CA moves from 'constantly acquiring' to innovation factory

Mobility, security and DevOps form a triad of innovation at CA.

Growing up on Long Island, Computer Associates was the local big dog in technology. Founder Charles Wang owned the Islanders hockey team - he was a legendary success, our own Long Island version of Bill Gates. He built Computer Associates by constantly acquiring companies and adding them to the revenue mix. Through all of the ups and downs of the company, including its change from Computer Associates to CA, one constant was its acquisition strategy. People used to joke that CA stood for "constantly acquiring." But now that seems to have given way to a new philosophy that is turning CA into an innovation factory.

CA has chosen specific areas that they are placing their bets on. These areas are around security, mobility and DevOps. Rather than buying technology and solutions in these areas, as they have done in the past, they are instead developing and innovating with the considerable resources they already have in house. As a result, we are seeing high-quality solutions being developed by CA.

A great example of this is the management cloud for mobility that they released last week, while I was at RSA Conference. While many of the management features center on security, CA announced this new set of tools at the Mobile World Congress that was held in Barcelona at the same time.

The management cloud for mobility is actually a full suite of mobile management tools, complemented by a mobile DevOps suite and a full set of enhanced security solutions also internally developed and enhanced by CA.

The entire suite is based on CA’s own Smart Containerization technology. According to CA, "Smart Containerization allows enterprises to manage the security, performance, compliance and support characteristics of the device, application, content or email while preserving the quality of the mobile user experience."

From their release, here are some of the key features of the Mobility Cloud:

The EMM suite enables enterprises to drive employee productivity and satisfaction by simplifying the management and security of devices, applications, content and email.

The four products within the EMM suite available for purchase are:

  • New CA Mobile Application Management (CA MAM): Provides security, management and control of mobile applications with fine-grained access control polices for mobile applications.
  • New CA Mobile Content Management (CA MCM): Enables secure content access and collaboration through file synchronization, access to enterprise content repositories and cloud store integration made available to the end user through policy-based mobile access.
  • New CA Mobile Email Management (CA MEM): Provides users with secure access to their corporate email and ensures group and policy-based controls to protect sensitive email content.
  • CA Mobile Device Management (CA MDM): Delivers comprehensive capabilities to provision, secure and manage mobile devices, and deploy mobile applications automatically or through an enterprise app store.

I had a chance to speak to with some of the CA folks in advance of the RSA conference. You can hear a new confidence in their voices when they talk about CA’s strategy. They are sure of where they are going and how they want to get there. Security, Mobility, DevOps and the Internet of Things are the markets and solution areas they are going to compete from. This isn’t your father’s mainframe tools business. CA is innovating in new markets that are important.

At one time when I was growing up, CA was the second leading software company as measured by revenue. CA is determined to get there again, but not by just going out and buying revenue. They are going to do it the old-fashioned way, by out-innovating the competition to deliver best-in-class solutions.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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