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How Michael Gregoire plans to put CA back on track

Joab Jackson | Aug. 20, 2014
What's new at CA Technologies? Turns out the company has been quietly trying to reinvent itself as a top provider of enterprise products for managing cloud services and mobile devices, extending its expertise beyond in-house IT management.

IDGNS: When I think of CA, I primarily think of software rather than cloud services. What is your cloud strategy?

Gregoire: We are definitely a big player in the SaaS [software-as-a-service] market — we have seven SaaS products in production today.

If it can be built and delivered in the cloud, that will be our primary design architecture. Where it doesn't make technical sense, we still offer software as a perpetual play.

I think what will evolve is that you will see a combination of both, like Nimsoft [CA's IT monitoring software]. Nimsoft has all of the agents running on physical machines behind the customer's — there is not really a way around that. You want to have lightweight probes on those devices because that will [provide] the best information.

Now, sending all that information to a server that is behind the firewall is definitely one option. But you could also send that information to the cloud. You can do all the data analytics in the cloud and do all the processing on site, so you don't have a latency time.

IDGNS: You're also extending your management products to mobile devices?

Gregoire: Our mobile device management products are very strong. What we're doing on the mobile side is all done organically. We're launching a mobile device management application for developers at CA World in November. MDM will be a big, big play for us.

The interface between a business and a customer used to be people like us, humans. It really is becoming applications, and those applications are primarily being deployed on mobile devices. So you will want to be able to understand if that application got deployed. Did it crash? You want crash analytics. You want security. You want to make sure your application is not being corrupted by any other app on the device. You want to be able to wipe that device, protect that device.

When you're running a company and the app is the major interface between you and your customer, you will want to make sure that interface is well-managed and you want to understand what is happening, who is using it, and how it is being used.

IDGNS: Do you have software for managing the devices themselves?

Gregoire: That is table stakes now. You need to have a base layer and then you layer on the more sophisticated services on top. That is a very commodity-oriented service, and it is more difficult to differentiate yourself there. We've been managing PCs for the past 15 years. Theoretically, there is not a whole lot of difference between managing a PC and managing a mobile device. It's the same kind of thing, but getting these devices to do the same kind of sophisticated things as you could on a PC is more of a challenge.


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