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CA plans focussed push in Australia

CA has a particularly large portfolio of products, but its local operation is planning a more focussed approach in the coming months.

CA's Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Bill McMurray told iTWire that while his part of the business is planning an aggressive marketing push around a carefully selected subset of the company's extensive portfolio, the remaining products will not be neglected.

McMurray said CA's portfolio could be divided into six categories: project and portfolio management, service management, security management, application delivery, service assurance, and mainframe.

In that first category, Clarity "is a key focus product for us," he said. Some large and respected organisations are already using it, but CA is looking to attract more midmarket customers.

Clarity Playbook was announced earlier this year. The "executive dashboard on a tablet" is now available in Australia, and McMurray implied there is interest from existing CA customers and new prospects.

While CA is making a "substantial investment" locally in its Nimsoft SaaS service desk offering, the company is also working with big customers and managed service providers that are considering the use of CA Service Desk Manager to deliver service desk as a service to their internal or external clients.

When it comes to security management, CA is not as well positioned in Australia as it should be, McMurray said. But that is set to change in the next few months as the company has won some significant contracts for its cloud-based CloudMinder strong authentication and identity and access management service - "a brilliant product," he said.

CloudMinder is "perfect for organisations that need to onboard and offboard people a lot," he said, such as those with many contractors or a highly seasonal workforce, or those that need to give large numbers of outsiders sporadic access to systems. Although McMurray did not mention any actual or potential customers, it is easy to imagine that NBN Co and the Australian Taxation Office might possibly be on his list of prospects.

But CloudMinder is not just for very large organisations - CA's senior director for partners Carl Terrantroy said the service was available through NTT for as few as 50 users.


McMurray also highlighted the recent acquisition of Layer 7 in this category, saying it made CA "the absolute leader in API security and integration."

Layer 7 gives online businesses and other organisations a way to publicise and if desired monetise their APIs, as well as controlling access to those APIs and checking that request payloads do not include exploits or other unwanted content. (Australia Post uses Layer 7 to control access to its Digital MailBox APIs.) Mr McMurray predicted this will foster massive growth in the publication of data this way. For instance, if restaurants published table availability via an API, someone else could develop an app to help people find somewhere to eat right there and then.

CA ANZ will be focussing on three main products in the service assurance category: APM (formerly Wily), Nimsoft Monitor, and Mobile Device Management (formerly SAP Afaria).

"[MDM] is a very hot space right now, but mobile device management in my mind is a commodity," he said, and the market is currently dominated by point solutions. So his strategy is to offer CA Mobile Device Management for the bargain price of $10 per device per year until the end of 2013 as a way of getting a foot in the door while the company builds out the product to provide features such as application and content management.

CA's heritage is in mainframes, and "everything in [the mainframe category] is important for us," he said, adding that CA will continue to provide the best products at the best price for as long as people want to use mainframes.

Another of CA's jewels - this time in the application delivery segment - is LISA, software that can capture transactions passing between subsystems and then replay them in order to allow realistic testing of an individual component. LISA is not a test tool as such, rather it provides a simulated environment for testing.

McMurray said LISA is especially valuable when software is being developed by distributed teams, as they can all test their components against the same model, maximising the likelihood that the components will work correctly together once assembled. It is also good for load testing as the simulated transactions can be replayed faster than they actually occurred.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.