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With New CEO, Will CA Boost Channel Effort?

When John Swainson arrived at CA in 2004 after his predecessor went to jail for accounting fraud, he quickly shook up its channel program.

Swainson announced his retirement in September and yesterday CA announced his successor, Bill McCracken, who seemingly had been groomed for the slot in recent months. A Swainson protégé, both spent more than three decades, running key business units at IBM.

In fact, McCracken has a channel background on his resume. At IBM, he was general manager of marketing, sales and distribution for its PC group (that group was sold to Lenovo in 2005).  McCracken was also a director of IKON Office Solutions, which was acquired by Ricoh Co. in 2008.

Forrester Research analyst Glenn O'Donnell, recalls that Swainson disrupted CA's channel but it was something that in retrospect had to be done. "It looked like a foolish thing to do at the time but some of the go-to-market efforts that were out there were not sustainable for a company that wanted to survive," O'Donnell said.

CA still has much work to do to rebuild its channel, O'Donnell said. "It's improving but they need to continue rebuilding it," he said. "Now that they've stabilized the patient and the patient is actually coming back to health quite nicely, now it's time to go out and fortify some of those channels more."

That means providing more channel partners and more tools so they can translate CA's message better to their customers, he said.

If you're a CA channel partner or are perhaps are considering becoming one, let us know how you think they are doing these days, and what changes you'd like to see them make. Drop me a line at jschwartz@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on January 29, 2010 at 11:59 AM