John Swainson isn’t the only new face at Computer Associates.

As the Islandia, N.Y.-based software firm welcomes its latest chief executive, its Canadian operation recently hired Jeff Hayward as vice-president of marketing. 

Hayward

comes to CA Canada after a stint at Peoplesoft Canada, where he was Canadian marketing director. At CA, he will be in charge of brand strategy, industry marketing programs, public relations and advertising.

CA has spent the last year struggling through a highly public U.S. accounting scandal, which culminated in the departure of longtime chief executive Sanjay Kumar. With Swainson now in charge, Hayward said the company will be concentrating on applications that will make life easier for CIOs and other senior executives.

Pipeline recently spoke with Hayward to get more details on his action plans.

 

Pipeline: CA is already a big advertiser and a mainstay at trade shows. Are you going to be marketing in new ways, or simply refining your message? 

Jeff Hayward: You’re right, we have been fairly pervasive in all different avenues and vehicles, but I think what I’ll be trying to do is have our marketing efforts a little bit more concentrated, a little bit more focused. I don’t think they were very well coordinated out of Canada in the past. For that matter, I think there were some significant changes going on in Islandia (CA’s headquarters) that will make the company message more focused. We will continue to advertise and promote ourselves, but it will always tie back to our revenue and customer satisfaction objectives. It will also be focused on the four pillars of management, which aligns very closely with what we do: IT operations management, security, storage and lifecycle management. If our message isn’t tied off with those four messages, then we’re drifting off-course.

Pipeline: What impact is the recent appointment of John Swainson to chief executive having on the marketing department?

JH: I think what John essentially wants to do is, instead of running those four areas of focus as brands, I think he wants to move to a business unit model. I think that’s what he has successfully done at IBM in the past. Not only does product management, product development and marketing have to run their areas of responsibility like a business, but ultimately we make everybody accountable to be responsible for our P&L. I think the more people are closer to the revenue line, the better the company gets.

Pipeline: How does that manifest itself?

JH: One change – certainly one of the reasons I’m here and applying additional muscle to our Canadian marketing – is that there’s been a recognition from the company that boosting local resources, putting the necessary resources in the field internationally, is more efficient, more responsive to the customer kind of approach. An example I would give is a the local/provincial/federal government. The government that we know that is the most responsive to constituents, that gets constituents what they need and has a good thumb on the pulse of citizens is municipal government. The further away you get from local government, the less efficient you get. And that’s very much the same with field marketing.
I think you’re going to see Computer Associates start to reload and bulk up on local resources, local marketing and building up the rest of the sales organization to address the customers’ needs. Part of that is because we’re close to the revenue line. We hear what the customer is saying, we know what the customers’ needs are, we understand those needs, and we address them. It’s hard to do that from a overly bureaucratic head office. I think the transition that CA has gone through in the last couple of years is to allocate those resources more significantly to respond to the customer.

Pipeline: Peoplesoft started with HR applications and then branched out through acquisition. CA is doing the same thing. How do you integrate the marketing efforts as new technologies are bought or added to the portfolio?

JH: I actually think Computer Associates is going the other way. The company has spent quite a few years acquiring a lot of companies, and in some cases those companies were off the core competency or core focus, if you will. Now the company has divested of some of those businesses, including Accpac last year, and has focused on that compelling competitive advantage of being experts in management software. If anything, the company is not necessarily expanding but trying to pare down the products that focus, that provide the breadth as well as the depth in areas we’re bloody well good at.

Pipeline: You have expertise in small business. Will you be bringing more focus there?

JH: One of the challenges I have coming in here is to integrate the channel marketing and the direct marketing, that have traditionally been two separate functions in (CA’s) Canadian marketing. Joanne Moretti, our general manager, has empowered me to take that team, integrate it together, and make sure all our activities, even if we’re going direct to market, that it’s going to include a partner or involve a partner in some way. And if we’re doing some kind of channel marketing initiative, that there’s an awareness and opportunity for our direct sales folks to be involved in that. My other challenge is essentially to build the team into an integrated marketing group, where they’re not just focused on a seminar or a direct mail campaign, but also to be thinking about branding, PR, advertising, the customer-facing activities such as user groups or reference programs. These are all elements of the marketing mix, and I think good marketers need to be aware of all of that. You can’t be siloed. 

Pipeline: To what extent, if any, do you expect you’ll have to deal with the upheaval that’s hit CA’s senior management team in the last year?

JH: You know, I honestly feel that it’s kind of old news. The challenge now that we have, and certainly something that we’re focused on doing, is communicating the new management that’s falling into place. Obviously John Swainson is the most newsworthy point there, but in recent weeks, we have a new CFO that just came from Dell. For someone to leave Dell to come over to CA, that’s a pretty strong signal to the market that there’s something compelling going on at CA. We just a few days ago announced a new executive vice-president of strategy and corporate development, who came over from Citibank. He’s a lifelong investment banker and strategist, and the list goes on.
There are a number of other people landing at our head office, and they’re coming from reputable industry firms. As well, there’s been a commitment in Canada to bulk up where necessary to make us as competitive and responsive as positive. The new CA emerged last year. The transition’s been made, and if you look at our momentum right now, our last quarter in Canada ending Dec. 31, we experienced 44 per cent in revenue from year-over-year the previous quarter. So huge, huge growth. I mean, corporately, I think the number was nine per cent, and an 18 per cent in our earnings per share, but in Canada we’re moving at an even higher rate. For us, clearly we’re going to invest in the people on an ongoing basis.

Comment: pipeline@itbusiness.ca

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