Customer focus captures IT spend: exec

Customer relationship management (CRM) projects are still on the agenda of many enterprises, according to an Australian VP.

John Ruthven, managing director and senior vice president, Australia and New Zealand for Computer Associates International (CA), said that companies are now no longer looking at implementing a whole CRM solution, but focusing on investing in more customer-focused systems.

Speaking to Computerworld at the company's annual CA World 2001 conference in Orlando, US, Ruthven said he was cautious about speculating when the IT industry will pick up in Australia.

However, he said CA's experience is that budgets have not been cut, "we have seen a lot of new projects on the horizon".

Ruthven said due to Y2K and GST projects, to which companies had "big budgets of money allocated", projects had been stalled and companies were now moving forward with their plans.

Talking about the company's announcement to step up its profile in the storage space with the branding of its solutions under the umbrella BrightStor and partnership with EMC, Ruthven said he expected the sector to account for upwards of 20 per cent of company's revenue in the region.

"The storage market is growing quite rapidly for us. We will be focusing on providing a select group of value-added partners as opposed to a broad base.

CA president and CEO, Sanjay Kumar said the company's partnering with EMC and others "will make sure our approach is second to none".

"We are coming into a market with a strong incumbent and customers are looking for an alternative. Our [storage] plan has put a dent in Veritas' plan."

* Kelly Mills travelled to Orlando as a guest of CA

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