John Swainson, chief executive of CA, talked up the merits of the vendor and the importance of customers for an hour during his keynote at the CA World event in Las Vegas yesterday, but neglected to mention the channel at all.
The channel has always been a key issue at the conference. Previous chief executive Sanjay Kumar - who is currently awaiting the start of his 12-year prison sentence following the infamous accounting scandal in 2004 – mentioned the channel in his keynote (CRN, 21 July, 2003). Interim chief executive Kenneth Cron said the channel was CA’s ‘number one priority’ during his keynote in 2004 (CRN, 30 May, 2004). CA has since then pledged to become a 50/50 indirect/direct company by 2009 (CRN, 30 August 2005).
However, the only partners Swainson mentioned were ‘business partners’ such as Cap Gemini, Accenture and Ernst & Young – with whom CA intends to partner with more to help drive growth. Those three, plus other large global system integrators and several vendor partners were second in a list of six pledges Swainson made to improve business in 2007.
Other pledges included to strengthen customer relationships (the number one priority), making investment to grow the business and focus on market leadership, aligning CA’s people and initiatives, create an infrastructure for future growth and rebuild the culture of the company based on integrity, accountability and honesty -an attempt to distance the vendor from the aforementioned accounting problems.
“As senior management we are obligated to lead by example,” Swainson said.
However his main message of the keynote was to address the mounting problems caused by the complexity of IT and CA’s Enterprise Information Technology Management (EITM) strategy, originally launched in 2005.
“EITM unifies and simplifies the approach to managing IT,” he said. “We realised there needed to be a more holistic approach to managing IT.”
The vendor has made a series of acquisitions in the past two-years, including Wily Technology, MDY and Cendura. Swainson said the acquisitions have given the firm a head start in its EITM goal.
“Together with the rest of our product line, our acquisitions give us the strongest and most complete offerings to manage IT. Our intention is to build on this growth and continue to integrate the pieces,” he added.
CA is investing around $600m a year in R&D, Swainson claimed, and last year delivered almost 300 new product releases.
“We have clearly come a long way in a short period of time. We are not the same company we were five years ago, or 18-months ago or a year ago,” he said. “But we are not done. We are challenging ourselves every day to innovate and lead. I challenge the industry to reduce complexity and provide best value and return on investment. We are at a critical time and if we don’t help customers we risk losing their faith and confidence.”
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