Managing IT management: CA's forte
Date: Friday , November 30, 2007
We are very focused around three areas namely systems management, storage, and security,” pointed out John A. Swainson, President and CEO, CA, in 2005 while talking about his strategy for growth. The observation makes sense in India too. Swainson officially opened CA’s India Technology Center (ITC) in Hyderabad on October 17, 2007 though it had been in existence since 2003. Currently the CA India plans are grandiose, compared to the journey that started here 10 years back.
The 250,000 plus square feet campus, which cost $30 million to build, reflects the substantial investment CA has made in staffing the ITC’s research and development operations and sales departments. According to the CA Chief the ITC is a part of the company’s critical global technology development. However, this is not a profit center, but is a shared development resource. The organization has got the cream of IT service companies in India as its customers, including Infosys, Wipro, and TCS; and has also served non IT entities like Andhra Pradesh Secretariat, Axa Tech, and Manpower India amongst others.
The India workforce now exceeds 1,600. The ITC hosts CA’s data center which is among five similar centers worldwide. The other centers are present in Australia, U.K. and in New York and Chicago in the U.S. Chennai is where the company’s 2000 born Global Technology Support Center is situated and managed by a 140 strong workforce. The ITC team will take a lead role in advancing CA’s Enterprise IT Management (EITM) vision of unifying and simplifying IT management.
The CA head honcho says, “The ITC underscores CA’s commitment to India, both as a source of an exceptionally high-quality workforce with expertise across the full range of leading-edge IT disciplines and as a rapidly growing and dynamic IT market. India is now home to nearly 30 percent of our global R&D staff – further demonstrating the importance of our operations here in our overall business strategy.”
Swainson took charge of an embittered CA reeling under accounting malpractices in 2005, and by 2007 he has managed to walk the razor’s edge with admirable success. Managing the IT management software behemoth with 15,000 employees on its rolls is not an easy task. The increase of worldwide revenue to $4.1 billion for fiscal 2007 from $3.5 billion in 2005, representing a healthy 17 percent growth, stands testimony to the efficacy of Swainson’s four-year revamp plan since he donned the CA mantle. The company is now the eighth largest software company in the world behind Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Symantec, EMC, and HP. Almost $700 million has been pumped into software development worldwide by CA. “We have taken care to invest 20 percent of the revenue annually on R&D globally,” proclaims Swainson.
What worked in Swainson’s favour is the fact that he earlier worked with CA’s arch rival IBM for 26 long years. He knew the company’s Achilles heel was customer relationships and closed the gap between promise and results.
Also taken care in 2006 was the slimming down of the name of the company from ‘Computer Associates’ to CA. However, there was nothing lean about the acquisitions, which totaled more than $1 billion in 2006. Notable acquisitions were XOsoft, a provider of long distance continuous replication software for CA’s entry into Recovery Management, and Cybermation for workload automation software. It remains to be seen whether CA will go into the acquisition mode in India too.