CA’s new cloud offering bypasses the channel

LAS VEGAS — CA Technologies continued its push into the hyper-competitive cloud computing market Monday by unveiling three new cloud offerings at its annual CA World conference.

One of the three, CA’s new Cloud 360 solution, combines consulting services and products to guide customers through a four-step process to help them choose all the components for a nearly custom-built cloud within three months. The process helps customers look at which applications and business services to move to the cloud and why, whether to buy or build their cloud, cost implications and comparisons, and whether their business needs are best suited to a public, private or hybrid cloud model. The fourth and final stage involves developing and testing cloud and hybrid applications in simulated production environments using CA’s LISA Suite.

CA Cloud 360 attempts to address some of the major concerns expressed by holdout customers intrigued by the cost savings promised by the cloud, but still hung up on tackling the whole process of moving there, said Andi Mann, vice-president of enterprise and cloud solutions at CA Technologies.

“This is one of the toughest decisions CIOs have to make,” Mann said in an interview with CDN. “Cost is important but it’s not the only thing. (And) this isn’t actually moving to the cloud. It’s helping you make the decision to go to the cloud.”

The Cloud 360 solution highlights several of CA’s cloud software products in its four-step process, including CA Cloud Services, CA Clarity PPM On Demand, CA Oblicore Guarantee On Demand, CA Capacity Management and Reporting Suite, and CA Virtual Placement Manager.

The consulting portion of Cloud 360 utilizes the know how of 4Base Technologies, a cloud consulting firm CA acquired for an undisclosed sum in 2010. CA has gone a shopping spree of cloud-based acquisitions in the past few years, including its purchase of WatchMouse for US$256 million, LISA testing suite developer ITKO Inc. (US$330 million), Nimsoft (US$350 million) and 3tera Inc. (bought for an undisclosed amount).

CA will bypass the channel with the initial rollout of Cloud 360 before taking it to partners, Mann said.

“Upfront, we’re going direct to our customer base,” Mann said. “But CA is absolutely looking to build out our customer base. This solution will be beautiful for our service provider and systems integration partners.”

The other two cloud offerings announced at CA World cater to cloud security, the top cloud concern listed by CIOs for the past five years said Michael Denning, general manager of security at CA Technologies.

Declaring that the old model of IT security to “keep the bad guys out … is no longer applicable in a cloud environment,” Denning said CA is shifting its cloud security philosophy from “no to know”-ie., from limiting access to data outright, to managing and tracking that access in a more sophisticated way.

CA IdentityMinder as-a-Service automates, streamlines and manages security access through passwords and other identity-based profile attributes. CA FedMinder as-a-Service helps authorized users in one organization securely access the data, applications and cloud services of another organization. Administrators can manage which information to share with which external users, how to share it and under which conditions, all through a single security access sign-on.

CA also boasted that its newer, more integrated cloud services approach can dramatically cut down cloud adoption times for CIOs.

“It’s taken 12 months for some users to implement a cloud,” said Roger Pilc, general manager of CA’s virtualization and automation customer solutions unit. “Within days or weeks we’ve already done that with a variety of customers already.”

Follow Christine Wong on Twitter: @thatchriswong.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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