CA Enhances APM, Intros Mobile Workspace, Mainframe Strategy

CA World 2013 has left Las Vegas, to be replaced next week by IBM Impact 2013, but there are still a couple of announcements to deal with, including APM 9.5, Clarity Playbook (an iPad-based dashboard-style mobile workspace), and in a nod to CA’s roots, a new mainframe strategy. However the key message the company wanted to convey was a new focus on organic innovation, said Mike Sargent, GM, Service Assurance.

“Sure, we’re going to continue to buy assets… (but) we are driving new functions and features into our products that are truly relevant and leading the market. We’re looking to lead again and being quite aggressive about it.”

When customers have a bad experience, they start looking at other suppliers. “The stakes are just too big,” said Sargent.

It’s all about customers and addressing their pain points and requirements, he said. “Customers today are feeling pain around aggregation and analytics,” said Sargent. “I think customers are ready for something like this (APM 9.5).”

CA Application Performance Management (APM) 9.5 contains three major new features: Application Behavior Analytics automatically and algorithmically turns application performance metrics into proactive anomaly detection; Web-based User Interface provides a modern, intuitive user experience via cross-browser HTML5 and JavaScript-based user interfaces; and Browser Response Time Monitor (BRTM) gives visibility into how a browser renders Web pages and how much time it takes.

“We’ve always had powerful analytics in APM,” said Sargent. The difference is that historically, the data has been structured, and the analytics didn’t necessarily allow you to see or correlate data feeds that you might not have naturally put together. “CA APM’s ability to mine huge amounts of performance data to identify potential issues before they become major problems is one of the many ways we can help deliver reliable business services that provide the best possible end-user experience — while helping our customers free up IT resources, budget, and capacity.”

It’s a case to too much data, too many demands, said Sargent. “Customers say they’ve got more things going on that they don’t have the manpower for, so they really need to filter issues. What do I really need to pay attention to?”

Looking ahead, Sargent expects a bigger focus on analytics, including greater flexibility in the consumption of the analytics, with more role-based, industry-specific solutions. Today’s version is for the application engineer, but future versions will be targeted for app engineers in verticals like finance and retail, to make them more efficient.

He said the jury is still out if that customization will be done by CA, service providers or systems integrators. The game will shift to not just great analytics, but the ability to do things with those analytics. “The value is really shifting to much deeper analytics that in many ways will be invisible.” Over time with the Internet of Things, you won’t have to instrument the telemetry, it will be consumed and fed automatically into insights, said Sargent.

Delivered via a SaaS model and integrated with CA Clarity PPM and other systems of record, Clarity Playbook enables CXOs to collaborate with process stakeholders and respond quickly to changing business needs anywhere, anytime, right from their iPads. IT and the business have to work hand-in-hand to create new revenue streams and deliver a differentiated brand experience, said Lokesh Jindal, GM, Service and Portfolio Management,. “We’re seeing a blurring of the line between business and IT. (The Playbook is) as applicable to IT as it is to business.”

IT is in the midst of a tremendous change cycle and we have responded with a strategy that serves the evolving requirements of the data center, including cost-effectiveness, data security and speed and a fantastic end-to-end customer experience, said Michael Madden, general manager, Mainframe. “Our unique advantage is that we can manage virtual data centers from soup to nuts. We can tie everything together and manage it holistically when we bring the full CA Technologies portfolio to bear.”

During the course of the 4-day gathering of more than 5,000 customers and business partners, CA also formally introduced its newish CEO Mike Gregoire and acquisitions, partnered with SAP to tackle enterprise MDM, and made a number of DevOps announcements.


Author: Steve Wexler

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