I am excited to see that CA Technologies announced a new acquisition in the virtualization management space. Interestingly, this time it was not another software vendor, but a service provider - 4Base Technology.
Now, it is important to understand that we did not acquire 4Base Technology so we can lock our customers into a whole new raft of managed services. CA Technologies is still firmly in the software business. We will leave the multi-year deployment contracts and long-term consulting agreements to others. On the contrary, we did this to make it faster, easier, and cheaper for our customers to deploy, manage, and use virtualization itself, and our virtualization management solutions.
This is really important to our strategy at CA Technologies, because we see a lot of organizations in relatively early stages of virtualization deployments, who are able to deliver on the ‘low-hanging fruit' of virtualization, but who can't go much further because they suffer from a lack of proven best practices.
By including 4Base Technology into the CA Technologies Virtualization and Cloud Strategy group within CA Services, we will be able to provide validated on-site experience, proven approaches, and highly skilled resources in virtualization and cloud computing. This in turn will let us help our customers to overcome the many difficult barriers to adopting and expanding virtualization and cloud computing, including:
Staffing and skills issues - this tends to top the list of barriers to virtualization deployment and success, and is a fundamental issue because (as Ajei Gopal said at CA World) "people do not scale." With this new set of capabilities, CA Technologies can provide consulting and deployment services to help customers with short-term resourcing, skills transfer, and best practices, freeing up senior staff and allowing junior staff to do more.
- Line-of-Business (LOB) issues - we also often see concerns from business units and application owners blocking virtualization and cloud computing efforts. With this added experience and expertise, our CA Virtualization and Cloud Strategy group can help clear those obstacles, especially political issues and "server-huggers," by providing external validation and assistance combined with tested best practices (especially manageability), to prove the benefits and outcomes to business unit leadership.
- ‘VM sprawl' and ‘VM stall' - the new CA Virtualization and Cloud Strategy service offerings will allow us to assist our customers' virtualization teams to gain visibility, control, and assurance for their virtualization deployments. This will give them repeatable processes to identify and eliminate unused or unauthorized VMs, and overcome the management challenges that prevent them from expanding virtualization.
- Heterogeneous virtualization knowledge - having primary skills focused around just one hypervisor makes it difficult to work with alternatives that are better suited to specific use cases. With a new set of best practices and solutions, CA Technologies can now provide multi-hypervisor expertise across VMware, Microsoft, Sun, IBM, Citrix, Red Hat, and other platforms.
For our customers, this is going to have some great outcomes and benefits, including:
Broader virtualization deployments - overcoming VM stall, building LOB trust, allowing tier 1 and mission-critical service migration, addressing resourcing, etc., multiplies virtualization deployments, the benefits of virtualization, and the value of virtualization investments.
- Faster virtualization deployment - added resources and best practice deployments ensure faster provisioning, more competitive delivery of new and existing products and services, more dynamic reaction to changing markets, and more effective customer acquisition and retention.
- Lower risk - using best practices and repeatable processes to implement automated management connected with business policies reduces errors, improves audit trails, establishes functional isolation, and establishes secure controls to reduce risk and help ensure compliance.
- Improved agility - faster, easier, best-practice approaches allow repeatable processes, faster innovation, business transformation, user self-service, and other core agility benefits to improve competitive advantage and capitalize on market opportunities.
- Greater cost reduction - expanding virtualization, both faster and broader, drives lower ongoing OpEx and CapEx, including reducing costs for server hardware, software licenses, facilities (rent, maintenance, power, cooling), staffing costs, management costs, and more.
- New revenue opportunities - expanding virtualization with best practice services and consulting also can increase our customers' top-line revenue from being first-to-market with new services and products; providing better customer service, satisfaction, and retention; and building additional user productivity and profitability
So you can see why I am pretty excited about this new acquisition. In some ways it is a new game for CA Technologies, to be getting into a value-added services business. But then again, if there is one thing I know about this new CA, it is that we are changing the game for virtualization and virtualization management, both for our customers, and within the company as well.