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CA Seeks to Support Trusted Advisors with Portal

CA Inc. is building a network of partners who can take advantage.

The Islandia, N.Y.-based software giant kicked off its Onsite PC Protection Program in September after running the offering in beta for several months with 300 companies, including computer service franchisers Geeks on Call of Norfolk, Va., and Computer Troubleshooters, which has its U.S. headquarters in Decatur, Ga.

According to George Kafkarkou, CA's senior vice president of worldwide commercial sales and strategy, the program is designed for partner companies of any size. CA, itself a Gold Certified Partner, is also closely involved in the Microsoft Small Business Specialist program; Kafkarkou confirms that the company is seeking Microsoft partners for the Onsite PC Protection Program.

Although end-user customer satisfaction is important, CA really developed the new program with the needs of partner business owners and their technicians in mind, Kafkarkou says. "We happen to believe that the market revolves around the influencer: the onsite technician. We do not believe the market revolves around a vendor like CA."

CA's core investment is in a Web-accessible platform, in development for the last two years. The platform, which technicians access from the customer's computer, consists of customized e-commerce portals for transactions, payment histories and report-generation. The site includes tools for diagnosing virus and spyware vulnerability, privacy holes and performance issues. Any problems a technician discovers can immediately be addressed by downloading CA software directly to the customer's computer.

Membership in the CA program brings round-the-clock product technical support, discounts on CA consumer and SMB solutions for business owners, a line of credit for partner business owners, cash incentives for technicians and rebates to end users for switching security software providers. A welcome kit for new partner members also includes free software valued by CA at $1,500.

A one-time, $100 application fee is refunded upon the members' first customer deal, Kafkarkou says. There is no annual fee.

Fulfillment and credit checks are handled by CA's e-commerce distributor, Digital River of Eden Prairie, Minn. For more details, visit http://ca.com/onsite.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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