Computer Associates (CA) has revamped its channel accreditation strategy, introducing a back-to-basics programme that will simplify its relationship with resellers.
As revealed in last week's PC Dealer, the software vendor has ditched its Varsity Club scheme - which was introduced at last year's CA World - and replaced it with the VIP partner programme, a twin track strategy that distinguishes between enterprise and mid-market level resellers.
CA will accredit resellers either as Enterprise Solution Providers (ESPs) for partners that sell CA's Enterprise Edition and Unicenter TNG products, or Business Solution Providers (BSPs) for partners that specialise in selling its Workgroup Edition and Advanced Edition products.
The vendor claimed the revised programme caters more effectively for its broad product set and will provide a better service for new and low-volume resellers by offering benefits such as not-for-resale and demonstration software to all partners irrespective of their status.
Speaking at CA World last week, Gayle Kemper, vice president and general manager for worldwide channel sales at CA, said: "Our products cover both ends of the market so there's no reason why our Var programme shouldn't."
Mark Marron, EMEA senior vice president for the channel at CA, said the scheme will place a greater emphasis on making the latest information available to resellers - a common complaint among resellers under the Varsity programme.
"Every vendor fights to continually get its message out to its partners - it's hard enough to do it with your own sales force," said Marron.
"Our Var council told us that it needed specific subject matter, so we will make that available. We want to make it as easy as possible for Vars to come on board and we also want the programme to have much more of a personal touch," he added.
Existing accredited CA resellers will automatically requalify for membership under the VIP programme, which has three membership levels in each track.
Entry-level membership will be free of charge, with a joining fee applicable as sales volume increases. VIP is being launched immediately across North America and is slated to launch in Europe in September.
Mark Stabler, senior vice president of channel marketing at CA, said products from the Platinum acquisition would be made available through the channel. The products were currently being defined, he added.
see News Analysis, page 12.
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