CA Offers Sterling Integration Roadmap

NEW ORLEANS (04/11/2000) - Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) is delaying its reorganization of newly acquired Sterling Software Inc. because completion of that deal happened too close to the start of the annual CA World user conference here. Even so, CA executives said at a press conference today that product integration will begin within a few weeks.

CA President and Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Kumar and other CA officials today pledged support for Sterling products and offered a roadmap for integration of CA and Sterling wares. CA typically reorganizes companies it acquires and begins product integration within a couple of weeks, but those processes will take about twice as long because of CA World.

Development teams and other employee groups from CA and Sterling have, however, been meeting here to begin working on particulars of product integration and reorganization, said Peter Malcolm, CA senior vice president for business management, in an interview yesterday.

"The second we get back (from CA World), Sterling is our top priority," he said. "We've got to make those employees feel good."

Other CA executives emphasized that today at the press conference as well, with Kumar saying that though CA has not traditionally acquired companies because of the quality of employees, it was that aspect that made Sterling attractive. He said that he expects most of Sterling's 3,500 employees to remain with the company, although some of them will take jobs at CA rather than staying with the new wholly-owned subsidiary.

Otherwise, Kumar did not offer specifics about exactly when product integration will occur, instead providing a general roadmap. For instance, back-end integration of Sterling products with CA's Jasmine ii electronic-business platform, released for general availability this week, will take three to four months, Kumar said.

Some integrations will occur faster because CA and Sterling need only do "some packaging" and re-engineering, he said, specifically mentioning wrapping Sterling's Cool application development and modeling products into Jasmine ii.

At least one analyst left the press conference still wondering exactly how CA will pull off the product integration.

"It's still a little gray," said Daniel Stang, a Gartner Group Inc. analyst based in Delran, New Jersey.

"The Platinum (acquisition) really seemed to make sense from a product perspective," he said, referring to CA's acquisition last year of Platinum Technologies Inc., a maker of data mining, data warehousing, and knowledge management software. "It remains to be seen how this (Sterling acquisition) will fit."

Stang further questioned how the Sterling acquisition will affect development of CA's SuperProject enterprise project management tool, which will track projects, define resources, offer role-based views and have scheduling capabilities. He noted that CA has said that it will integrate Jasmine ii into that product.

"I have some questions on how Sterling is going to affect the development of SuperProject," he said.

Overall, though Stang said that even though there will be some fallout as CA works to integrate Sterling's product line into its own, "a good product will probably be available in the end."

Here are areas of planned integration outlined today:

-- Application development: CA will support the Sterling Cool line of application development and modeling products, integrating those into the Jasmine ii platform. The company also will keep marketing Cool products as standalone software.

Besides high-level application tools, Sterling has the best products for mid-market application development, CA officials said.

-- E-business intelligence: Sterling's Eureka line will become a key component of CA e-business software, with future releases combining Jasmine ii, Eureka, Platinum Repository and CA's Neugents neural intelligent agent technology.

-- Storage management: Sterling's IntelliSAN file system for SANs (storage area networks) will open a new market for CA, officials said today, and so the company intends to spotlight that product. Additionally, CA is touting Sterling's Vantage product for enterprise-level storage, and Lifeguard, which automatically backs up data on mobile computers. CA intends to integrate the range of Sterling storage technologies into its Unicenter TNG (The Next Generation) network and system management tool.

The integration means that CA's storage products will cover the range from desktops to OS/390 systems, officials said.

-- Network management: Sterling's OS/390 system products, particularly those for TCP/IP, will be integrated into CA's e-business infrastructure offerings.

-- Automation: CA will extend Sterling's Solve: Operations line that enables automation of workloads and e-business applications. Solve: Operations also will be integrated into Unicenter TNG event management, which will expand its event, resource and messaging automation to work with Unix Systems Services applications.

-- Help desk: Sterling's Solve: Central Help Desk technology will be integrated into CA's Service Desk product line. Solve: Central Help Desk will interoperate with Unicenter TNG allowing access to enterprise asset and system management features.

CA World continues here through this week.

CA, in Islandia, New York, can be reached at +1-631-342-6600 or http://www.cai.com/.

(Brian Fonseca is a Boston-based reporter for InfoWorld, an IDG affiliate.)

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