CA Focuses Its Product Line On Integration

Some of the blueprint's core technologies already have been developed, including a common user interface to be added to all CA software and a management database--based on CA's Ingres relational database--for modeling IT processes and storage systems management data. In a briefing on Tuesday, CA development executives said the company's products will be adapted to the blueprint over the next 16 months.

"If there's any word we hear more today, it's 'integration,'" said Mark Barrenechea, CA's product development executive VP. He cited a meeting CA executives had last week with some 20 CIOs at federal government agencies, who said IT integration is their biggest challenge.

The enterprise infrastructure management blueprint will manage IT at a business process level, Barrenechea said, and provide common data and services to CA apps, such as IT asset-management tools and user-identity and access-management software.

As an example, Barrenechea pointed to the problem of software patch management, a process that involves asset discovery, vulnerability assessment, and other steps. By linking its asset management, vulnerability assessment, and software remediation tools into a single process, CA can provide an alternative to integrating software from Altiris, Legato, Microsoft and Symantec to accomplish the same job, Barrenechea said.

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CA chief technology officer Yogesh Gupta said CA is better positioned to provide a comprehensive enterprise infrastructure management product lineup than such competitors in the fragmented IT management software industry as IBM and Symantec. But CA's blueprint will accommodate products from other vendors, and Gupta was careful not to portray enterprise infrastructure management as a CA-centric "framework" as it tried with Unicenter TNG in the late '90s.

In addition to CA's Ingres database, the enterprise infrastructure management blueprint includes open-source application servers such as JBoss, Simple Object Access Protocol Web services, CA's proprietary CleverPath Aion business-rules engine and the vendor's portal and reporting engine software.

The CA executives also made it clear the company is making a big push in the security software market. On Monday, CA acquired PestPatrol, a privately held developer of software for detecting spyware on PCs. It's software will be incorporated into CA's eTrust Threat Management software. On tap for later this week are improved secure-content and vulnerability-management tools. And this fall the company will debut an enhanced version of its suite of identity and access management software.

Sales of security-management software grew 29 percent to $308 million in fiscal 2004 and orders in the first quarter of fiscal 2005 were up 119 percent. CA executives disclosed that the Bank of America is standardizing on CA's identity-management directory software.

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