Fuzzy Dice

CA World weary; Massachusetts hold'em

From: spencer_katt@ziffdavis.com

Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 12:55 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: CA World weary; Massachusetts holdem

"Is it Las Vegas or Las Vaguest?" cackled the Kitty as he attended CA World at The Venetian in Las Vegas last week. The Grimalkin heard grousing from attendees that Computer Associates hasnt successfully explained how its new common services integration platform will work or how itll benefit customers. "Hey, Wagners music is better than it sounds," joked one attendee and master of obscure quotes, admitting afterward that the quip was originally attributed to Edgar Wilson "Bill" Nye in Mark Twains autobiography.


New CA boss John Swainsons keynote seemed straightforward, especially when one recalls former CA leader of the pack Charles Wang once flamboyantly taking the keynote stage on a motorcycle. There was also little talk of the disgraced former CA management, though Spencer did note that in a later Q and A, Swainson slightly dissed the old guard for using the keynotes to extol the companys charitable activities.

Swainsons keynote also was anointed by Redmond, thanks to a video feed from Microsofts Steve Ballmer. Ballmer announced that CA and Microsoft "agreed in principle to leverage investments in Unicenter and Microsoft desktop and systems management software to the fullest." Spence hears there may have been some bad blood between former CA execs and Microsoft, but now theyre apparently playing nicely to integrate SMS with CAs new Management Database.

Spence started to perceive that the message CA was trying to drive home this year is simplicity. But after a panel hosted by NBC newsman Forrest Sawyer that preached the CA simplicity gospel also ended up unveiling 26 new or updated products, Spence felt woozy. "Only CA," chuckled a fellow attendee. "Simplicity through complexity."

Encountering technical difficulties at the show, Spence joked with cronies that he was up for longer stretches at the Mirages poker tables than the wired and wireless Net access was in CAs pressroom. Soon, the Katt got a call from a crony back home in Beantown who was attending the Forrester Executive Strategy Forum. As Forrester CEO George Colony chatted onstage with Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Mittster claimed people checking into Massachusetts hospitals dont realize they are eligible for Medicaid. Because of that, the state is footing the bill for their care. Romney called for an IT program that would create a state benefits portal that could determine whether a patient is eligible for Medicaid and then sign the patient up for it on the spot—thus passing the bill to the feds. "Eventually, that may become your problem," Colony quipped, hinting at Romneys rumored presidential aspirations, to which Romney only smiled. "Sounds like the governor can keep a better poker face than me," laughed the Lynx.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...