CA, Mercury Face Off In Project And Portfolio Management Arena

PPM tools are attracting the attention of vendors and solution providers alike because they help enterprises understand and manage the costs incurred by IT operations on a project-by-project basis.

CA, Islandia, N.Y., said it plans to begin selling, servicing and supporting Clarity PPM software from Niku, Redwood City, Calif. Adding Niku's Clarity to CA's product and support checklist will strengthen CA's enterprise infrastructure management strategy, said Shari Shore, vice president of product marketing at CA. Such strategy focuses on IT management, compliance, security and other critical facets of enterprise networking.

Shore said custom integrations between Niku and CA products are available immediately. Out-of-the-box integration should be completed within 60 to 90 days, she added. The resulting product suite will be sold through CA's Enterprise Solution Provider (ESP) partners and its direct-sales force.

Javed Matin, CEO of Myriad Solutions, a CA ESP partner in Silver Spring, Md., said Niku's tools will make CA's ability to offer IT cost control more accurate.

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CA's move closely follows Mountain View, Calif.-based Mercury's launch of its Rapid Replacement Program, which offers as much as 75 percent of the value of competitors' software licenses to customers that switch to Mercury's IT Governance Center PPM offering. The program targets competitive products from Niku and Changepoint, which was acquired by Compuware in April.

The maneuvers also launched a war of words.

Josh Pickus, president and CEO of Niku, said Mercury's displacement strategy is evidence that Mercury is "nervous" about the strength of its PPM competitors. "What Mercury is saying with their displacement strategy is we are beating them, and they are nervous about that. And now our relationship with CA creates even more problems for them," he said.

Christopher Lochhead, chief marketing officer at Mercury, countered, "The reason we are doing [the Rapid Replacement Program] is that when you have the leadership position, what you do is hit the accelerator."

Lochhead said the real issue is providing customers with the most comprehensive IT governance solution, noting that Mercury bolstered its portfolio in August 2003 with the acquisition of IT governance software and services vendor Kintana.

"It's not about PPM anymore; it's about IT governance," Lochhead said. "We have much more functionality across IT governance, where Niku is one of the last stand-alone companies in PPM. That's why they need CA."