CA Takes the CleverPath

Company rebrands its portal and business intelligence products yet again to mixed reviews.

First there was Eureka. then Jasmine. Then Jasmine II. Now CleverPath.

The latest iteration in Computer Associates International Inc.s struggle to find a brand identity for its business management products was welcomed by some users of the technology. But others said they will continue to evaluate the companys technology application by application, regardless of what it is called.

CA late last month announced that it had realigned its portal and business intelligence products under the CleverPath brand.

The CleverPath products were formerly under the Jasmine and Neugents brands (Jasmine is still used for CAs object-oriented database technology). CA bought the CleverPath portal technology with its acquisition of Sterling Software Inc. in April last year. Then, the product was known as Eureka. CA later rebranded Eureka as Jasmine ii Portal. Now it is CleverPath Portal.

The new name "helps to hone what it is that the product does," said Fred Studer, vice president of marketing at CleverPath Portal user IWitness Inc. "The Jasmine name really didnt do that."

But Studer was not sold on the idea of combining BI and portals under one name. Studer said the CleverPath portal paid for itself in three months and has saved IWitness more than $1 million thanks to productivity improvements over the last two years. But the BI products are too expensive and unnecessary for a small company such as IWitness, Studer said.

"It brings more value to a large company with disparate data sources," said Studer, in Boulder, Colo. "For a small company, you dont have that many disparate areas. You can just press a button on an Excel spreadsheet and get the information you need."

Some think the pairing is smart.

Simon Samaha, CIO and vice president of IT at Cooper Health System Inc., in Camden, N.J., uses CleverPath Portal in combination with CAs Predictive Analysis Server, formerly called Neugents. Samaha said combining the portal with the analytics technology enables Cooper Health to push personalized information to its users and offer collaboration capabilities, all via a Web browser. The portal was up and running within two days of implementation.

"I can go to one place to access the information I need to make executive decisions," Samaha said.

Not everyones sold on the new brand. Analyst James Governor, of Illuminata Inc., finds it remarkable that a company that has the largest enterprise portal revenues as reported by International Data Corp. needs to change its brand name.

"Its an unusual way to go about things, coming up with a new brand strategy every nine months," said Governor, in London.

Still, Governor said it made sense for CA to keep the portal and BI software together.

In support of the new brand, CA, of Islandia, N.Y., also announced a host of new products, including an upgrade of the flagship CleverPath Portal. Release 3.5 of the portal adds support for out-of-the-box wireless access via Wireless Application Protocol-enabled phones and personal digital assistants, officials said.