Computer Associates (CA) is trying to shake off a reputation for poor customer service as it prepares for the launch of its much touted eTrust security software.
The company has changed its sales incentives and is charging senior management to deliver improvements in customer service.
A survey of 3,000 IT directors by ImageTrack, the research arm of vnunet.com's parent company, ranked the vendor just 48th out of 50 technology brands for satisfaction.
So-called client-based owners will concentrate on ensuring satisfaction within accounts, and will report directly to CA's board.
"Our sales teams are now rewarded on customer satisfaction, not on making the deal," said Mike Small, UK security division vice president at CA.
The eTrust suite provides four principle elements of security: threat management, access management, identity management, and a Security Command Centre.
The latter provides a portal-based front-end offering a single view of all security activity.
It is designed to work with the rest of the eTrust range, as well as allowing integration with third-party products.
Providing an overall management view of the entire security effort within an enterprise puts CA ahead of competitors, which have largely concentrated on being able to manage single products such as firewalls, according to Graham Titterington, a senior analyst at IDC.
But he warned users not to rely on CA's 'plug-and-go' claims as, although CA is relying on open standards, not all third-party products incorporate fully defined standards.
"The Command Centre has to stretch its tentacles so far into the infrastructure that there is bound to be the need for integration work," said Titterington.
He added that another strength of the CA product is its ability to build business information into its management console.
This allows users to identify business-critical systems, such as databases, and report on their level of protection.
The suite provides resellers with good opportunities to generate income by helping users to put security measures into a business context.
"We believe there will be enormous potential for services on top," said Small.
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