a regional level.
Gavin Lawless, formerly of Express Data, will take up Bain's old role and run its Enterprise Solution Partner (ESP) program.
Bain said the appointments indicated the vendor's shift to a more channel-oriented approach.
"In the three-and-a-half years I have been with CA, we have gone from the channel being a small percentage of sales to it being absolutely imperative to our business moving forward," she said.
Through several recent acquisitions and product development of its own, CA had reached a point where a direct model was no longer tenable, Bain said. "There is no way we can take the volume of products we have to market without a channel strategy," she said.
Outside of revenue targets, Bain said recruiting for and solidifying its mid-market channel would be a major goal. To help do that, CA had launched its global enterprise solution provider (ESP) program in Australia earlier this year.
"We have good relationships with a lot of very large customers, but not with mid-market ones," she said. "So we are now using our ESP program to go out and recruit partners, get them certified and selling to the 250 to 1000-seat market."
Encouraging CA's direct sales teams to support the channel would also be imperative, Bain said. The vendor had changed its staff compensations to reflect this.
"We are also working to develop joint business plans so that we are in true partnership with the channel," she said. "Like other software vendors who have had a direct and indirect mix, if you are not transparent in the way you do business with your partners then they don't trust you. We had some credibility issues, but internal promotions to the partner group like the recent ones are already giving us good short-term wins."