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...

Read More

IBM Advances Cluster Virtualization…

On the classic Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life if a contestant accidently said the “secret word” of the day, he or she would win a prize. There’s no prize included in this commentary, but the secret word of the day is virtualization, especially as it relates to IBM’s new HPC and AI solutions. IBM defines virtualization as “A technology that makes a set of shared resources appear to each workload as if they were dedicated only to it.” IT is very familiar with this concept, what with operating system-level virtualization, server virtualization, network virtualization, and storage virtualization all continuing to permeate more and more through computing infrastructures and the collective consciousness. So, it should come as no surprise that IBM is advancing the concept of cluster virtualization in its latest announcement, tying it closely to cloud and cognitive computing. IBM’s cluster virtualization initiative combines products from its Spectrum Computing family, namely Spectrum LSF, Spectrum Symphony, and Spectrum Conductor, along with overall cluster virtualization software (Spectrum Cluster Foundation) to manage the whole process. And that includes the storage that is delivered through IBM Spectrum Scale, another member of the IBM Spectrum Storage family. The goal of this approach is to automate the self-service provisioning of multiple heterogeneous high-performance computing (HPC) and analytics (AI and big data) clusters on a shared secure multi-tenant compute and storage infrastructure. Doing so delivers multiple benefits to numerous technical computing end users, including data scientists and HPC professionals. The announcement focuses on these products: IBM Spectrum LSF, IBM Spectrum Conductor, and IBM Spectrum Scale. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

Understanding The Hype Around Hyperconverged Infrastructure

There is a lot of hype around hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). All the big vendors and a number of lesser-known smaller ones are in the game. Dell EMC has doubled down on its HCI portfolio investments; NetApp is entering the market leveraging its Solidfire technology; HPE is investing in growing its SimpliVity line; Cisco acquired Springpath so it could offer its own line, but it also partners with Nutanix, HPE and just about everyone else! Speaking of Nutanix, it was a category pioneer (along with SimpliVity) and its Dell EMC branded business is still growing, even though Dell EMC has somewhat competing products with VxRack and VxRail (the 3 HCI products serve different use cases – a topic for another blog!). Nutanix is also doing a healthy business through Lenovo and its channel partners and it has an agreement with IBM to offer its HCI on Power systems. Lesser-known (but fast growing) Pivot3 just announced 50% growth in bookings! Hitachi Vantara has a product it is also leveraging for Lumada IoT, and VMware sells vSAN for HCI use cases. I’m still just scratching the surface- I know I’ve left some vendors out – it’s a long list! What’s behind all this vendor investment and noise? Lots of user interest. Edwin Yuen and I recently sat down and dug into our new HCI research. In this video, we define what HCI is, discuss why IT organizations are so interested, and look at how HCI will impact more traditional approaches to IT infrastructure. Please watch and I would love to hear your feedback! To read the complete article, CLICK...

Read More

IBM… The Advantages Of Skill And Vision At The Top

IBM significantly beat estimates to turn in a stunning quarter in terms of financial performance this week. Even their mainframe business was looking impressively strong largely because they’ve repositioned that product towards encryption and security. Generally, when you have two quarters of margin increases and increasing double digit growth in new market areas once they are material (IBM’s Strategic Imperatives are now 45% of their revenue mix) you can declare the turnaround out of the woods and affirm the firm’s direction as sustainably positive. IBM has now basically beat street estimates for EPS for a straight 8 quarters supporting this premise that IBM is fully back into the game but with a very different and far more competitive product mix. Let’s talk IBM and why they appear out of the woods while HPE, which is undergoing a similar transition, isn’t doing as well. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

IBM’s Q3… Measuring the Progress of Self-Reinvention

Tech vendors reinvent themselves so often that it qualifies as a spectator sport in Silicon Valley. Strategic repositioning is necessary due to continually evolving technologies, from constantly shrinking semiconductors to massive cloud-scale data centers to increasingly complex data sets to ever-more sophisticated software. Vendors that fail to parse the import of these issues or respond incorrectly can quickly find their businesses descending toward irrelevance. But other issues also demand vendors’ attention. Evolving technologies often spark new behaviors among consumers and businesses, rippling the competitive landscape like a tectonic wave. That can panic a vendor’s customers and partners, leading to other problems. And in a world driven by information, some can sometimes be driven mad, including shareholders who nervously sniff the data-laden wind in a panic over where a missed rumor or muffed signal might lead. How companies approach these issues varies widely. However, IBM’s recent Q3 2017 earnings results show how a vendor can effectively face these and other challenges while fundamentally reinventing itself. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More