Launching an e-Business Division for Computer Associates
Charting the future of public relations
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Launching an e-Business Division for Computer Associates

Ruder Finn’s challenge was to establish a separate identity for interBiz, while still maintaining certain ties to the Computer Associates’ (CA) brand, heritage and management experience.

Paul Holmes

In 2000, the e-Business software and technology market exploded onto the scene with myriad companies scrambling to gain market share.  In particular, new e-Business divisions within established larger technology companies, who often compete against smaller, targeted start-ups, needed to differentiate themselves by establishing a separate identity and brand. 

Computer Associates (CA), the fourth largest software company in the world, understood this, but needed communications support to make it a reality.  Enter Ruder Finn, who was engaged mid-year to help increase visibility for CA’s new e-Business division focusing on supplying enterprise software for supply chain management, human resources, banking and finance solutions. 

Initially charged with the task of establishing the interBiz brand as a stand-alone identity, Ruder Finn developed and implemented a comprehensive public relations program that leveraged the strengths of CA while disassociating the division from the negative connotations that have traditionally enveloped the parent company.  Following on the heels of this outreach, Ruder Finn orchestrated an aggressive media and analyst campaign, using product success stories and own-able research to speak to current industry issues, to help interBiz build its brand as a unique, sustainable entity in the e-Business place.  Most importantly, this identity has been created and maintained as separate entity of CA with its own services, yet positioned as a beneficiary of the company’s 20-year pedigree and technology experience.

OVERVIEW AND CHALLENGES:

Ruder Finn’s challenge was to establish a separate identity for interBiz, while still maintaining certain ties to the Computer Associates’ (CA) brand, heritage and management experience.  Specific agency challenges included:

  • Establishing the interBiz brand among CA’s 400 products.
  • Trying to effectively communicate interBiz’s messages to the media and public with no initial customer case studies or customer references.
  • Attracting media coverage when interBiz partners and new customers were small or unknown firms that did not want to speak about the competitive advantages of using their products.

Since Computer Associates was familiar with large volume media coverage, Ruder Finn was faced with the challenge of obtaining enough media for interBiz and meeting high client expectations.

RESEARCH AND PLANNING:

In order to brand a new identity and facilitate change management, Ruder Finn conducted extensive research and planning:   

SWOT analysis to identify interBiz’s market positioning, and their challenges and opportunities.

A SWAT team was formed to analyze technology and market trends, identifying possible media, spokespeople and expert commentary opportunities.  

Researched previous media stories about Computer Associates to see where synergies occurred with interBiz.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES AND AUDIENCES:

Position and differentiate interBiz as the leading e-Business solutions provider.

Drive interBiz messages through to key media and industry analyst influencers.

Increase awareness of interBiz’s solutions offerings and software platforms.

Position interBiz as a key business within Computer Associates driving shareholder value for the Company.

STRATEGIES:

Focused on interBiz flagship product, BizWorks, using Artificial Intelligence Technology (A.I.) as a timely and newsworthy hook in light of the upcoming revival of Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey 2001. 

Positioned interBiz as an expert commentator on e-Business, e-Commerce, technology and timely news events.  Provided expert commentary for industry round-up stories.

Communicated interBiz’s technology offerings to niche and vertical markets.

Coordinated external outreach with customers and key partners.

EXECUTION:

The plan for generating successful media results through creative strategies was built on research, strategic planning and execution.  Ruder Finn targeted print, broadcast and online media as well as various vertical markets, including finance, supply chain and ASP services for ongoing outreach. The agency established a speakers’ bureau for key interBiz executives to provide timely expert commentary on industry issues, identified through the proactive SWAT team research that was conducted on a daily basis. The agency provided a steady stream of interBiz information to the media through press releases. The proactive pitching efforts focused on reporters covering the implications and status of the issues surrounding business intelligence and artificial intelligence. The agency further provided trade show support for industry events, such as NetWorld+Interop, Electronic Commerce World, and ASP Summit Chicago. 

RESULTS:

As a direct result of our media outreach, Computer Associates was able to brand a new division within the Company (interBiz) and establish it as a leader in the e-Business marketplace and a specialist in providing businesses with the latest artificial intelligence technology. Further, the coverage obtained differentiated InterBiz from CA without completely severing ties with the parent company’s heritage. Specific coverage included:

An interview on CNNfn with anchor Beverly Schuch to discuss artificial intelligence, its effect on businesses and how they can use A.I. to their advantage.  

Top tier business publications including Business Week and Reuters, and coverage in top tier IT publications including InfoWorld, InternetWeek, eWeek and others.  

Vertical publications’ coverage included Bank Systems & Technology, Manufacturing Systems, ASPNews, SearchASP, Bank Technology News, A-com and others.
IDC and Aberdeen Group, both highly regarded analyst firms, recognized interBiz and BizWorks as leaders in the e-business marketplace through detailed analyst reports.

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