CA’s Perfect Storm (But For How Long?)
Nov16

CA’s Perfect Storm (But For How Long?)

LAS VEGAS:  This would appear to be the perfect time for CA Technologies, which has gathered its key customers and partners here for CA World ‘17. A growing data deluge, a sweeping digital transformation revolution, a heightening focus on security, and the exploding need for constantly evolving apps are all driving this perfect storm at which CA should be at the epicenter. However, neither a perfect storm, nor an epicenter can be weathered without severe risks, and based on the software giant’s most recent financial results CA’s success is still problematic. On October 25 the company reported FY18 Q2 revenue of $1.034 billion, and while that was up 2% year over year, net income was down 13% and bookings were down 1%. The outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year is approximately 5% increase in revenue to between $4.22-$4.25 billion, and a 5%-8% decrease in earnings per share. While painting an optimistic picture — highlighting the SaaS business growth, total new sales, Enterprise Solutions new sales, and Mainframe new sales “all outperformed the year-over-year decline in the renewal portfolio” — during the analysts’ call following the earnings report, CEO Mike Gregoire also noted “disappointing” sales execution in Q2. “In particular, velocity in sales outside of the renewal cycle of Enterprise Solutions products was short of our expectations.’ Overall, Gregoire said the company was well-positioned for the future. “We are well positioned in great markets, and our solutions are solving real problems for our customers.” CA sees itself as the toolmaker for the DT generation, pushing its modern software factory philosophy. Digital transformation should be an ISV’s dream market: spending on DT technologies will exceed more than $1.2 trillion this year, and continue to grow at almost 18% per year to $2 trillion by 2020, almost 20X the anemic growth forecast for the overall IT market. At last year’s event the company trotted out the its Built To Change paradigm, and reinforced it with the ‘Built to Change Summit’ in June. This week’s theme, No Barriers, is all about marrying CA’s own transformation experience with its products, services and expertise, to help its customers overcome the barriers embodied by DT, as Gregoire stated in his keynote yesterday. “The focus today is on innovating the next big shift for your company,” he said. “That is the number one priority we are focused on – providing you with solutions that will remove the barriers between your ideas and outcomes.” CA is helping a lot of companies to change, and Gregoire called out a few, including FedEx, Netflix and Citi, as well as telling the audience that they will be instrumental in...

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…Compuware Introduces Topaz on AWS…

If you asked me three years ago what I thought of Compuware, I would have described it as “a point product company in managed decline.” At the time, Compuware was bifurcated between mainframe point solutions and application performance management software. Sales had softened; it was slow to release new products; and its portfolio was “stagnant.” In short, the company was struggling. But, in late 2014, everything changed for Compuware with a cash investment infusion; the hiring of a new, more focused management team; major changes in company culture (including a stronger emphasis on innovation); and the introduction of a new strategy with a strong focus on Development/Operations or DevOps, build/deploy; data management and cybersecurity. Accordingly, I wrote a report at the end of 2015 that described the new Compuware. Nearly two years later, I see Compuware as a company focused on making it easy for customers to consume its product offerings – while at the same time being optimized to create new products and services. Its two most recent announcements include expanded Topaz on AWS (Amazon Web Services) solutions support for CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?
Oct05

Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?

Not only has ‘Big Iron’ shrugged off its naysayers — suffering neither Monty Python’s ‘flesh wounds’ nor Mark Twain’s ‘reports of my death’ — the mainframe appears to be poised for a renaissance, one that software developer Compuware hopes to accelerate with its recent DevOps announcement for Amazon’s popular AWS cloud platform. “We’ve made Topaz [its flagship solution for mainframe Agile/DevOps] into what customers are evaluating and incorporating as a force multiplier,” said CEO Chris O’Malley. “The next step is bringing Topaz to AWS,” he told IT Trends & Analysis, accelerating DevOps availability to “minutes instead of months. In some cases, it can take more than a year for competitive products.” The mainframe, or at least IBM’s version, has been a staple of IT for more than 50 years, and it shows no signs of disappearing. The numbers speak for themselves: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However the installed base appeared to be shrinking as newer, less-costly alternatives proliferated. Annual mainframe system sales have declined from a high of about $4 billion earlier this decade to $2 billion in 2016, accounting for just 3% of IBM’s total revenue (although the associated hardware, software and technical services accounted for nearly 25% of IBM’s sales and 40% of its overall profit last year). Apparently Big Iron is back in vogue. According to a new study, the global mainframe market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 2.58% between 2017-2021. In March it was reported that mainframes had reached an inflection point where they will either continue as a revenue-supporting mechanism or evolve into a revenue-generating platform. “IDC believes that the mainframe has a central role in digital transformation; businesses that do not take advantage of its broad range of capabilities are giving up value and, potentially, competitive advantage,” the research company stated. ‘The mainframe is not going away, but the way that you use it will change,’ noted Robert Stroud, Principal Analyst, Forrester, in a blog entitled DevOps And The Mainframe, A Perfect Match?. ‘Containers and microservices are coming to every platform, including the mainframe. Gradually breaking large monolithic applications into smaller services will help you transition to a containerized future that promises faster application delivery, greater scalability, and better manageability – regardless of the platform.’ A month ago IBM refreshed its z series mainframes with the LinuxONE Emperor II. “LinuxONE is a highly engineered platform with unique security, data privacy and regulatory compliance capabilities that doesn’t require any changes to developer or open source code, combined with...

