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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: Where are your customers in terms of adopting the cloud?

Gregoire: It's huge. You don't get measured any more by the size of the data center, or how many people you have under management. If you are a CIO today, you're getting measured by how well you help the business function. If you're not paying attention to that metric, I don't think you will be a CIO for much longer.

Secondly, anything that is commodity-oriented — that someone else can do better than you — you want to take advantage of that, and save your precious resources to do the things that only you can do. Oddly enough, what we see most companies doing is building up strong application development environments, because that puts the differentiation between them and their competitors.

I think if you can put it in the cloud, you should. That is pretty much what is becoming the norm.

Think about industries we've taken for granted. When was the last time you talked to a human when you booked an airline flight? When was the last time you talked to a teller in a bank? The last time you opened your mail to get your car insurance? It's all done electronically now. That is the interface between businesses and their customers.

All these businesses that used to be massively manual are being digitized. And that is a great business for us to be right in the middle of.

IDGNS: In terms of cloud management, what will CA offer your customers that the cloud vendors can't offer?

Gregoire: The thing about CA is that our heritage has always been a heterogenous environment. Any reasonably sized organizations will need products and portfolio management. They will need a help desk that covers multiple cloud offerings. How do you link a Salesforce.com, a Concur and a Taleo? How do you link up to these services to make sure they are running?

You want to make sure you understand the latency time of your own network, as well as that of the service provider. How will you manage the service level agreements? Can you solely count on the vendor to provide those? Probably not. So there is a whole host of products to manage those cloud environments. We're agnostic. We can work with just about all of the cloud providers.

IDGNS: Mainframe management still accounts for some of CA's business. What is happening there?

Gregoire: The mainframe, for the most part, especially with IBM System Z, has become a big virtual machine that runs Linux. So, you need more Linux skills and definitely some System Z and networking skills, and a little bit of I/O speciality skills.

 

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