“Customers, customers, customers” is apparently the new rallying cry for a re-organised Computer Associates which was unveiled on Monday at the CA-World user conference in Florida.
But "We've learnt our lesson" might be read as the subtext.
Admitting to neglecting customers in the past, CEO Sanjay Kumar insists that a new business structure will bring the company into closer contact with them.
"Our main focus this year is our customers and we are really committed to take our customer service up a notch,” he said. “We have learnt from our mistakes in the past and intend to make the business better by focusing on our customers."
Poor CRM was one of the main planks last year of a shareholder revolt against the CA management team, which almost toppled the board of directors amid allegations of lack of customer care. While Kumar refered only to ‘the episode last year’, it’s clear that the message was taken on board. "We've learned a valuable lesson,” he admitted, “ We must communicate more - and we are fully committed in doing this."
The company has already been divided up into six operational areas based around particular competencies. In a further development, Kumar is now giving each unit effective autonomy but retaining a single salesforce. So functions such as marketing will now be carried out by each business division rather than centrally. Support will remain a single point of contact, he promised.
“I don’t like the term business units, these are brand units,” said Kumar, who added that each unit will eventually have its own profit and loss responsibility.