CA Changes Shape

It's all about change at software vendor - accountability is now the name of the game

April 6, 2005

3 Min Read
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Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA), which has recently come under fire from users over support, announced the latest stage in the companys overhaul today (see CA Implements Biz Unit Alignment).

Company spokespeople say Jon Swainson, the newly appointed CEO who moved to CA from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) last year, is on a mission to make the firm more user-friendly and responsive to customer needs (see Swainson Swoops in as CA CEO).

CA will now be split into five main business units – Enterprise Systems Management, Security Management, Storage Management, and two newly formed units, the Business Service Optimization (BSO) and CA Products groups.

BSO will focus on developing lifecycle and systems management technologies, particularly as they apply to IT governance and change management. The Products group is an umbrella organization comprising products that fall outside CA’s core areas.

There will also be some new faces on Long Island. The Enterprise Systems Management business unit, for example, will be led by Alan F. Nugent, the former CTO of Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL), who is due to join CA later this week. Nugent will be responsible for most of CA’s widely deployed Unicenter product line.Chris Broderick will continue as head of CA’s Storage Management business, although he will also be responsible for ensuring integration with the firm’s other management products.

A noteworthy stress in today's announcement was placed on change management. Although a somewhat loosely defined term, change management is the use of software to exploit changes in a user’s business environment.

With users constantly having to adapt to new market and regulatory conditions, a number of companies are vying for a share of the change management market. These include IBM, which acquired Rational Software to boost its efforts in this area, and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), which is adding change management to its SAN Resource Management (SRM) package (see EMC Tackles Change Management).

CA is emerging from an extremely turbulent period in its history, marred by financial scandals and a $225 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice in the U.S. The firm also announced a massive restructuring plan last year (see CA's Mea Culpa and CA Cuts 800 Jobs).

Against this backdrop, some CA users have been getting anxious about the level of support provided by the company. The issue is expected to be high on the agenda of the rescheduled CA World user conference, which will now be taking place in Las Vegas during November (see CA Users Bewail Support).In a clear attempt to put the turmoil of the last few years behind it, accountability is now the name of the game at CA. The software vendor says that the business unit managers will now be accountable for all aspects of the management and financial performance of their business units. These include profit and loss, product development, marketing, staffing and, crucially, customer satisfaction.

The company expects to provide some financial metrics broken down by business unit with its first-quarter financial reports for fiscal year 2006.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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