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Computer Associates Goes E-Business in a Big Way

Written By: M. Reed
Published On: April 27 2000

Computer Associates Goes E-Business in a Big Way
M. Reed - April 27th, 2000

Event Summary

Computer Associates announced at their CAWorld conference that e-business is the place to be, and they are re-orienting their company to facilitate it. In addition to product integration with the Jasmine ii product, the acquisition of Sterling Software, and the reorganization of their service and sales staffs, they are focusing on solution-oriented selling. CA has previously failed to make inroads in the consulting arena, and they feel e-business is the way to fix the problem.

According to Sanjay Kumar, chief operating officer of CA, "It will be the single largest field reorganization we have done in the company in the last 10 years. It's there to allow us to be more responsive to customers."

CA is reorganizing the sales force around two segments, OS/390 applications and e-business. CA has delayed the process of integrating Sterling Software until after CAWorld, because of the need for employees to focus on the user group functions.

Approximately 25,000 people attended CAWorld in New Orleans, and CA went to great lengths to make sure the e-business message was delivered with great emphasis.

Market Impact

Computer Associates is late to the table in joining the e-business explosion. Most software vendors made this move at least six months ago. However, given their size and ability to acquire other companies, they may make quick strides to recover momentum.

CA badly mismanaged the Platinum Technology acquisition, and has pledged to make sure that the Sterling Software acquisition will be more successful. They will have to expend significant effort to make sure this happens.

In addition, the departure of Chris Wagner, Vice President of the Global Consulting Organization, will make the e-business initiative more complex. Also, the reorganization comes shortly after the departure of Mark Sokol, general manager of global marketing for CA. It is believed he was been forced to resign for failing to provide a cohesive Internet strategy for the company.

User Recommendations

Customers looking for e-business solutions should consider Computer Associates for their applications, but should ensure that the company articulates a clear strategy for integration and e-business strategy. CA is attempting to integrate products such as Jasmine ii, their Neugents neural network technology, software acquired from Platinum Technology and Sterling Software, Unicenter TNG (The Next Generation), the forthcoming Unicenter TND (The Next Dimension), and others.

Recently, CA very quietly merged their technical field personnel and consultants into one group. The fallout of this move in terms of personnel attrition has not yet been fully realized. Customers should get written assurances that the consultants assigned to the e-business initiative are fully qualified on the CA products and experienced in the field.

 
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