Just back to my room from the Sheryl Crow/Fall Out Boys concert that ended CA World 2015. It was a full two days of information and news showing how CA Technologies is evolving to remain relevant in the changing world of ITOps and Development. There was certainly lots of new things to report as CA has had a busy year. Among the highlights:
Rally Software’s agile business is going to transform CA. While you didn’t hear or see the name Rally, you saw Agile everywhere. From the large “agile transformation zone” to the frequent mentioning of agile ways and training by all of the executives there. The entire top cadre of CA management has undergone agile training according to CEO Mike Gregoire. Agile training is going to be a big part of CA’s business going forward. It represents an expansion from the core software shop business that CA is built on. How this will effect relations with their channel partners who have traditionally delivered training and pro services around CA software tools, remains to be seen. But in order to use CA’s portfolio of software, some training and transformation counseling will be necessary. My prediction is that over the next 18 to 24 months the Rally culture is going to profoundly change CA for the better, making them more nimble, agile and delivering transformation change to their large enterprise customers.
New leadership faces. While Gregoire himself is now one of the veterans of the exec team having been there about 3 years, much of senior management is new having just taken the reigns in the last few months. I had a chance to question Otto Berkes, CTO and Ayman Sayed, Chief Product Officer. While both have only been on the job for a few months each, they both seemed to have a firm grip on the companies road map and what the market is looking for.
Sayed in particular seemed to have strong feelings about what the market is going to demand in the coming months and years, as well as a willingness to have CA deliver it. Among these is a change in how products are sold and delivered. CA had already started delivering some of their solutions as SaaS based solutions. Sayed went further saying that CA is going to move to a freemium model with some products. Not just a free trial period but actual free versions of their product and dare we say it, even open sourcing some code.
This will mark a big departure from CA’s traditional enterprise sales force. But I think it is an idea whose time has come. Today’s technical buyers don’t like to be “sold to” or even marketed to. They like to be educated, they like to hear about problem solving, they like to try solutions and if they find they work they will buy these solutions without the hard sell that traditional enterprise sales team used to exert.
Other new faces were the Xceedium team joining CA’s security team. My old friend Mo Rosen is aboard and Xceedium’s privileged identity management solution is being integrated with CA’s existing identity products to create a full spectrum of choices both host-based and in the cloud.
The idea of solutions that work both on premises and in the cloud is another big theme at today’s CA. They recognize that for the foreseeable future hybrid environments will rule.
Of course DevOps was everywhere. It has been and remains one of the foundational aspects of CA’s business model. In listening to several sessions on DevOps at CA it also became clear that CA is using DevOps to expand their business from tools for IT operations to providing developers with tools for the total software development lifecycle.
Among these developer tools API and API management is big business at CA. Their API and APM business lines are both leaders in their markets. CA seeks to use these best of breed tools to expand their customers use of CA portfolio products.
I also had a chance to speak one on one with GM of the DevOps business at CA, Mike Madden. Madden comes from the mainframe division over to DevOps and he recognizes that in todays bi-modal or variable speed IT world DevOps and mainframes actually work together. Madden has a good vision of what DevOps is and what CA needs to do to remain and grow their relevance in the market. He is also a big fan of the agile business from Rally and I think we will continue to see that as a big part of the DevOps business.
This years CA World was considerably larger than last years event. When you think about it CA World is really different than many other conferences. Just about all of the 5000 attendees are CA customers. The idea is that attendees already use CA product, they are primed to perhaps buy more.
It will be interesting to see what changes are in store and what next years CA World will look like. A sure bet is that DevOps will continue to play a major part of the CA story.