CA and Opalis form an OEM partnership

CA, (Nasdaq: CA) and Toronto-based Opalis Software Inc. formed a strategic OEM partnership to further expand its solution portfolio, while at the same time increasing Opalis’ overall presence in the IT process automation market space.

The partnership between CA, a Islandia, N.Y.-based company and Opalis, CA will incorporate Opalis’ IT process automation technology within its line of Data Center Automation products, which help users with the provisioning of IT assets and the automation of the data centre and workflows. Will Bauman, senior vice-president and general manager of workload automation at CA, said the partnership between the two companies was one that made sense for both businesses.

“We’ll have a new provisioning product coming out to market called Data Center Automation Manager,” Bauman said. “By now adding Opalis’ IT process automation technology to it, it really completes the whole end-to-end dimension when it comes to automating the data centre. We really see this as a complimentary technology for us,” he added.

The primary purpose of these joint solutions, Todd DeLaughter, CEO of Opalis, said is to help increase business productivity while lowering IT operational costs within the data centre.

“This partnership opens doors for us to bring added value to customers,” DeLaughter said. “The IT process automation market is very hot and for partners, this is a fairly well-open, greenfield because automation is still a fundamentally new concept. It’s about being able to solve customer complexities and problems with automation solutions.”

According to Darin Stahl, research lead for data centres, servers and infrastructure at London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group, the partnership between both companies helps bring together the best of both worlds.

“CA is one of the big dogs in this space and Opalis has had a long history of being able to support other integration packs with IBM, HP and so on,” Stahl said. “So before, lots of customers were using alternative packages to CA. CA moving into this partnership helps save them the necessary R & D costs of trying to build their own.”

CA’s route to market, Bauman said, is in combination with its indirect channel of resellers, which is currently made up of six tier one partners across North America, as well as through its direct worldwide sales channel.

“By having workflows that define elements and automating them within the data centre,” Bauman said, “they are repeatable with machine speed, which then translates into the delivery of faster services and less cost associated with it.”

The opportunity for channel partners, Bauman advises, really lies across all vertical markets such as with financial institutions, insurance, retail and government sectors. Furthermore, DeLaughter also mentions automation solutions can also be applied to areas within the data centre with servers, storage and networking. He also says partners can use virtualization to their advantage to help sell and deploy these solutions.

“If virtualization is not automated and managed well, there are lots of risks for the environment,” he said. “The power of virtualization lets you add automation tools to manage and balance workloads in a very real-time way. It’s all about products and services and there are lots of opportunities in services for partners.”

Stahl also said for channel partners dealing in this space, services, products and expertise come into play in areas such as networking, storage utilization, provisioning, automation and virtualization.

“It’s a broad market and in Canada, this space has some real good upside potential for partners with lots of margins,” Stahl said. “But for data centres in Canada, at their size and maturity levels, partners need to help data centre managers move towards the utility computing model because this is a challenge for them. There’s lots of process work that partners need to do upfront, so they can also achieve services revenue at this time,” he adds.

Bauman said CA will be following up with a new product announcement within the next two months, with an expected product launch to take place sometime in June.

With the new solutions, Bauman said that users will be better able to design, build, manage and report on business workflows to help alleviate the challenges that are often associated within IT data centre environments such as with human errors.

Regarding future product releases, Bauman said CA will work to build and extend its Workload Automation and Data Center Automation solution portfolios using Opalis’ IT process automation technology and integration packs.

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Maxine Cheung
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