Channel News

Computer Associates Makes Vigorous Channel Move<@VM>Seeing Red at Government Technology Services<@VM>Bell and Big Blue Team To Deliver Networking Products<@VM>Gates/Arrow Distributing Serves up Services

By Richard McCaffery


Computer Associates International Inc. of Islandia, N.Y., has announced initiatives to help its reseller and integrator partners.

The moves include forming a channel sales organization to offer the company's channel partners marketing support, sales leads, cross-selling strategies and training.

The moves came in response to requests from Computer Associates' Reseller Council, a group of executives from CA's distributors, resellers, original equipment manufacturers and integrators. It also is part of a companywide strategy aimed at increasing CA's work with the sales channel.

Charles Wang, chairman and chief executive officer, announced in early 1998 a goal to increase channel sales 30 percent ? to 50 percent of total revenue ? by 2000.

The software vendor also is increasing its number of sales divisions worldwide, putting a senior sales executive in charge of each region's direct sales and channel sales.

CA's Global Professional Services division will be primary contractor on accounts designated as direct and will subcontract work to channel partners when appropriate.
Government Technology Services Inc. of Chantilly, Va., announced a net loss of $1.9 million, or 20 cents a share, for the quarter that ended March 31, compared to a loss of $3.5 million a year ago.

After its first profitable year since 1994, GTSI stumbled in the first quarter and attributed the loss to government buying patterns that historically make the first two quarters slow.

First quarter revenue jumped 27 percent to $125 million compared to $99 million a year ago. Officials attributed the growth to better sales and marketing execution.

In addition, the company cut operating expenses to 10 percent, down from 11.7 percent a year ago. Last year's operating expenses included a $1 million expense related to the acquisition of BTG Inc.'s reseller division. Since late February, GTSI's share price has dropped from more than $5 a share to around $3.37.

Bell Microproducts Inc. of San Jose, Calif., has expanded its distribution agreement with IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., to include networking hardware products.

Bell, which distributes the technology products of more than 70 manufacturers, already distributes IBM semiconductors and disk drives to resellers and original equipment manufacturers nationwide.

Bell plans to supply resellers with IBM networking products from its four warehouses in Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and San Jose. Publicly traded Bell had 1998 sales of $661 million, up 24 percent from the previous year.
Gates/Arrow Distributing Inc. of Greenville, S.C., has started a program aimed at helping resellers capture new business opportunities, largely by offering support on issues related to the interoperability of Microsoft and Unix platforms.

Gates/Arrow Distributing, a division of Arrow Electronics Inc. of Melville, N.Y., is offering marketing, sales and technical support to help resellers migrate between platforms. The program is called Gates/Arrow Central and is supported by 34 vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Nortel Networks.

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