Invented Here: CA Looks To Keep Unicenter RelevantInvented Here: CA Looks To Keep Unicenter Relevant
Unicenter, the Computer Associates systems-management software with the love-it-or-hate-it user interface, is 10 years old. It's a rare piece of homegrown software at CA, and the company says it's still under refinement
July 11, 2003
Unicenter, the Computer Associates systems-management software with the love-it-or-hate-it user interface, is 10 years old. It's a rare piece of homegrown software at CA, and the company says it's still under refinement.
"There are lots of new things happening in Unicenter, and it would be a big mistake to think that Unicenter today is the same Unicenter from two years ago, the same Unicenter from five years ago," says CA CEO Sanjay Kumar, talking about the software company's flagship product--and pride and joy. CA has come by the majority of its approximately 1,200 products through acquisition, including such diverse technologies as the Advantage data-transformation tools from Platinum Technology, Ingres database from the Ask Group, and the Cool software-development tools from Sterling Software. But CA executives are quick to point out that Unicenter, a suite of software for managing Windows- and Unix-based systems, was developed in-house. CA launched Unicenter in 1993, in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, as a client-server systems-management product for the Unix operating system. A co-marketing deal with Microsoft for Unicenter on Windows NT in 1995 helped establish the product more firmly. CA developed a radical graphical 3-D interface for Unicenter TNG (for "the next generation") in 1996. CA says there are 20,000 active licensees of the product, which can monitor the performance of computers and databases, report problems to companies' support desks, and help manage portfolios of IT assets and license agreements. After years of sales increases, however, Unicenter revenue declined nearly 11% last year, to $1 billion, about one-third of CA revenue. CA wants to reinvigorate its invented-here product and make it relevant to the modern demands of server consolidation, systems integration, and resource maximization, which it hopes to incorporate in its on-demand computing strategy. To do that, the company is developing load-balancing and server-provisioning capabilities for Unicenter and building in support for Web services. Enhanced versions of Unicenter modules for software delivery, asset management, and portfolio management are due by October. Return to main story, Demand Management
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