CA forms services group, plans 450 job cuts

Computer Associates International (CA) kicked off its 2004 fiscal year Tuesday with word it has formed CA Technology Services, which is meant to help customers more quickly implement the company's software products and receive support. As part of its new service-focused initiative, CA is slashing 450 jobs worldwide over the next several months, with cuts in North America happening immediately.

Una O'Neill, will oversee CA Technology Services in the role of senior vice president and general manager. She had been in charge of CA's presales technical area. The new unit will combine CA's presales technical and professional services organizations and will work with the sales force, the company said.

CA Technology Services is "fully operational" and has about 2,500 worldwide employees, O'Neill said in an interview Tuesday. "CA Technology Services will provide services and assistance to our channel organization just like we do with our sales organization," she said. "We're ready to go immediately."

The company will honor all existing customer deals involving products that aren't from CA, but the new services unit will focus only on CA product support, the statement said.

CA is also restructuring its North American channel organization to give channel partners more responsibilities as the main path to customers for the eTrust, BrightStor and AllFusion brands. The channel restructuring includes an investment in CA's telesales-teleleads operations that are based primarily in Tampa, Florida.

Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Kumar has previously noted CA's shortcomings in selling through its channel and in January when financial results were released said that the services side had "room for improvement." Tuesday's announcement is aimed at rectifying that situation, O'Neill said and makes for a "very clear and focused strategy."

The job cuts are being made across the board based on "redundancy of skill sets, overall capacity and demand," O'Neill said. However, CA Technology Services will be hiring additional employees, although O'Neill said she doesn't know how many workers will be added over time.

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