Wyly details his plan for CA

Entrepreneur Sam Wyly last week announced the details of what he plans to do with Computer Associates International if he succeeds in taking over management control of the software vendor.

          Entrepreneur Sam Wyly last week announced the details of what he plans to do with Computer Associates International if he succeeds in taking over management control of the software vendor.

          Wyly claims that CA users will be better off if the company is split into four independent pieces. Under his plan, the separate business units would each be free to sell to new and existing corporate accounts. The business units would also have their own services organisations under the proposal made by Ranger Governance, Wyly's Dallas-based investment firm.

          The plan would create an "elite national account organization" to work with users who still want a single point of contact. But Ranger says "autonomous business units provide an excellent opportunity to improve customer support by moving the company closer to its customers and their specific, rapidly evolving needs."

          It adds that the services organisations tied to each business unit would be limited to work that "relates directly to CA products." That matches a strategy already being put in place by CA following a drop-off in its services business during the company's fiscal first quarter ended June 30.

          Islandia, New York-based CA didn't issue a formal statement after Wyly's plan was announced, but outside spokesman Owen Blicksilver says the restructuring proposal is "unworkable." Splitting the company into separate units "is not an effective way for CA to run its business, and not the way the customer base wants it to run its business," he says .

          Blicksilver adds that CA currently assigns client relationship managers who oversee all of its dealings with large users. Working with the managers are sales teams that specialize in specific technologies. "It sounds as if what Mr. Wyly is proposing . . . is already there," Blicksilver says.

          Wyly is staging a proxy fight to win control of CA at the vendor's annual shareholders meeting on August 29. If successful, he would replace CA board chairman Charles Wang and appoint a new management team.

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