CA CEO Advises: Get Your Story Straight

William McCracken took over as CEO of CA Technologies in 2010. I talked with him about how he’s worked to improve how customers perceive the company and broadened CA’s reach into new areas of technology and new customer segments.

Define Your Value
CA sells IT management software and solutions. McCracken considered whether to push further into competitors’ territory and provide hardware, infrastructure software or services. “We chose no on all those,” McCracken said. CA’s value, instead, lies in helping customers manage products from multiple vendors and adapt quickly to new technologies. So he focused on extending CA’s expertise into new areas, including mobile and cloud computing. “We’re working on the CIO’s biggest problems.”

Back Up Your Claims
McCracken wanted to tout CA as an industry leader in its space before getting aggressive in marketing. But he didn’t want anyone to be able to dispute the claim. “Too many CEOs declare victory before they’ve got it,” he said. “I want this thing to be solid. Then we’ll start talking about it and really start pushing it.”

Don’t Fight Internally
If customers have a problem, fix it, and make them happy. Service, support, sales and marketing organizations shouldn’t argue over who takes responsibility. McCracken said CA spent as much as $300 million building confidence with its clientele. “Don’t ask whose budget it’s in,” McCracken said. “It’s in my budget.”

Read the complete interview here.