I recall the first time I heard Sanjay Kumar, CEO of Computer Associates, talk about a major transformation the company was undergoing.
I recall the first time I heard Sanjay Kumar, CEO of Computer Associates, talk about a major transformation the company was undergoing--in the way it sold products, the types of licensing deals it would offer, and the new level of customer service that would be wrapped around it all. It was about a year and a half ago, just before the holidays, and everything around CA's headquarters was festive and cheery. It was the perfect backdrop for a less-intensive, strong-arming kind of culture that CA has long been known for. To be sure, just a couple of years ago customers were known to use terms like cocky, dismissive, and aggressive when talking about CA. They condemned the company for high licensing fees and high-pressure tactics.
Recently, Kumar gave us an idea of how things are shaping up in his plan to overhaul the way CA does business. Some customers like what they're hearing and are giving CA another chance. Other customers are reducing their dependence on costly mainframe technology in favor of more distributed computing networks and have turned their sights elsewhere (see story, "Demand Management").
How does a company like CA stay relevant? A lot will depend on upcoming products that are designed to help customers consolidate servers and optimize distributed systems by better understanding their workloads. This is important as business processes increasingly rely on several enterprise applications, Web services, and databases to get the job done.
Computer Associates may be well positioned to play a pivotal role in the emerging world of on-demand computing, assuming old ghosts don't continue to haunt.
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