CA Putting Cloud Pieces Together

Now CA is leveraging those deals to step up as a full-fledged cloud services provider, offering products, services and partnerships to help business move to the cloud through a variety of software lifecycle management and automation services.

Some partners are impressed, but say it may take CA a while longer to fully integrate its cloud services plan.

But CA nonetheless is confident it's on the right track. “The core of our strategy is to help customers use the cloud to build a public or private or hybrid cloud, whether using our services or providing their own services,” Andi Mann, CA's vice president of Strategic Solutions, said in an interview Monday.

CA spent more than $1 billion in the last two years on acquistions to make itself a cloud services provider.

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And recently, CA started building out a suite of cloud products and services. Since its launch at CA World in November 2011, CA has expanded its cloud applications developer environment, called Cloud Commons Ecosystem Marketplace and Developer Studio, with more than 500 members of the Developer Studio.

In January 2012, CA said 12 of its software products were certified by VCE to run on Vblock infrastructure platforms. Its Vblock Ready suite offered IT automation and management capabilities including service management, virtualization, automation, service assurance, and capacity management.

Also in January, CA released Private Cloud Accelerator for Vblock Platforms to provide customers with a unified view and point of control across virtual and private cloud resources.

Last month, CA said the cloud and virtualization consulting and integration firm GreenPages Technology Solutions will be the first U.S. integration partner for CA's Private Cloud Accelerator for Vblock Platforms.

Mann said CA Private Cloud Accelerator for Vblock will give it a seat at the table as companies plan their cloud build out. “Our automation software for private cloud deployment sits on top of VMware virtulaztion layer, EMC’s storage layer and Cisco’s network layer,” Mann said. “It’s as easy to deploy as hardware. You just turn it on.”

CA is now focusing on building out its cloud partner program. “Most service providers don’t want to go head to head with Amazon. It’s hard to compete at their scale,” Mann said. “But our partners can compete with differentiated services.”

However, some CA partners, while endorsing the strategy, say there is more work to be done.

“CA has been a big player for a lot of years in the IT space and the acquisitions they’ve made in the last two years, such as Nimsoft, Wiley, and ITKO have all been really smart moves,” said Tom Lounibos, CEO of cloud testing company SOASTA, a CA partner. “They clearly are trying to play in a bigger area of ALM (application lifecyle management) along with established players like IBM, HP and Microsoft. That space is now wide open for second generation for the cloud and the mobile business model.

“Now it’s more a matter of putting together the pieces,” Lounibos said. “I’m impressed. It would be accurate to say they’re building it. They’ve focused on mergers and acquisitions more than partnerships until now. When companies buy a lot of firms, it takes a moment to digest them.”

Likewise, Mike Ragusa, director of enterprise sales at ePlus Technology, a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based solution provider, says he is following CA’s cloud plans closely as ePlus is doing more work with cloud computing systems from Cisco, EMC and VMware with an eye toward their cloud management tools.

“We expect to hear all the good things about how they’re are going to be cloud friendly,” he said. ”They have a lot of cloud tools to support Cisco and VCE. It’s all good. No one is questioning their capability. They are making good acquisitions and the ability to manage network systems is just part of their DNA. How they emerge in the cloud has yet to be seen.”