CA Technologies: same name, a more mobile game

Computer Associates changed its name to CA for a reason.

The company has been apparently quite happy to remodel and reinvent itself to move with the shifts of the market over the decades since its formation in the mid-1970s.

From Computer Associates to CA Inc and then to CA Technologies, the marketing people appear to be happy now, so things have remained as they are since the turn of the millennium.

By whatever moniker, CA has always worked in what we might call the enterprise infrastructure distributed computing space.

Buying into cloud

One could almost forgive CA for renaming itself so regularly; the company has made a line of acquisitions over the last 15 years including 3Tera, Nimsoft, 4Base, Hyperformix — and of course Layer 7 to extend (some would say significantly) its role in cloud computing.

NOTE: Layer 7 is arguably the darling of the acquisition crop (sorry Nimsoft) and CA has specified that its technology has been brought in to securely enable strategic cloud, mobile and “Internet of Things” initiatives through API security and management.

So to Mobile World Congress in 2014.

Why would a company famed for launching an initiative called Mainframe 2.0 back in 2008 be troubling itself with a parade of handsets, shiny gadgets and stand ‘booth-babes’ dressed in various shades of Lycra?

CA doesn’t appear to be phased by the glitzy shenanigans and there are more pinstripes than Lycra on show, well, on the surface at least.

In reality, Mobile World Congress is now all about what happens at the back end and the firm is here to launch its “industry first” Management Cloud for Mobility.

This is a software portfolio (delivered as a cloud service) that includes:

• Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) to manage and secure mobile devices, applications and content;

• Mobile DevOps and;

• Enterprise Internet of Things (IoT)

Ram Varadarajan, general manager of new business innovation at CA Technologies explains that customers have the choice to deploy the complete portfolio of solutions or individual components, with the ability to customise.

Smart Containerization

This CA Management Cloud for Mobility is powered by what has been called “Smart Containerization” technology.

Smart Containerization (don’t forget the ™ on that term!) bids to manage the security, performance, compliance and support characteristics of any device, application, content or email while preserving the quality of the mobile user experience.

The omni-channel challenge

Use of Smart Containerization goes in line with comments made in a Forrester Research report suggesting that development shops are just starting to grapple with the biggest change to system architecture since the rise of client/server in the early 1990s: omni-channel clients deployed on smartphones, tablets and other connected devices.

So CA’s Mobile DevOps is designed to accelerate continuous application delivery (with security) working across multiple development tools, languages and methodologies.

“Mobile DevOps makes it easy to build and test rich API-based mobile applications, gain deep insights into performance, user experience, crash and log analytics, and automate and support these mobile applications when deployed onto millions of devices,” said CA’s Varadarajan.

In terms of products here, we find: CA Mobile Application Management (CA MAM): fine-grained access control polices for mobile applications; CA Mobile Content Management (CA MCM): to secure content access and collaboration through file synchronization; CA Mobile Email Management (CA MEM): access to corporate email and group and policy-based controls; and CA Mobile Device Management (CA MDM): to provision, secure and manage mobile devices.

The Mobile DevOps suite itself also houses the new CA Layer 7 API Portal: for publishing APIs and streamlining the ability to develop applications based on these APIs; the CA Layer 7 Mobile Access Gateway: for unified access across web and mobile, which authenticates users based on risk levels and protects the datacentre against rogue applications; CA LISA Test for Mobile: a platform that simulates a list of user scenarios for testing, plus also CA LISA Service Virtualization for Mobile and CA LISA MobileCloud.

Does CA put its story across convincingly?

Yes it is a portfolio that has been strategically grown and nurtured with a logical fit throughout.

Are there any criticisms to be made?

CA probably still wants to talk big picture a lot. It wants to sell the corporate “hey, we’re industry first doing something truly new” line. This won’t do the firm a disservice as such, but there are other cloud mobile DevOps management tools out there and only snowflakes are unique.