…EMC Really is a Software Company

Storage hardware vendors like to refer to themselves as software companies. While it is true that most of them write storage software that runs on off-the-shelf hardware, most of them require that you buy their hardware to get their storage software. EMC, one of the first to claim to be a software, has evolved into a real software company. Other than the obvious software properties, like Networker or Vipr, an increasing percentage of its storage solutions are available as software. To read the complete article, CLICK THE AUTHOR’S NAME NOTE: This column was originally published in the Storage Switzerland Weekly...

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Compuware Drapes Mainframe In DevOps’ Clothing
Jan20

Compuware Drapes Mainframe In DevOps’ Clothing

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas Mainframe vendors, once the only platform in the computer industry, have given way to new entrants, with the likes of commodity hardware, open source software and the cloud. While still holding a sizable slice of the IT market, even IBM has broadened its focus, but not so for privately held Compuware. It has taken on the mission to “mainstream the mainframe” and is making a set of announcements intended to make Big Iron more popular, including: integrations with Splunk, Atlassian, SonarSource, AppDynamics and Jenkins; and the acquisition of assets of ISPW, a provider of agile source code management and release automation solutions for cross-platform development. Despite decades of progress on other platforms, ‘mainframe code is still managed by siloed teams using slow processes and obsolete tools, stated the company. “If your mainframe application development isn’t Agile, your business can’t be agile,” said Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley in a prepared statement. “Our mission is to help customers achieve that essential business agility by empowering Agile DevOps teams to master the mainframe just as they do other platforms in the multi-platform enterprise.” Clearly the mainframe will remain a critical platform for the foreseeable future, O’Malley told IT Trends & Analysis, but the perception is much bleaker. Customers are cynical about the mainframe vendors, they lie and have lost the will to innovate, he said. We’re “proving we can innovate… and we’re trying to bring the mainframe to mainstreet”. “You’ve got to work hard to re-earn that trust.” Compuware wants to reach out to what it calls the “renegade developers” and motivate and enable them to leverage the mainframe. “To do that… we’re going to get rid of the esoteric differences on the mainframe… (and make it) a collaborator with the usual suspects in DevOps.” Since going private at the end of 2014, the company, which was founded in 1973, has been on an aggressive pace of innovation. In addition to a constant flood of new products, it has been receiving positive reviews, as well as increasing revenues and bookings each quarter, said O’Malley. In July analyst Rich Ptak, Ptak Associates LLC, lauded Compuware for delivering on its promises. ‘They not only provide much needed and highly effective solutions, they are living proof of the high efficiency and agility that can be accomplished in mainframe computing by delivering high quality solutions at an unheard of pace. Congratulations to them.’ Joe Clabby, Clabby Analytics, was equally effusive...

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CA & CAW15: The Rest Of The Story
Nov23

CA & CAW15: The Rest Of The Story

With the fun and games behind them (CA World ’15), CA Technologies has to get back to the work at hand, continuing its reinvention. The software giant is pinning its future on where the market is going — variously tagged as the digital economy and the API/business as software worlds — while chained to its very profitable, if more slowly growing (or slowly declining), mainframe (over 50% of company revenues), management and security software roots. It’s a monumental task: can CA sell enough product and services to its new opportunities (which grew more than 40% year-over-year last quarter), while keeping its mature business moving forward, albeit at a snail’s pace (overall revenues continued to decline and share prices are anemic), and stave off the possibility of shareholders looking for more value, and/or potential acquirers? CA has made great progress in its offerings, but they are not satisfied, said CEO Mike Gregoire in his opening keynote to 5,000 customers plus assorted partners and staff. “We are committed to raising our game. There is no finish line in customer service.” I asked analyst Joe Clabby, Clabby Analytics, what CA got right at this year’s event, and what they need to do moving forward. He said they stuck to the messages that they came out with last year on application development the application economy, DevOps, management, agile, etc. and “showed solid progress” in all of those areas (including customer case studies). “They appear to me to have a solid strategy, and they’re executing well. Gregoire has revamped the salesforce, made his workforce more efficient, and is well-prepared for growth. The financial analyst who sat behind me on day one has even issued a strong buy recommendation.” As for what remains undone for CA is getting more analytics into their management offerings. “Here’s the deal: they collect tons and tons of big data information about the health of systems, on applications behavior and the like. They then turn all of that data over to humans to figure out what to do with it. They need to get analytics programs in place that will help sort through that data, making it easier to do root cause analysis and fix things. They have a few products that do analytics on the data that they capture, they need a lot more.” The company is moving as quickly as possible down the “agile” path, and its 4,000 software developers all being trained in agile, said Gregoire. “Within one year, my expectation is everybody in the company, especially on the development side, will be proficient.” He expects this to be reflected positively in their products, although with caveats....

