BARCELONA: It’s a cliche, but still true, that only time will tell how the launch of the CA Management Cloud for Mobility modular, cloud and on-premise offering at this week’s Mobile World Congress 2014 will play out. However, when you do the checklist, this announcement appears to reinvent the company still best-known for its mainframe management software roots and Fortune 1000 customer base.
The highlights can be found in any current IT news headline or CIO wish list:
Check: Cloud-based mobile management solution.
Check: Addresses mobile management, DevOps, security and Internet of Things.
Check: Addresses BYOD, BYOA, BYOC, MDM, MAM and MCM.
Check: Addresses Shadow IT.
Check: Addresses installed base, legacy applications and customers of all sizes.
Check: Addresses flexibility and agility with modular, cloud and on-premise options.
Check: Hardware-agnostic, software-only solutions.
Check: Reliability from proven and successful vendor with 35-year track record.
“It raises the bar quite significantly for all the point solution vendors,” said Ram Varadarajan, GM, New Business Innovation, CA Technologies. “I expect this to be a revolutionary (not evolutionary) movement.”
Now responsible for the Silicon Valley-based innovation center for the company, he was previously founder of Arcot Systems, a security vendor acquired by CA in 2010. “I think of myself as running R&D startups.” His focus is on building new things for CA, but within the context of leveraging the existing resources already available in the company, with additional M&As when and if required.
His boss, Peter Griffiths, EVP and Group Executive, said mobility has become the driver of innovation for the last 3-4 years. “It has become the new face of whoever you are.”
Your customers, partners and increasingly employees expect to interact with your organization through some form of mobility, he said, which puts it high on the CIO’s agenda, and represents a major opportunity for CA. The company has been focusing on mobility for the last couple of year and believes it brings a portfolio of best-of-breed solutions that don’t make customers have to compromise on variables like performance versus features versus functionality.
Neither BYOD or Shadow IT were specifically mentioned in the product roll-out, but they were very much in the design process, especially the Smart Containerization functionality, said Varadarajan. They weren’t mentioned because the suite addresses a much broader set of needs than just those two CIO pain points, and CA wanted to focus on enablement, KNOW versus NO, in the first version.
The market is changing, from a number of perspectives, he said, including much more knowledgeable buyers. “The new buyer is very savvy, understands what’s available in the marketplace,” and can turn to the Internet when they want to find out about a product or technology.
“We want to convince our existing customers that we are still selling best of breed… we want to sell to new customers… and we want to go down market… to customers that are not Fortune 1000.”
There are a number of moving parts to the mobility management portfolio, but one of the unique value propositions is Smart Containerization, said Griffiths. It leverages CA’s heritage, enabling IT to basically throw an application into the container, understand what it can do and its various dependencies and interactions, and determine which of the capabilities do they want to control.
“IT needs to take control of the 10-15 applications and content that is corporate sensitive,” he said. You also need to ensure that the appearance and format of that is pristine, because that’s your brand.
Another benefit of containerization is better performance. When we containerize an application, not only do we containerize for security and control, but also insert the ability to do real time performance and management, he said.
In the near future, CA will also be adding in-line service and support capabilities into Smart Containerization. “Every app we wrap will have the ability to trigger in-line support… or raise a ticket in a support system… with all the context required. We really help you on a whole series of fronts!”
CA is changing rapidly on multiple fronts, delivering software in ways their customers want to consume it, said Varadarajan. “We have to do that if we want to remain a market leader.”
And important as managing mobility is going forward, there are valuable lessons to be learned about what’s coming, the Internet of Things. “For me, mobile is the beginning,” said Griffiths. “Every challenge that we face for mobile today will be a challenge we face tomorrow for IoT.”
This won’t be a slam-dunk for CA. While it disses its competitors, this is a critical time for a critical market, and the IBMs, Ciscos, HPs, EMCs, Oracles, Dells, SAPs, Microsofts and fill-in-the-blanks won’t walk away from this opportunity without a fight.
Disclaimer: Still here, still courtesy of CA Technologies, who covered airfare and hotel.