Ready for CA Inc. 4.0?
The old Computer Associates International Inc. is long dead. Long live CA Inc., which continues to evolve its channel, SaaS and management strategy. To wit, Toni Clayton-Hine — the co-founder of Everything Channel’s IPED (Institute for Partner Education) — has joined CA as VP of worldwide marketing. Clayton-Hine’s move to CA has generated considerable buzz across the channel in recent days. Here’s why.
To understand where CA needs to go, you need to first look back:
Computer Associates 1.0 (1976-2000): Under the direction of co-founder and CEO Charles Wang, CA grows to become one of the world’s leading mainframe software providers. But CA’s enterprise sales team also earns a reputation for strong-arming customers.
Computer Associates 2.0 (2000-2004): Sanjay Kumar succeeds Wang as CEO (2000) and Chairman (2002), and tries to build a more channel-friendly company with a new revenue recognition business model. Only one problem… Somebody was cooking the books. A $2.2 billion accounting scandal destroyed CA’s credibility with Wall Street. Kumar ultimately pleads guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud and obstruction of justice. Oh, and he resigned.
CA 3.0 (2004-2008): New name, new leadership. IBM veteran John Swainson named president of CA in November 2004 and becomes CEO in February 2005. By 2006, Computer Associates International Inc. officially changed its name to CA Inc.
But the name change couldn’t erase the past. In November 2006, a now infamous Fortune magazine cover story branded CA as:
“America’s Most Dysfunctional Company”
No doubt the Fortune story was a crushing blow. In many ways, CA went radio silent — rarely working with the mainstream business press, and doing little to embrace fast-growing social media networks that have taken hold in more recent years.
The VAR Guy suspects that’s about to change. Swainson has quietly stabilized CA’s business. The company’s most recent quarterly earnings, announced May 14, beat Wall Street expectations and financial analysts sounded genuinely upbeat about the company’s prospects. (Still, The VAR Guy has one question: Why isn’t CA acquiring lots of companies while valuations are low, low, low?)
Next up, CA needs to articulate how the company — and its resellers — will profit from software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing and other high-demand IT services.
CA took some initial steps toward SaaS during the CAWorld conference in November 2008. And in April 2009, Ingram Micro Seismic — the distributor’s managed services organization — partnered with CA to offer Instant Recovery on Demand. But now the real work starts.
Marching Forward… With Partners
Enter Toni Clayton-Hine. Well-known in channel circles, Clayton-Hine is widely credited for co-founding and building Everything Channel‘s IPED — which offers global channel consulting, education and market intelligence to VARs and IT vendors.
Named VP of worldwide marketing at CA in recent days, Clayton-Hine’s expertise — and her Rolodex — could open hundreds of channel doors for CA.
The VAR Guy has reached out to Clayton-Hine for more perspective. In the meantime, our resident blogger offers this speculation: The next chapter — CA 4.0, if you will — is about to begin.