CA unveils simplified suites and SaaS portfolio

CA this week introduced a range of product enhancements to meet business demands to buy management software as integrated bundles and via subscription.

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CA this week introduced a range of product enhancements to meet business demands to buy management software as integrated bundles and via subscription.

The company, hosted 5,000 attendees at its CA World 2008 conference in Las Vegas this week, unveiled upgrades across several product suites and expanded its software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings by hosting more management applications and adopting subscription pricing options.

"CA is simplifying how companies can buy integrated capabilities. Instead of buying four different CA products, you have one package that incorporates the four products, you get everything at a lower per-user price point and you get the package implemented in a standardised way," says Jasmine Noel, a principal analyst at Ptak, Noel and Associates.

For instance, CA Service Desk Manager 12 unifies service desk, change management, configuration management database, application dependency mapping, knowledge management, remote support automation and reporting capabilities. The product should help customers looking to adopt best-practices and move away from ad hoc tasks to more streamlined processes.

"Customers are starting to buy all products related to a specific process, such as incident management, from a single vendor," Noel says.

"Customers are shifting from a task-based approach to managing IT to a process-based approach. They don't want to deal with integrating a bunch of task-based tools into a cohesive solution supporting a repeatable process."

CA has incorporated new features into the bundled product as well. Now the software includes role-based user interfaces based on the ITIL best practice framework that can be personalised depending on an individual's role.

It also features a change management schedule that lets all users of the application see scheduled changes in a calendar view to better assess potential impact and minimize downtime due to changes. And the software now segregates data, processes and roles in a multi-tenancy manner to reflect IT support organizations that service multiple internal and external customers, CA says.

"We simplified the licensing of the product and included playbooks that detail repeatable methodologies based on years of experience to help companies support ITIL or other best practice frameworks," said Kathy Shoop, vice president of CA Service Management.

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