CA to build knowledge portal with Platinum

Computer Associates International hopes to leverage Platinum Technology's experience in data warehousing to build an enterprise-level knowledge portal based on CA's Jasmine object database, said CA president and chief operating officer Sanjay Kumar when announcing CA's $US3.5 billion acquisition of Platinum.

Technology teams of the two companies will refine product plans in the next few weeks that integrate the company's offerings, Kumar said.

Kumar and Platinum chief executive officer Andrew Filipowski stressed there are important "synergies" between the company's product lines and pledged to support both product lines where there is overlap. The merger, believed to be the largest ever in the software industry, came about as the result of discussions that got fast-tracked last Monday. Using a $4.5 billion line of credit from Credit Suisse First Boston, CA will acquire Platinum for $29.25 per share.

Platinum has specialised in product areas such as data repositories, with its Platinum Repository. The merger gives CA a foothold in data warehousing, said Wayne Eckerson, an analyst and senior consultant at the Patricia Seybold Group.

"From CA's perspective, it's getting a big entry into warehousing, business intelligence, meta-data management, and repository management," Eckerson said.

"From a warehousing perspective, Jasmine wasn't doing anything for it," he added.

Knowledge portals present the idea of one-stop shipping for information, Eckerson said.

"What a portal is going to do is deliver information to users when they want it, as they want it, how they want it," he said.

Noting the two companies' previous inclinations to acquire other companies, Eckerson characterised the merger as "like the wolf eating the wolf".

An undetermined number of layoffs are anticipated at the combined company due to the merger, executives of the two companies said. It is undetermined what role, if any, Platinum executives will play when the merger is completed, but Filipowski expressed an openness to consider various possibilities.

CA and Platinum officials hope to close the deal in a couple of months, Kumar said.

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