I had the pleasure of attending CA World this week with a few of my colleagues. Colin Fletcher joined me, covering similar areas. Laurie Wurster also attended, she’s our go to person for market data and forecasting across the IT operations management market. I had meetings with many CA customers, partners, and CA staff members. The interactions were valuable, as were the sessions led by end users showing how they were applying the technologies. The analyst relations team at CA is a pleasure to work with, and we thank them for always being responsive, helpful, and forward thinking.
This was an important year for CA considering the immense redesign and redevelopment efforts they have undertaken through 2012 and 2013 within the availability and performance monitoring market. These technology changes included major refreshes and user interface (UI) redesigns on products such as the more converged IM 2.0 (merging together NetQOS products, replacing eHealth, and bundling Spectrum) offering, focused on network management. CA moved Nimsoft into a modern web based UI as well, merging together the service desk with the monitoring. During CA world there were major announcements on the release of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) 9.5 which includes the embedded Prelert engine (with a slick CA developed UI) for analytics, browser script injection technology, and some major changes to the agent preparing for new features down the line. Many of these changes make the product more competitive with other APM offerings, but also allow long time and happy CA APM customers to have the comforts they have grown accustomed to. Many of these features in this release are the first versions, and there will be major enhancements forthcoming. In fact they are encouraging customers to vote for features which will get the most attention, and using agile development processes (they still have some work to do here in order to become more rapid on releases). These changes are refreshing, and unexpected considering the past patterns, kudos.
CA also announced the acquisition of Nolio and Layer 7 during the Monday keynote, adding much needed DevOps capabilities.
With all of these changes within the products, CA has a new captain of the ship. in early January Michael Gregoire was appointed CEO, previously the CEO of Taleo (which Oracle bought for $1.9b in 2012). Michael expressed his strong inclinations towards SaaS delivery, and modernizing the way business is done at CA. With a refreshing and different viewpoint it will be interesting to watch and advise the team how to accomplish these goals. Michael was clear in his keynote getting and standardized and consolidated UI framework across the products is a key deliverable for him, which if done right will be positive for customers.
With the product innovation, and new core strategies around delivery of software, it will be interesting to see how much transparency is afforded to customers on the products and packaging. CA’s substantial mainframe buyers are averse to change, the changes occurring are likely focused on specific parts of the business. There will no doubt be impact to the the availability and performance monitoring portfolio.