CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire is promoting software to service providers but he must also overcome big entrenched rivals

CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire is promoting software to service providers, but he must also overcome big entrenched rivals.

Big Service Providers Embrace CA Technologies, Nimsoft

CA Technologies' cloud and managed services software catches on with Rackspace, Savvis and Logicalis. Are more deals coming?

Logicalis, Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) and Savvis were among the big MSPs and cloud services providers (CSPs) on hand at CA World last week in Las Vegas. Each of those companies said CA Technologies (NYSE:CA) plays a critical role in their revenue-generating platforms. So what will it take for CA Technologies to thrive against potential rivals like VMware (NYSE:VMW), SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI) and OpenStack? Here are some educated guesses.

First the good news: CA World attracted roughly 5,000 partners and customers. That's a solid showing, especially since CA Technologies has been in transition mode over the past few years. Still best-known for its enterprise IT management tools, the company:

  • acquired Nimsoft in 2010 to better support MSPs and emerging enterprises.
  • acquired 3Tera (AppLogic) in 2010 to help service providers stand up their own clouds. 
  • aggressively rolled out service provider licensing for most of its software, including ARCserve for cloud and on-premises backup/disaster recovery.
  • named SaaS expert Mike Gregoire as its new CEO on January 7, 2013. Gregorie previously was CEO of Taleo, the cloud-based talent management company that Oracle acquired in 2012.

Many of those moves are yielding results but CA Technologies' overall performance has been uneven. Sales of CA Nimsoft continue to grow -- especially in the MSP mid-market. And AppLogic, now under the leadership of Senior VP Adam Famularo, has received renewed focus. 

But there's competition on every front. Dozens of IT management software companies now target MSPs. And AppLogic, built on core Citrix virtualization software, must somehow compete against VMware, OpenStack and other platforms for building cloud services.

Big Bets Continue

In private meetings with MSPmentor, Logicalis executives spoke highly of CA Nimsoft and said they continue to build more and more managed services around the monitoring platform. Also, CA Technologies VP Greg Donovan showed scores of aspiring and established MSPs how to more effectively communicate their value to end-customers during educational sessions at CA World.

Bottom line: CA Technologies seemed to win high marks from CA World attendees -- many of whom represented midsize and large service providers. But CA Technologies needs to effectively communicate its strategy to a broader range of service providers -- especially those who haven't given the CA software portfolio a look in recent years.

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