Computer Associates International believes its recently-launched Internet Service Provider (ISP) Partner Program offers ISPs an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction and differentiate themselves in the market.

After testing with several large U.S.-based ISPs for over 18 months, CA recently

formalized the program and launched it on an international scale. By partnering with ISPs, CA hopes to bring its suite of eTrust security software to Internet subscribers around the globe.

“This is a way for ISPs to deliver a managed service and have it maintained,” said Chris Devlin, CA’s vice president of partner advocacy.

CA created three variations of the program to suit the needs of individual ISPs and subscribers. The ISP can choose to have CA’s eTrust software included in its services, to allow the customer to choose whether to include the software in their package, or to develop its own package using CA’s coding.

The program’s length varies, depending on which program structure the ISP implements — usually a multi-year deal with visitation periods.

Devlin says this program can help reduce ISPs’ end-user support calls from virus-, spyware- and spam-related problems, benefitting both the company and its customers.

“It’s a great program to increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs,” noted Devlin, adding that “ISP businesses are really looking for this — a value-add, a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.”

By partnering with CA, ISPs will be able to take advantage of CA’s full suite of eTrust software, its investment in global research into online threats and its software maintenance and updates.

Devlin says the partnership program will also benefit resellers and consumers, calling it a “win-win-win” situation.

“To the reseller, this is important as they sell ISP packages and this makes those packages more compelling and more secure.” Devlin added.

CA has launched this program at a time when online threats are at an all-time high and customers are becoming more demanding about Internet security.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said John Menezes, president and CEO of Cyberclix, a Mississauga, Ont. managed security service provider and CA partner. “I hear from many customers that they want clean Internet.”

With the price of bandwidth steadily dropping, Menezes says he’ll be interested to see the program’s response from ISPs who are looking for opportunities to improve their margins.

“Customers are looking for value-adds,” said Menezes. “If ISPs step up to the plate, I think it’s a fantastic program.”

ISPs should contact their local OEM representative to sign up for the program. For more information on CA’s ISP Partner Program, visit http://ca.com/isp.

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