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Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success
Sep28

Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success

Last week Hitachi ($81 billion annual revenues and more than 800 subsidiaries, with products including consumer appliances, electric power generation as well as IT) announced it was combining its former storage/IT business unit Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), together with Pentaho (BI software) and Hitachi Insight Group (IoT products and services), into a new unit focused on the operational technology (OT)/IT/IoT space. The new venture, Hitachi Vantara, also unveiled a number of products, services and partnerships focused on most of IT’s — and business’ — hot buttons, including Big Data and analytics, cloud, containers, appliances and converged infrastructure. So was this a bold move to combine assets that have a lot more potential upside in a US-based, IoT-focused business, or a desperate attempt to pump new life into stagnating segments? HDS may be the dominant member of the IoT troika, but with only a tiny share of a barely growing enterprise storage market, the grass looks much greener in an IoT market expected to reach between $1.2 to $2 trillion by 2021, with double-digit compound annual growth. The research data varies wildly, but it is certain that IoT is going to be a huge opportunity for the foreseeable future: –73% of executives are either researching or currently launching IoT projects; -manufacturing-based IoT connections grew 84% between 2016 and 2017, followed by energy & utilities (41%), transportation and distribution (40%), smart cities and communities (19%) and healthcare and pharma (11%); -the retail IoT market is forecast to surpass $30 billion by 2024; -the manufacturing IoT market is forecast to surpass $150 billion by 2024; -the IoT platform market (i.e. Vantara’s Lumada) is expected to grow 35% per year to $1.16 billion by 2020; and, -project-based IoT services represented the highest percentage of market opportunity in 2016, and will gain nearly one point of market share to 56.7% by 2021, approaching $30.8 billion, with the Americas (52.2%) and EMEA (34.4%) substantially outperforming Asia/Pacific (13.4%) last year. It would appear to be very good news — at least potentially — for Hitachi, because it’s name was nowhere to be found in key players in the Persistence Market Research study. The featured vendors were: IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Google, General Electric, Samsung, Comcast, Intel, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fujitsu, Qualcomm Technologies, Honeywell International, Accenture PLC, ARM, Amazon Web Services, SAP SE, Zebra Technologies, and Texas Instruments. From Data Storage to Business Outcomes Vantara represents a change in how Hitachi, or at least some of its IT assets, are presented, said analyst George Crump, StorageSwiss. ‘It does not want to compete with Dell and HP for storage deals. It wants to compete with...

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Hitachi Vantara: ‘Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!’

LAS VEGAS: Regardless of whether this is just a repackaging of existing assets, or something that shakes up the operational technology (OT) and IT industries, Hitachi Vantara did make a number of announcements to grease its way onto the IoT center stage. In addition to IoT, its news covered most of IT’s — and business’ — hot buttons, including cloud, containers, appliances and converged infrastructure. The first two product launches featured Lumada, its IoT platform, and included a number of enhancements, as well as an appliance. Initially unveiled back in May 2016 by Vantara’s predecessor, Hitachi Insight Group, Lumada is a ‘comprehensive, enterprise-grade IoT core platform with an open and adaptable architecture that simplifies IoT solution creation and customization. ‘ Lumada 2.0 is now available in a standalone version and has been updated with a portable architecture so that it can run both on-premises or in the cloud, and to support industrial IoT deployments both at the edge and in the core. Due out later this year, the Hitachi IoT Appliance, powered by Lumada, is a pre-validated plug-and-play solution that enables users to rapidly connect, monitor and extract actionable insights from their business and industrial assets. The company says it can be deployed and production-ready in under an hour. Vantara was also active in the cloud segment, announcing a partnership with VMware and Mesosphere to ‘expand the use cases for private and hybrid cloud with pre-engineered service catalogs and rate card pricing.’ Available through an early customer adoption program, the Hitachi Enterprise Cloud with VMware vRealize 7.3 automates the creation, deployment and management of container hosts and cloud-native applications as a service, across a multi-vendor, multi-cloud infrastructure, while HEC’s new Container Platform provides hybrid cloud resources for DevOps that utilize microservices architecture with a turnkey, end-to-end container as a service environment. Available now, Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) CI [Converged Infrastructure] is a new family of converged infrastructure systems that feature the company’s Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) storage with Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Combined with the UCP Advisor 2.0 software, due out later this year, they deliver what Hitachi calls ‘a modern, integrated data-centric framework’ that can ‘deploy enterprise applications faster, with improved performance, higher uptime, simplified troubleshooting and enhanced security features’, in addition to providing ‘lower operational costs, reduced complexity and risk, and better utilization of data’. On Day 2 of Hitachi NEXT the company announced a partnership with BT, the large telecom services provider formerly known as British Telecom. Under the terms of the deal, the partners will collaborate on new solutions for industrial and enterprise IoT, with the initial focus on ‘ exploring and designing asset intelligence...

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