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New CA CEO looks to transform the company to SaaS provider

Derek du Preez | April 23, 2013
Michael Gregoire was previously CEO at software-as-a-service giant Taleo

CA Technologies' recently appointed CEO, Michael Gregoire, has vowed to make the company an innovator in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market and has asked his customers to upgrade to the latest releases in order to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Speaking at CA's annual conference in Las Vegas this week, Gregoire, who had previously been CEO at SaaS giant Taleo, said that he would be offering all customers a free professional services audit over the next year to help identify where those operating on old software releases could be operating more efficiently.

Gregoire opened his keynote at the conference by saying that CA's SaaS platform will be available behind a company's firewall, on CA's private cloud, or in the true public cloud - but that the transition from a distributed environment wasn't going to be an easy one to make.

"When you take a look at the technology landscape we are at a pivot point. We saw the transition from mainframe to distributed, and now we are all experiencing this transition from distributed to the cloud," said Gregoire.

"The transition from mainframe to distributed was rather slow and we could see it, we could predict it. It was difficult but we understood it. I think we are going to see a different pivot point as we move from distributed to the cloud. It's not going to be a graceful transition. It's going to be hard, it's going to be violent. This is something CIOs are dealing with all day, every day."

Gregoire was keen to break away from CA's traditional pitch of selling mainframe and data centre software to legacy customers, and convince those at the conference that CA was able to transform into an agile and innovative company that could organically develop applications that are deliverable via the cloud.

He was keen to iterate that CA's cloud products could be deployed however the customer sees fit - private, public, hybrid - and that they could be easily integrated with other vendor's offerings to allow for easy data mining. However, Gregoire's main push during the keynote appeared to be getting customers off the company's old software releases.

"We need to have SaaS products in place and we need to get in a position where you can get these new products and you are not working on old releases. We are a making a very heavy investment in this. Over time you are going to see a migration of all of our products that we can put into this environment [SaaS] because it's just a better way to engineer," said Gregoire.

"One of the things I want to be crystal clear about is expectations. We are going to ramp up the organic engineering in our company. I think we have got some of the best engineers in the world, I want to get these products out quicker, I want to use the SaaS platform to do it."


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