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For CA, Only Time Will Tell

Just a little more than a year after John Swainson took the helm of scandal-laden CA, the president has already made his mark on the company - and is beginning to leave his imprint on the enterprise management market as a whole. After years of struggling to evolve from a mainframe software vendor to become a powerhouse in the distributed enterprise management market, under Swainson's leadership CA finally seems to be making the transition. Thursday's disclosure of the company's plans to buy application management vendor Wily Technology is just the latest in a string of strategic moves designed to position the once-beleagured CA as a vendor with a full portfolio of enterprise management solutions.The company has undeniably made strides, introducing a slew of well-received new management products at its CA World user conference in November and making valiant efforts to strengthen its traditionally weak relationships with third-party partners. All of this has attracted admiration from industry watchers who are more used to seeing CA's name associated with trouble, often financial or legal, than positive strides.

But as good as the moves have been for CA morale, many remain skeptical. I still hear IT professionals echoing the sentiments of the respondents of a November Systems Management Pipeline poll that showed most are taking a wait-and-see approach. We'll keep watching, and see what develops. With any luck for CA, it will be more customer confidence as time passes and the vendor proves its intent over the long-term.