CA Splashes Cash in New Year Acquisitions

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As I mentioned in an earlier article, the big vendors have been busy buying at the start of the New Year. Over the course of the last week CA has acquired both Wily Technology and Control-F1 Corporation in two all-cash deals. The addition of the Application Management capabilities from Wily along with the Support Automation facilities of Control-F1 will add considerable depth and value to CA’s rapidly maturing Enterprise IT Management (EITM) vision.

In the first of the two deals CA reached a definitive agreement to acquire Wily Technologies for $375 million (£213 m, €307 m) in a straight cash deal. When the deal closes, which is expected to be within three months, Wily will operate as the Wily Technology division within CA’s Enterprise Systems Management unit. It is expected that most of the existing 260 employees will join CA including existing CEO Dick Williams, who will head up the new division. Lewis Cirne, founder and CTO of Wily, is also expected to transfer over. CA has stated that it will honour the existing contracts of Wily’s customers.

This is yet another astute acquisition by CA, the latest in a series going back over the past 18 months. End to end application management plays a key role in all IT service delivery. After all, IT systems only exist to support business applications. With increasing focus on aligning IT resource consumption with real-world business requirements, the need for near real time visibility of application performance, along with fault identification and resolution, has never been higher. Equally the value generated by well run applications has never before reached the heights of today.

With its Wily 6, Introscope, Wily Web Services Manager and Customer Experience Manager offerings, CA has acquired a formidable range of solutions that should appeal to a far larger base of customers than Wily has so far managed to reach. The solutions perform with low overhead allowing mission critical systems, including Composite Applications, to be proactively monitored and managed. Wily can monitor a wide range of systems including Java applications, application servers, Web servers, messaging middleware, databases and transaction servers. The system can also deliver real time views of real customer transactions and, if required, monitoring every transaction.

The acquisition of Control-F1, a company headquartered in Alberta, Canada, will provide CA with sophisticated Customer Support Automation capabilities. Such tools are used to reduce IT service support costs by providing faster problem diagnosis and resolution. Upon completion of the all-cash deal, Control-F1 will become part of the Business Service Optimisation (BSO) unit at CA. Integration of the technologies involved should be relatively straightforward as Control-F1’s SupportBridge solution already operates with CA’s Unicenter Service Desk and Unicenter Service Desk Knowledge tools to help customers automatically prevent, detect and repair end user computer issues before they become critical.

Together these acquisitions should greatly benefit CA customers and could boost the already impressive CA drive to take Service Management to the world. I strongly suspect that these will not be the last targeted acquisitions in by CA.