Unicentre goes modular

Computer Associates International (CA) is set to present a new-look 'modular' design for its flagship enterprise suite, Unicentre, today.

David Hochhauser, vice president infrastructure management, speaking with Computerworld at CA's annual CA World 2001 conference in Orlando, US, said the suite would now be positioned as a "brand" and include a series of more than 30 individual products and suites.

He said customers will now have the choice of "only buying the pieces they need".

Previously, in a survey commissioned by Ranger Governance (chairman of aspiring shareholder Sam Wyly's company), one of the key complaints by CA customers was that they didn't like paying high prices to license the Unicentre product when some parts were not used.

Hochhauser said customers will now be able to buy separately up to three-quarters of the products that were previously offered with the suite. The ability for these stand-alone products to integrate with other vendor's products is a key objective for CA.

Hochhauser said current partnerings include Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, PeopleSoft and SAP R/3, and that the expansion of this base was a priority.

He said the company had done a substantial "architecture restructure" of the suite, including new interfaces, and was responding to customers' desire for more specific focused solutions and the ability to deploy faster.

Two new products will also be announced at the conference as part of the Unicentre brand, under the Web infrastructure management piece. "Web infrastructure management is an emerging area covering the management of the Web server, application servers and middleware."

The 3.0 version of the Unicentre business management software will also be announced at the show, as per schedule. The new version, which was in beta, includes wireless capability features.

Hochhauser said CA will also be announcing a partnership with Oracle focusing on its application server product.

* Kelly Mills travelled to Orlando as a guest of Computer Associates International

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