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CA troubles increase user concerns

Cliff Saran
The turmoil at Computer Associates which led to the removal of chairman and chief executive Sanjay Kumar last week could have an impact on users, analysts have warned.

Kumar stood down amidst ongoing US government investigations into accounting irregularities at the software company. "This leadership change is cause for organisations to watch the strategies for specific products as well as for CA as a whole," said Meta Group analyst Corey Ferengul.

A new chief executive will re-evaluate the company's strategy and may trim its software portfolio or begin a new round of acquisitions, said Ferengul.

Ferengul said it was not clear whether the resignation of Kumar would be enough to head off further regulatory investigation of CA. "Should there be further legal action, specifically an indictment of CA, organisations will need to evaluate their portfolios of CA products and create an action plan if a rapid change is required."

Betsy Burton, vice-president at Gartner, said, "There is a lack of a clear strategy from CA. Users need to consider changes to product lines."

Users are confident about the future of CA's Unicenter systems management product. Julie-Ann Williams, who chairs the mainframe special interest group at IBM user group GuideShare Europe, said, "CA has taken significant effort to look after its major customers. I hope that whoever takes over from Sanjay addresses smaller, less profitable CA users."

One UK user of CA's mainframe products told Computer Weekly that, in spite of paying large annual maintenance fees to CA, there appeared to be little product development.

CA declined to comment.

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