CA Cloud Spending Spree Hits Near $1 Billion With Arcot Acquisition

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CA Technologies' roughly $1 billion bet on cloud computing continued Monday with the $200 million cash purchase of Arcot Systems Inc, an authentication and fraud prevention player in the cloud and on premise.

The Arcot acquisition marks the sixth cloud-focused purchase for CA in a 14-month cloud computing spending spree that puts CA's acquisition tally at around $1 billion.

The Arcot acquisition comes as Islandia, N.Y.-based CA sharpens its cloud computing talons and puts a great deal of weight on its cloud security strategy. CA said Arcot will add fraud prevention and advanced authentication capabilities to its Identity and Access Management (IAM) offerings.

"No. 1 is that this clearly shows CA is executing against its core cloud computing strategy and its security strategy," said Dave Hansen, general manager for CA's security business.

Arcot's software is available both as a cloud service or deployed on-premise. The company helps prevent fraudulent transactions for about 1 million online credit card transactions daily. CA said that combining Arcot's technology with its CA SiteMinder portfolio will enable CA to offer advanced capabilities for customers to reduce risk, support regulatory compliance and confidently secure business transactions.

For CA partners, Hansen said he foresees partners selling Arcot's capabilities as their own service or reselling it. Arcot's existing partner base will be added to CA's.

"This gives us a unique opportunity to work with partners," he said.

Adding Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Arcot to the mix also fortifies CA's three-pronged cloud strategy by extending existing on-premise IAM systems to support cloud applications and services; providing IAM technology to cloud partners to secure their services; and making IAM services available from the cloud.

CA has summed it up as covering security "to the cloud, for the cloud and from the cloud." The Arcot pickup fulfills the 'from the cloud' portion, helping CA fast-track its IAM cloud services, as there are 120 million identities already verified using the Arcot technology. Plus, the advanced authentication market is expected to experience double-digit growth over the next four years.

"This gives us a proven Identity and Access Management solution from the cloud, immediately, and we're going to be able to build on that over time," he said. "It really complements our existing technology. It's that 'to, for and from' that we're really aggressively going after. [Arcot] is a proven, existing and run solution."

Arcot is the most recent in a string of high-profile cloud computing acquisitions CA has made since June 2009. CA's cloud buys include Cassatt, which makes software for operating data centers like cloud computing utilities; 3Tera, a platform for building and deploying cloud services; Oblicore, which offers service-level management applications; Nimsoft, which has a line of cloud application performance and monitoring tools; and most recently 4Base Technologies, a cloud consulting and integration firm.

And Hansen said Arcot likely won't be the last acquisition CA makes as it hones its cloud chops.

"We're always going to look at things in the marketplace," he said.

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