What's in a CA Name Change?

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A name change, especially a third one in space of a few years, might not normally be worth any notice. But in the case of CA, a new CA Technologies moniker that was announced today at the CA World 2010 conference is a change company officials say better reflects both a significant shift in its approach to developing technology and the way it works with customers.

The company formally known as CA, a moniker it adopted as part of the effort to escape the financial scandal that rocked the company when it was known as Computer Associates, is out to transform itself once again as the industry as a whole makes a macro-economic shift to cloud computing. In the case of CA Technologies, that has meant since 2004 acquiring more than 20 companies, including Cassatt, 3Tera, Nimsoft. Orchestria, Wily Technologies, NetQoS, Netegrity and Oblicore.


CA Technologies, of course, will still derive a huge percentage of its revenue base from software for mainframes. But the rise of cloud computing and virtualization presents an opportunity for CA Technologies to coalesce internally developed and externally acquired technologies to compete more effectively against IBM, BMC, Hewlett-Packard and a raft of other companies that want to dominate the management of next-generation enterprise computing.

According to Tom Kendra, executive vice president for Enterprise Products and Business Line, CA Technologies, under the leadership of recently appointed CEO Bill McKracken, is trying to be more proactive, rather than reactive, in terms of the solutions it brings to market. That means building and acquiring technologies in advance of when customers need them, versus waiting for an issue to develop before bringing a product to market.

That approach, said Kendra, reflects a desire to build partnerships with customers, rather than just sell them a product, at a time when more technology than ever is being consumed on a subscription basis thanks to the rise of cloud computing.

Ultimately, said Kendra, that means IT organizations should expect to see CA Technologies advance on two fronts; strategic tools for managing both public and private cloud computing platforms and a suite of more tactical tools for optimizing virtualization software across the enterprise.

The challenge, of course, is going to be pulling together all the products and services under a common management framework before the next evolution of enterprise computing passes CA Technologies by.