NEWS ANALYSIS: CA may not be the flashiest IT provider in the world, but it's certainly one of the steadiest, and boards of directors like steady.
LAS VEGAS—As calendar year 2015 year winds down, Las Vegas in the days before Thanksgiving is remarkably quiet. Planes coming in aren't as packed with people, you can walk right up to a cab at McCarran International Airport, and obtaining a restaurant reservation generally is a snap.
However, it's still high IT conference season at Mandalay Bay here, where CA Technologies is staging its CA World '15 conference for a reported 4,000 attendees. As a company that has been built by acquisitions over years of time yet frankly isn't in the news all that often, CA is using this big opportunity to make a statement, and the New York City-based company has selected this: "Harnessing the Power of Disruption in the Application Economy."
CA certainly has been disruptive in its own way, changing the routines of numerous smaller companies by acquiring them (20 since 2006 alone) to fulfill its stated mission: to mold together IT solutions of value for its customers that already contain proven secret sauce cooked up by others.
CA Has Been an IT Survivor
CA is certainly a survivor; the company has built a solid business doing this since it was founded way back in 1974. Only a handful of IT companies have been in business continually since the Nixon administration, so that alone is an accomplishment worth noting.
In 2015, under CEO Mike Gregoire, the company is looking ahead at what it must do as a legacy software provider to continue to compete against formidable foes in a future filled with trends such as DevOps, continuous development, OpenStack, IT containers, wearables, mobile and new-gen high security.
CA's installed base is a deep, widespread one over the globe—a result of its many years in business. It's very hard to attain that kind of status. CA may not be the flashiest IT provider in the world, but it's certainly one of the steadiest, and boards of directors like steady.
Key New Products Introduced
At the conference, CA introduced a number of new products across its portfolio spanning DevOps, agile management, security and mainframe. Here are capsule descriptions of the new DevOps, agile management and security products (others will be profiled in forthcoming articles):
CA Technologies hasn't made the headlines much regarding its DevOps capabilities, but it has been a frontline player in that sector for a number of years.
CA Service Virtualization, now available via Microsoft's Azure Marketplace, is designed to simplify and speed up all types of development, simulation and testing. In addition, the company says, the new CA API Management solutions deliver fast time-to-value and accelerate the app development process with CA Live API Creator and CA Mobile App Services, which give developers core app functionality in the form of APIs and software developer kits.
The portfolio also includes two new, organically developed monitoring solutions: CA Virtual Network Assurance that gives operations teams industry-first assurance for dynamic, next-generation virtual networks and legacy infrastructure, and CA Unified Infrastructure Management for z Systems, the industry's only unified infrastructure management solution to provide visibility of services that span mobile-to-mainframe systems in a single view.
More than 276,000 people currently use CA Agile Central (formerly the Rally Agile Application Lifecycle Management solution), and more than 30,000 people have received CA Agile Training.
CA's Agile Management portfolio now combines select software and service components from CA Technologies and Rally, which the company acquired in July, to give business leaders a technology and education platform that redefines how business deliverables are planned and executed. Rally's cloud-based solutions and coaching of agile practices have helped companies improve their businesses—some achieving a 50 percent faster time-to-market than industry peers and 25 percent global productivity improvement.
A new release of CA Privileged Access Manager offers tighter controls for privileged user access to VMware NSXR environments. Updates to CA Identity Suite simplify identity governance for all users, and a new product, CA Data Content Discovery, helps address compliance demands by discovering and classifying mainframe data. With these new capabilities, CA says it is improving how businesses protect against security breaches.
The Nov. 18 release of CA Privileged Access Manager offers privileged access management interoperability with VMware NSX, VMware's network virtualization platform for the software-defined data center. This combines the built-in security capabilities of VMware NSX with the security capabilities of CA Privileged Access Manager to secure system access for VMware NSX administrators and helps improve operational efficiencies.
CA World continues through Nov. 20.