CA Sets Sites on Moving Customers to Latest Application Releases

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Print this article Print

At its annual user conference, CA is targeting mobility, development operations, software as a service and big data as the key IT markets where it plans to help customers drive innovation.

That wasn't always the case for the software company, he added.

"You've got to remember where CA is coming from," having fallen behind compared to competitors in the past, Rakowski said. Today, the company is working to re-energize itself with new strategies and products. "The messages coming out from the new CEO are very positive. He outlined a very good vision for the company. "It will be interesting to see at CA World 2015 or 2017 or 2020 if they've achieved those visions."

CA's new CEO, Michael Gregoire, opened the conference on April 22, talking about how CA is reframing its mission in large part by focusing on how it can help its customers drive revenue and improve their IT innovation.

"If we're not providing the kinds of services our customers want, they will go elsewhere," Gregoire said.

To better serve customers, CA is now focusing on several key areas, he said, including helping them to streamline application development operations and speed up development while helping to reduce costs. Another key area where CA plans to drive customer innovation is by building enterprise-level mobile device management capabilities into its products and platforms to help customers whose businesses are being changed by BYOD, said Gregoire.

"We think this is a problem we can solve," he said, by taking a comprehensive view of mobility management using an organic approach to attacking a wide variety of problems that customers are experiencing.

In addition, CA's latest software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform will continue to receive user interfaces that are common across other CA products to make it easier to use for business workers, he said. "We're doing this because it's just a better way to empower users and it allows us to be more intimate with our customers," he said.  

"We are going to amp up the organic engineering in our company," Gregoire said. "I'm not convinced that we've been as good as we can be."

Another major goal Gregoire set for CA is to find ways to help longtime customers move away from their old legacy application releases and bring in the latest, most feature-filled applications that can truly transform companies’ operations, he said.

"My No. 1 number pet peeve about the software industry is the presence of old releases of applications," Gregoire said. "If all of this innovation is going to work, we have to get you off of old releases. We have to find ways of getting you off old releases to where you can innovate" using the latest tools.

"Next year at CA World, I want to be able to talk about how many customers have been moved off of old releases and are innovating."

Gregoire, 46, was named CEO in December 2012 and began the job this past January. A 25-year veteran of the software and IT services industries, Gregoire came to CA from Taleo, a cloud-based talent management software company, where he was CEO and president for seven years. He previously worked for PeopleSoft and for EDS.

About 5,000 people are attending CA World 2013, according to conference organizers.

CA was founded in 1976 by the flamboyant Charles Wang and business partner Russell Artzt. Since then, CA has been one of the most acquisitive software companies in the history of the business. In the late 1980s CA became the first software company to top $1 billion in sales. In 2005, CA launched a rebranding campaign referring to itself as CA as opposed to Computer Associates. In 2010, it changed its name once again, to CA Technologies.