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CA World: Focus on systems management

Computer Associates' (CA) president and chief executive Sanjay Kumar discussed the company's Common Services Integration strategy at the annual CA World conference in Orlando, USA.

What is CA's primary focus heading into CA World this year?
In the last year we have done a good job of focusing many parts of our company around the customer, especially the support and development organisations. We need to coordinate these pieces together. At CA World we will talk about tying in the various components for dealing with customers, CRO [customer relationship organisation], and sales organisation. It's important for us to articulate for customers what that means and how we will go about better servicing them.

As systems management becomes more complex and moves toward a distributed Web services environment, what can CA customers expect to be in store for Unicenter?
We announced a stand-alone Java management component last year. With J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) it's not difficult to include Web services from a technology point of view. Unicenter's Common Services component for [Version] 3.0 and its next release are fully engineered to support Web services.

How will CA transform its product line underlying the Common Services integration software to fit into users' hands at CA World?
Customers are always focused on more integration. That's a big thing this year. Clearly the slowdown in the economy, the pull back in customer spending, the need to re-evaluate [investments] given dotcoms not being successful has forced customers to look at customer spending, has forced more integration out of the box. A lot of what we heard last year [at CA World] revolved very heavily around integration in many different respects, in that [we've] had customers tell us [they] want integration [of storage] across platforms, [they] want it across various different kinds of [security] products. But, they want Unicenter to work better with eTrust and they want things [such as] across-platform and portal integration.

How do the new, stringent storage and security management expectations fit into this tight-knit Common Services model for customers?
Last year we were pretty clear when we talked [to customers] about the six [rebranded] focus areas of the company. [At CA World] we are delivering a portal front end to most of our technologies, including storage and security. Customers today are focused on managing storage in bits and pieces, and I think they're tired of that. They want to manage storage as a platform. We call it managing storage "without boundaries." The ability to display many different aspects of storage management, SANs [storage area networks], backup, [and] storage resource management [SRM] all in one place is critical. Storage [management] is probably number one on customers' wish lists. A few things are planned around security; security has taken on a whole different meaning after September 11. A big part of [CA's] message beyond portal and feature functionality is a lot of focus on sophisticated integration and a much higher degree of automation.

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