CA Technologies: Really, Truly A Trusted Cloud Partner?
The CA Technologies makeover continues this week in Las Vegas, where 6,000 people — and some emerging cloud services providers — are attending CA World. The big question, which Talkin’ Cloud has been tracking for several months now: Can CA connect the cloud services dots between Nimsoft, AppLogic and other acquired companies?
During a recent call, Nimsoft CEO Chris O’Malley told me that MSPs (managed services providers) will be the strategic gatekeepers and influencers who recommend and connect corporate IT environments to various cloud computing services. O’Malley built on that theme at CA World today, asserting that IT is transforming “from infrastructure owner into service broker.”
To reinforce that point, O’Malley claimed that MSPs and IT departments increasingly leverage Nimsoft IT monitoring, IT service desk and cloud user experience solutions.
But the story doesn’t end there. Over the past year or two, CA Technologies has gradually overhauled its software portfolio and business strategy — pushing beyond direct sales of mainframe and client-server solutions to cloud- and MSP-centric offerings sold through the channel.
Admittedly, we’ve heard this story before. Several times since the mid-1990s, the old Computer Associates openly proclaimed its love for channel partners, only to betray some partners with direct sales initiatives.
Still, the current CA Technologies management team seems to be avoiding the company’s legacy mistakes. Four prime examples:
- Roughly 60 MSPs and cloud services providers leverage CA’s AppLogic to stand up SaaS applications.
- CA acquired Nimsoft in 2010 and grew the business roughly 80 percent in its first year of ownership.
- CA is partnering up with iTRACS to help corporate IT managers and cloud services providers to master Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM). The DCIM initiative focuses on data center power, space and cooling optimization techniques for the underlying IT and cloud infrastructure.
- CA’s overall cloud services partner effort includes at least seven core components that seem to be gaining momentum with partners.
Despite those milestones, I’m a realist. CA Technologies must work overtime to build mind share with MSPs and cloud services providers. Also, some VARs refuse to forgive CA Technologies for channel missteps in the 1990s involving such acquisitions as Cheyenne Software.
Still, CA Technologies seems to be making progress with many of its MSP and cloud services partners. True believers include ScaleMatrix, which build its private cloud strategy atop AppLogic. That case study and other signs of CA progress are on display at this week’s CA World in Las Vegas.