Management gamble

CA’s journey along its road to corporate recovery took it to Las Vegas once again for its regular CA World conference. ACN heads to the show, to see if the vendor’s strategy is paying off.

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By  Eliot Beer Published  June 1, 2007

Fortunately for its customers, this undercurrent seems to have manifested itself in a degree of obsession with establishing its propriety - and perfecting its offerings. The company is also spinning its corporate misfortune to demonstrate that it now has an unprecedented insight into the requirements of compliance and regulatory issues.

Eighteen months is not a long time for a company to reinvent itself, and CA is still very much in the middle of its journey. But the company appears to be taking the process seriously - and not taking anything for granted.

As with other technology vendors, CA sees enormous potential in emerging markets such as the Middle East, and the company is placing a renewed emphasis on these territories. Sabby Gill, CA's new vice president and general manager of EMEA Eastern - which comprises the Middle East, Africa and Russia - says he and his team are currently planning which offerings to focus on.

"We've started our integrated planning in Saudi Arabia, and the next region is the Gulf," says Gill. "We're quite fortunate - the market is one of our most mature. So where in some areas you'd find we'd only concentrate on four or five solution areas, in the Gulf we'll concentrate on the full seven that we can offer."

Gill also sees huge growth potential in the region, and says even just by holding market share, expansion will be rapid.

"This region has a CAGR of 13.4% - it's only going to be another six or seven years before the market doubles in size from US$737 million today - so if we do nothing but still continue to fulfil exactly the same level of 10% to 15%, you're talking about doubling the size of the business in just a few years," explains Gill. "These are statistics, we'll never know where we will actually end up in reality - but considering our position, we're hopeful."

He sees the Middle East as an increasingly sophisticated market, with one of the key trends being the move to make IT departments a separate business unit - something that meshes with CA's current rhetoric.

"We're seeing the move to IT departments as profit centres more and more in our market," says Gill. "Spinning off IT and making it an external organisation where you're only paying for the delivery of services is effectively outsourcing. And because it's more of a service delivery, this fits in very well with CA's vision of govern, secure, manage."

Gill seems confident that his team can take advantage of CA's renewed vigour, and combine it with the potential of the emerging world to deliver impressive results.

Potential CA customers should have some hard questions for the vendor, but there is no doubting its drive.

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