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VARs give CA high marks for deal registration, incentive program

CA's 15-month deal registration and incentive program, offering up to 37% additional discounts for ARCserve Backup and XOsoft replication, is aimed at replacing Symantec in mid-market shops.

CA resellers say they are impressed with the discounts and length of the program for deal registration and other incentives the software vendor is offering for its backup products.

Under terms of CA's Backup Wakeup Call, resellers can earn an additional 37% in discounts for registering and closing deals for CA ARCserve Backup Suite and CA XOsoft Replication software.

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The program, which began in January and will run at least through March 2010, gives resellers a 25% discount above their normal discount (usually 10%) for replacing a competitor's product and a 16% discount for a sale to a customer not using a backup product. Resellers also get a 12% deal registration discount if they register a deal, even if somebody else closes it.

The minimum deal size is $2,500 to register for competitive replacement and $5,000 for new product sales.

"The company that gets the discount is the company that registers the deal," said Adam Famularo, general manager for CA's Recovery Management and Data Modeling Business Unit. "I want to reward the reseller who brought the deal to us."

Famularo says the length of the program gives resellers time to train their sales reps about the products. He said ARCserve and XOsoft will be upgraded in May with data deduplication and features that help the products work better with virtualized servers.

Famularo says the program is aimed primarily at the market leader for backup in the midmarket: Symantec's Backup Exec.

Shawn Giordano, vice president of sales for Shrewsbury, N.J.-based Programmer's Paradise and TechXtend, called CA's Backup Wakeup Call "one of the most aggressive rebate programs we've seen for quite some time. Thirty-seven percent is almost unheard of."

Giordano, whose company also sells Symantec software, said the length of the program is especially appealing.

"Normally, channel programs last a quarter or two," he said. "This will last 15 months. That indicates it's a long-term strategy, not just something put together and thrown out for six months. I haven't seen a program from CA that's lasted this long."

Todd O'Bert, CEO of Minneapolis-based software reseller Productive Corp., agreed that the length of the program was unique.

"I like that they're going to keep it going through next March, which to me is huge," O'Bert said. "A lot of times you see programs get rolled out, and by time the message gets out, they're ending."

O'Bert, whose company also sells Symantec and Double-Take backup software and online backup from Intronis Technologies, said he's had one customer swap out Symantec Backup Exec for CA since the program began.

"They got more technology at the same price or less," he said of the company that switched. "This is more aggressive than I've seen [from]a lot of programs. It will be interesting to see how Symantec will respond, if they respond."

O'Bert said he likes the idea of getting paid if he registers the deal, even if another reseller gets the sale. "Sometimes somebody else takes the deal at the last minute," he said.

Marty Schmitt, vice president of Hauppauge, N.Y.-based Flexible Business Systems, said the deal registration program is becoming common among vendors, but calls CA's discount "very aggressive."

"This gives sales reps the incentive to look at that product as hard as they can," he said. "We try to make it so the customer reaps the benefits. That helps in a competitive situation, and also helps us build a long-term relationship."

Flexible Business Systems sells CA and Symantec backup software, but Schmitt said his firm usually leads with CA.

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