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CA World 2002: Re-define, re-innovate, re-ach outs

Sandeep Ajgaonkar / Orlando

Sanjay Kumar, President and CEO, CA

Every company needs to redefine its vision, restructure and innovate in order to succeed. This is especially true in today's turbulent economy where enterprises are reconsidering every penny they spend on resources.

IT—considered as a tool for business expansion—has not been left untouched by this turbulence. Businesses, which till about a year back were investing heavily in IT are now finding ways and means—sometimes irrational—to cut back on infrastructure and related costs.

Now visualize this in terms of a software company with over 1,200 different software products covering the gamut of enterprise applications-right from enterprise management to security.
Given the wide range of applications that Computer Associates (CA), the world's fourth largest software company offers, any redefining, restructuring and innovation—either from a marketing standpoint or technology-wise—is an uphill task.

CA World 2002, CA's annual user convention in Orlando, Florida, provided a fresh insight into the company's new product and customer acquisition and retention strategy. These new restructuring initiatives are with a view to serve its customers better.

Internal restructuring
CA isn't new to internal restructuring, either in terms of product line-up or marketing. Over the years CA—with roots in mainframe and system management software—has evolved to offer solutions in other areas like security and e-business.

Today, CA has over 1,200 products in its portfolio, which cover a wide spectrum of enterprise applications. There are solutions that help manage the enterprise efficiently, to tools that make enterprise more secure, to applications that e-enable your enterprise.
This made it absolutely necessary to define all the 1,200-odd products under certain common brands in order to avoid confusion among it customers. Last year CA had regrouped all its products under six main product units.

This year the company went a step further, it combined CleverPath portal technology and AllFusion business intelligence software into a single business unit. The current five remaining brand units thus are: Unicenter (for enterprise management), eTrust (for security management), BrightStor (for storage management), CleverPath and AllFusion (for portal, business intelligence and lifecycle management), and Advantage (for mainframe and data management).

Each unit will have its own development, marketing and technical support teams. At the same time the company plans to maintain a unified sales team.

While announcing this restructuring, President and CEO Sanjay Kumar said, "By organizing along our existing brands, we will provide more clarity and focus to our customers while maximizing shareholder value."

"We will maintain a unified sales organization, which our customers have said they want. The sales team will continue to be organized exactly as they were before and will be the unified channel for all the brand units."

Technology focus areas
CA is also refocusing on technology. This year the company is placing its bet on security, storage, wireless and Web services technologies.

The company already has a slew of enterprise security solutions under the eTrust brand ranging from antivirus kits to IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) and encryption tools. The idea is to extend these technologies further, especially into Web services.

Sanjay Kumar himself confirmed this by stressing CA's overall focus on security. To emphasize this added focus on security, CA is also moving its co-founder and Executive VP Russell Artzt to head the security unit.

CA also announced eTrust 20/20, a security management solution which the company claims provides a visual insight into both physical and IT security events, in the process allowing security managers a new insight into their enterprise backdoors.

Wireless is another key focus area. CA is extending its enterprise management expertise to managing wireless technologies. CA announced two new additions to the modular Unicenter—Unicenter Wireless Network Management (WNM) and Unicenter Mobile Device Management (MDM)—that would enable organizations to effectively manage multi-vendor, cross-platform wireless environments. It has also wireless-enabled Unicenter NSM and Unicenter Service Plus (Network management solutions), thus empowering technicians to manage enterprise resources anytime and from any place.

To complement wireless management solutions, the company also has solutions for wireless deployment like the Advantage Wireless Integrator that allows enterprises to implement mobile applications by leveraging existing resources.

Yogesh Gupta, Senior VP and CTO, CA

Yogesh Gupta, Senior VP and CTO said, "With the sophistication of our wireless technology solutions, the breadth of our strategic industry partnerships, and our experience with the deployment of complex wireless systems, CA is uniquely able to help customers build and maintain these customized environments without over-taxing their resources or their tolerance for risk." Among other product announcements, the company also announced CleverPath Portal 4.0, a Web services standard compliant tool that allows organizations to efficiently and securely deploy portals that deliver customized information and services to customers, employees and partners.

CA is also focused on developing new applications for Linux and has over 50 products available on the Linux platform.

Year of the customer
For CA this is the year of the customer. In line with this newfound emphasis on a customer-centric focus, CA announced several key measures that would benefit its customers.

The approach of consolidating all product lines under just the five brand units is a part of this customer-centric strategy. In fact, the entire restructuring exercise has been initiated keeping the customer needs in mind. The idea is to provide clarity to its customers about the entire CA product range.

In line with this initiative, CA also announced a new online service called CustomerConnect. This service can be used by customers to view software licenses, and billing records via the Web. It can also be used for technical support and for downloading software patches/updates.

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