CA Intros ARCserve Incentives, New Channel Focus

Channel News

Computer Associates is hoping a new focus on channel enablement and beefed up incentives on its ARCserve Backup product line will help boost sales and gain ground against its main rival, Symantec.

Computer Associates is beefing up solution provider incentives around its ARCServe Backup software, hoping to boost partner sales of the product and gain ground against its main competitor, Symantec’s Backup Exec.

The new program offers up-front discounts and back-end rebates for solution providers selling the ARCserve Backup product, says Adam Famularo, senior vice president and general manager for CA’s recovery and data modelling business unit.

“We find there are two types of sales our solution providers make: replacement of competitive software backup products and new product sales,” he says. The new incentive program gives solution providers a 25 percent discount off the ARCserve product when it’s sold as a competitive replacement, Famularo says.

“They get that discount off the top when they buy the product – it’s like an instant rebate they can feel immediately rather than having to wait for reimbursement on the back end,” he says.

Solution providers receive a 16 percent discount for new product sales, Famularo says, and these discounts are paid only to the solution provider that registered the deal.

One of the most attractive features of the incentive program is that these discounts are in addition to CA partners’ existing margins, he says, and there are opportunities for rebates on the back end, as well.

“They are usually making about 10 percent on ARCserve, and these discounts are on top of what they already get,” he says. “And as long as the deal closes, they will also get a 12 percent rebate on the back end of the sale.”

More importantly, Famularo says, the program signals a shift in the way CA is supporting channel partners and emphasises how important solution providers are to CA’s success.

Famularo says when he joined CA fourteen months ago, he tasked his team with taking a new look at CA’s ARCserve products and how they were brought to market through the channel, he says.

“When I came on board over a year ago, I made sure our team understood that we can’t always look at everything from an end-user standpoint. We also have to find out how to better support our channel partners and what their pain points are when delivering these solutions to customers,” he says.

He said what many channel partners were missing was consistency and a better value proposition than their competitors, he says.

“We can’t do what other companies do and run this as one of many ‘promotions,’” he says. “Reseller sales reps have to be two to three times more profitable selling ARCserve than selling the competition, and we also have to make sure that solution providers are making more money on these products than competitors,” he says.

To that end, Famularo says the incentive program will run for fifteen months, and CA is also offering a special ‘Xtra Value Pack’ that includes ARCserve backup bundled with the ARCserve Dashboard reporting and management tool and two copies of XOsoft’s replication software. The value package will sell for the same price CA’s currently charging for one copy of ARCserve today, he says.

The incentive program began rolling out in January, he says, and partners who participated in the early months of the program are raving about it, Famularo says. CA has seen the number of deals registered triple, and in one instance, a solution provider was able to add £68,500 to their sales pipeline in one month, he says.

To address consistency issues, Famularo says, CA changed ARCserve’s delivery model and the product’s release schedule. Instead of sporadic updates that can leave channel partners and end-users scrambling to master new features and product changes, the new schedule plans for one release each year, and alternates between major and minor fixes.

“Now we’re on a schedule, and it means much more consistency for the channel,” he says. “If they know when and what type of releases are coming, they can make sure their customers know about the recurring upgrades and they can build an annuity based model that drives consistent revenue,” Famularo says.