CA Nabs Remote Control Provider Control-F1

Computer Associates will integrate Control-F1's support automation technology into its Unicenter Service Desk to help automatically track and log user actions.

Computer Associates International Inc. on Wednesday filled in a missing piece of its service desk offering when it acquired privately held remote control provider Control-F1 Corp.

The Alberta, Canada company will bring to CAs service management lineup new support automation technology that is already integrated to some extent with existing Unicenter Service Desk offerings through an earlier partnership.

"Were lucky to enter this with integration that already exists. Going forward our priority will be to make sure our latest release of [Unicenter] R11 will work [with Control-F1 products] and then do broader integration planning with delivery a year out," said Lokesh Jindal, vice president of Business Service Optimization at CA in Islandia, N.Y.

Although Control-F1 is a small company with 85 customers and less than 40 employees, many of its customers are Fortune 2000 companies with deployments touching thousands of desktops, according to Veer Gidwaney, founder and vice president of marketing in Alberta.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about CAs recent acquisition of Wily Technology Inc.

Some of those customers include Accenture Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline plc, HealthSouth Corp. and IBMs Global Services unit.

Control-F1 also brings to CA a unique, laser-like focus on remote control and automation of both self-service and self-healing functions that dovetails nicely with the increasing requirement for audit-ability in service management, said Chip Gliedman, vice president at Forrester Research Inc. in Westport, Conn.

"You need to know who touched what, when and what did they do. With an unintegrated product, someone on the help desk making a change to a system would have to manually record what they did.

"If the products are integrated, any action taken through the remote control tool now gets tracked and logged with the incident. Having a remediation tool attached to a trouble-ticket system gives you that audit-ability," he said.

Specifically, Control-F1 brings automation of functions to both self-service and self-healing service management. It automates the steps required for users executing self-service tasks, rather than requiring them to manually execute all the steps in a given task.

At the same time, for self-healing functions, it executes scripts on the desktop to automate configuration changes driven by policy changes, according to Jinday.

Control-F1 has also integrated its offerings with tools from CA rivals such as BMC Software Inc. IBMs Tivoli unit and Hewlett- Packard Co. through its Peregrine Systems Inc. acquisition.

That integration will not go away, and it is possible that CA could integrate the Control-F1 offerings with other competitors systems, according to Jindal.

"We have to play in multivendor environments. Were lucky to have integration with key players in this space. We will make sure our products work with products like [BMCs] Remedy and [Microsofts] SMS," said Jindal.

As for further integration with competitors offerings, "We will do what makes sense for our customers," added Jindal.

Control-F1 will become a part of CAs Business Service Optimization unit and Gidwaney will join that unit as vice president of sales strategy and execution.

No layoffs are planned.

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