Feeds

CA eyes service management purchase

No names now, but wallet on standby

High performance access to file storage

CA World CA is on the prowl for acquisitions to round out its technologies in its four key business groups: systems management, security, storage and business service optimisation. But it is waving goodbye to the buying spree that characterised the company throughout the nineties.

Reviewing the competitive landscape this week at CA World conference in Las Vegas, the company acknowledged its products are behind some competitors in some features in the four key markets it plays in.

CA conceded that BMC is ahead in the service management sub-segment of the business service optimisation market while Mercury Interactive is ahead of the game in apps management. CA naturally rated itself well ahead of competitors in (its heartland) mainframe software and systems management markets while admitting Symantec/Veritas is top dog in data availability.

That suggests that business service optimisation purchases will be key to the firm's acquisition plans. CA, naturally enough, isn't saying who it intends to buy, but chief operating officer Jeff Clarke did explain its acquisition criteria. Acquired firms must be best of breed, meet CA's goal for long term growth and have projected returns on investment in excess of 13 per cent (ahead of its cost of capital).

"Of 20 firms we've looked at over the last 18 months we've only pursued eight acquisitions because the others did not fit our criteria," he said.

In the last year, CA has splashed out $1.2bn on four major acquisitions - security firm Netegrity, storage company iLimin, and services management outfit Niku and networking management firm Concord Communications - as well as a string of smaller purchases.

Former Niku chief exec Josh Pickus said senior CA execs were able to reassure its user base that support and development will improve as a result of the company's acquisition.

"CA has a history of certain acquisitions not being positive for users, and customers were concerned, but we've been able to show users Niku's technology will get adequate resources. Joining with CA gets us over the objection that users don't want to buy technology from another small vendor," he said.

Clarke told The Register that the new CA is going out of its way to distance itself from the aggressive sales tactics commonplace under its previous regime. "There been a drop in the percentage of customers who view us as antagonistic. We've done a lot of hard work meeting customers and unwinding contracts that they weren't happy with. This has created short term financial challenges but is right in the longer term," he said.

Last week, CA announced plans to sell a majority stake of its Ingres open-source database unit. Private equity firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital is financing the deal, which will see it become the majority shareholder in Ingres Corp. CA will retain a minority stake in the new business and a seat on its board.

In response to questions about the many products CA owns outside its four key strategic market segments, chief financial officer Bob Davis said it had no plans to sell off anything else of any consequence. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.