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CA: Use IT, Or Lose It!
Nov18

CA: Use IT, Or Lose It!

LAS VEGAS: Those who rest easy will no longer be in business, said CA Technologies CEO Mike Grgoire in his opening keynote to 5,000 customers plus assorted partners and staff at CA World ’15. “Today innovation is incredibly democratic – and fast. And it radiates at an exponential pace,” he said. According to a recent digital economy study commissioned by CA: 45% report increased customer retention rates; while 44% also recognize an increase in top line revenue growth. Companies that are furthest along in their digital transformation have two times higher revenue growth and two and a half times higher profit growth than organizations that have not yet embraced the power of software as a key business enabler. The secret sauce for success — for better products and services — is software, said the software vendor. “Not software simply as a technology product. Instead, software as a basic organizing principle for your business. Software with the ability to become a lever to innovate and grow. Software allows scale, reduces friction, adds speed. Software creates completely new business models,” he said. Agility is essential for the digital transformation taking place in today’s increasingly Application-centric Economy. CA is betting big on agile development, said Gregoire . “We see Agile as being central to success.” He said CA has made great progress in its offerings, but they are not satisfied. “We are committed to raising our game. There is no finish line in customer service.” The company made a number of product announcements today, spanning DevOps, Agile Management, Security and Mainframe. It’s all about driving business agility in the application economy, according to Ayman Sayed, Chief Product Officer, CA Technologies, in a press scrum following Gregoire’s keynote. “I think it’s nothing short of another industrial revolution.” Although only with CA for 12 weeks, he spent the preceding 16 years with Cisco, and close to another decade with companies big and small, old and new. Sayed said companies already understand that the digital economy, every business being — or transitioning to being (or not being) — a software business is the future. “The mindshare is already there.” However, there are “ a whole bunch of questions of how do I do it”, he added. The keys to getting started with digital transformation are agile management, DevOps and security and “… CA is able to support them through every step of that journey.” The Fiddly Bits Announcements for its identity-centric security portfolio included: -a new release of CA Privileged Access Manager to  help control privileged user access to dynamic VMware NSX® environments; -updates to CA Identity Suite to help simplify identity governance for all users; and, -a...

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CA: A Lot Of Activity, Not Much Movement

LAS VEGAS: At last year’s event, in front of 4,000 customers, CA Technologies said it was tooling up for the application economy; before 5,000 customers — including 45% new customers — at CA World ’15, the company said the digital/application/API economy is here, and now it’s just a case of getting the laggards, i.e. the overwhelming majority, up to speed. However, while CA retools for the digital economy, it doesn’t look like the digital economy is buying in at a fast-enough pace. For its most recent quarter (2QFY16, which ended September 30), the company reported $1.005 billion in revenues, with new sales up more than 40% year-over-year. That’s the good news; the bad news is that every major metric, including revenues and profits, were down YoY, and the outlook for the rest of the year is lukewarm. From a product perspective, the mainframe is CA’s heritage, and still a strong contributor to its bottom line (over 50% of revenue), which should continue to be so for the foreseeable. After refreshing its Z Series, IBM’s revenues in the $250k-plus server segment shot up 66.1% in Q1. “People say the mainframe is dead,” said Vernon Turner, an analyst at IDC, “but we say, hmmm, that’s a $4.5 billion tombstone.” According to IBM: -more than 70% of enterprise data resides on a mainframe; -71% of all Fortune 500 companies have their core businesses on a mainframe; -92 of the top 100 banks use the mainframe; -23 of the world’s top 25 retailers use the mainframe; -10 out of 10 of the top insurers use the cloud on the mainframe; and, -more than 225 state and local governments worldwide rely on a mainframe. Identity-centric security is another core focus of CA, which was given a helping hand recently with the acquisition of Xceedium. The good news for CA is that security is broken, breaches are climbing and insiders are to blame for the majority of the problems. Mordecai (Mo) Rosen, CA Technologies VP, Product Management and Strategy for Privileged Access Management, used the military term adopted by infosec, killchain, to describe the three-step process in cyber attacks: obtain access; elevate privilege; and wreak havoc. The industry’s traditional perimeter approach is largely to blame, he added. “A tech refresh has to happen in security.” For most of the last 30 years, it’s been a case of building a perimeter and then letting everybody in. “Identity management… has to become an enormous priority”. One area undergoing a change in direction is data center infrastructure management (DCIM). Rated as a leading vendor in this category just a year ago, the company has announced it will no longer sell its standalone solution,...

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