Computer Associates (CA) is attempting to appeal to the small and medium enterprise (SME) market by creating a global channel sales organisation and launching single install channel-ready products.
The move mirrors a similar one by arch rival Tivoli earlier in the year, when it established a comparable unit and decided to come out with a stripped down version of the Tivoli Management Environment to try to woo this increasingly competitive market sector.
Reuven Battat, CA's senior vice president and general manager of global marketing, said: "We're entrenched in the Global 500 market, but there are only 5,000 of them and millions of small to medium businesses. A couple of years ago, we were dealing with some departments, but not others, and 95 per cent of our sales were direct. Now direct sales are 80 per cent, and we want that to be 50:50 by 2001."
He added that the company had set up a technical organisation that catered purely to the channel, but had also established a worldwide marketing organisation last month to make it more consistent across all its territories.
It also plans to set up a worldwide sales organisation this month, which will be subdivided into direct and indirect sales, and has consolidated its own VARsity programme with the extensive channel scheme it inherited when it acquired Cheyenne Software 18 months ago.
In an attempt to woo the channel still further, CA also plans to release a family of channel-ready products, dubbed Workgroup Edition, which users can buy under the new Open Licence programme. This means prospects can purchase volume licences from their resellers without needing to acquire multiple copies of boxed software.
The Workgroup Edition products run under Windows NT only, have a 250 user ceiling and cost between $695 and $2,995. They each cover individual functions and comprise an initial 12 modules including ShipIT for software distribution and ProtectIT for network security.
To upgrade to Enterprise Edition equivalents, which have no user limit and seamlessly integrate into the Unicenter TNG systems management framework, users need to purchase new licences. The Enterprise Edition products will also be sold directly as standalone offerings and are intended to seed new markets for CA by generating pull-through sales.
Existing Unicenter users will also find the modules cheaper to buy than current Unicenter add-ons.
CA also intends to broaden its work with customers such as JP Morgan, which codeveloped an agent for managing the Distributed Computing Environment. CA will take the basic work, make it into a product and support it into the future.
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