CA Plugs Hole With Wily

By purchasing Wily Technology Inc., CA is plugging a sizable hole .

By purchasing Wily Technology Inc., CA is plugging a sizable hole in its enterprise systems management software portfolio and plans to use the acquisition as a catalyst for developing more specific industry-focused solutions.

CA, of Islandia, N.Y., last week acquired Wily in an all-cash transaction for $375 million. Once the acquisition of Wily closes in about three months, the Brisbane, Calif., company will operate as a separate division within CAs Enterprise Systems Management business unit.

Wily manages application code and the application servers that data resides on, as well as messaging middleware that carries transactions between customers on the Web and legacy applications within heterogeneous environments.

Mark Barrenechea, executive vice president of technology strategy and chief technology architect at CA, said that with Wily in the fold, CA will be more aggressive in building out its software portfolio for vertical markets.

"I think you can expect more [from] CA [in] upcoming quarters and the coming year of more [vertical]-industry-specific announcements and more [vertical]industry-specific focus," said Barrenechea.

Wilys technology, capable of rapidly detecting and diagnosing application slowdowns and failures, is currently being used in complex Web-facing applications such as hotel and airline reservation systems and retail banking systems.

However, the enterprise systems management industry has always had difficulty solving vertical-customer software woes with horizontal technologies, said Cameron Haight, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn.

Still, Haight said Wilys software and its related middleware tools will be instrumental in filling a hole pointed out by CA CEO John Swainson: J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) management. Just as important, the new technology should help CA introduce its offerings to a brand-new set of customers.

"Wily has been fairly effective selling to the preproduction part of [the application] life cycle, with sales made through key developers and key architects at some of the leading companies," Haight said. "[Wily] does give CA a potential reach into [the] product life cycle, where, from a historically management standpoint, they havent focused very much."

Most of Wilys 260 employees are expected to be retained, and Wily CEO and founder Dick Williams will join CA to lead the new division.

"CA has done a relatively good job of the maintaining and retaining of key individuals that were crucial parts of recently [acquired] companies," Haight said. "Its not the CA of old, where there was usually a substantial exit. Hopefully, this move will continue this current trend."

* Based in Brisbane, Calif.

* Will operate as a separate CA division

* CAs third major transaction in 12 months

* Plugs hole in CA application management strategy

* Gains CA foothold with growing J2EE audience