Computer Associates Canada is venturing into unchartered channel waters by offering customers the price they want instead of the price the vendor asks.

The move is part of the company’s Flex Select Licensing program, which enables customers to determine the length and dollar value of contracts.

It also allows them to base the agreement on individual business metrics.

“We’re basing CA software on flex licensing metrics that will depend on their situation instead of size of their machine,” said Joanne Moretti, general manager, Computer Associates (Canada), based in Mississauga, Ont.

She added that catering to customers in terms of licensing would not pose a profit and loss problem for CA Canada with customers requiring end-to-end solutions from CA. However, Moretti said CA Canada is not that interested in making a gross amount of profit for a single $50,000 module so long as there is a solution being provided to the customer.

She said that the subsidiary is willing in these cases to make an investment.

“We had to get the licensing model sorted out. We will base licensing on the metrics that makes sense (for the customer’s needs),” Moretti said.

The partner base will be protected under this licensing scheme.

John Meneses, CEO of Cyberklix Inc., a CA partner, based in Toronto, said partners are protected even if CA wants to give away the margin on the product.

“Customers look for discounts all the time, but CA does not leave partners out in the cold,” he said.

Meneses said that a partner’s margin, depending on the solution they are building, is always maintained.

“Software is just one piece of the entire solution,” he said.

Currently, CA Canada has more than 1,000 active partners selling CA products and servicing the market, said Chris Devlin, vice-president, partner advocacy for CA Canada.He added that the company is in search of an additional 20 enterprise solution providers (ESP). Today, CA Canada has 35 included the large system integrators such as CGI and Deloitte & Touche.

Devlin believes these new ESP partners will come out of the 1,000 active partners and will be regional in focus with some kind of specialty.

“There is a huge opportunity in the mid-enterprise space. They need help in managing their enterprises. We have to make sure that our software is aligned to those businesses and partner with those who have the expertise to build the right solutions,” he said.

The subsidiary, according to Moretti has been sheltered from the SEC scandal of a year ago and posted 26 per cent year over year growth. The Canadian operation has also grown in scope and size with more than 300 large accounts, 35 enterprise partners, more than 250 employees and offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Fredericton and Quebec City.

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