CA's Cloud Computing Acquisition Spree Will Continue Into 2011


CA Technologies has been on a cloud computing shopping spree since mid-2009, and in 2010 CA's cloud computing acquisitions topped $1 billion as the company amasses an army of cloud forces in a bid to make it a dominant force in the growing, cut-throat cloud market.

Over a 14-month period CA added six cloud companies to the fold during its $1 billion buy-up, and the company has no plans to put the brakes on its cloud computing acquisitions.

"You will see us continue to acquire companies in this space," said CA's cloud computing general manager Adam Famularo in an interview with CRN. "This is an area we're going to keep investing in."

While Famularo can't spill the beans on exactly what companies or what type of companies CA has in its cloud computing acquisition crosshairs, he said virtualization management -- "a fundamental key to cloud environments" -- will be a big focus for CA into 2011.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), too, will get a great deal of attention," Famularo said.

"You're going to see us spend a lot of time in SaaS," he said.

And it won't just be growth through acquisition for CA and its cloud computing strategy. Famularo said new products will continually be added to the arsenal.

And channel partners, namely managed service providers (MSPs), are in the best position to enjoy the fruits of CA's cloud assault, Famularo said.

"We're seeing a lot of momentum in the MSP community," he said. "When it comes to cloud computing, I see a big gravitational pull to managed service providers."

In October, CA launched an MSP program around its acquisition of 3Tera and its AppLogic cloud computing platform, a turnkey cloud play that lets MSPs build and deploy repeatable apps and cloud solutions. Since the launch, more than 30 MSPs have signed on, Famularo said. By 2011, CA hopes to have 300 MSPs up and running on the 3Tera AppLogic platform and come January Famularo said the company will pump some marketing muscle into 3Tera.

CA also has around 400 MSPs working with Nimsoft, which enables monitoring in both public and private cloud computing environments. CA acquired Nimsoft in March 2010.

Also in 2011, Famularo said MSPs can expect to see all of CA's MSP offerings weaved into one umbrella program. That, he said, will streamline the products when MSPs sign on with CA. Famularo is also working with other segments across CA to define products and determine a joint roadmap that has cloud computing cutting across various divisions and vice versa.

Building a cohesive MSP play and streamlining product roadmaps is also a testament to CA's reliance on the channel, which will continue to grow into 2011.

"We, as an entire company, are going to invest heavily in the channel," Famularo said.

All told, Famularo said 2011 will be a big year for service providers as cloud computing continues to take hold. Traditional resellers will build out service provider businesses and become MSPs. Enterprises IT departments, too, will transition and become a service provider to their businesses -- a change also fueled by the cloud.

"Everyone is going to transition to become a service provider," Famularo said.

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