Quick Alert: CA Hits a Homerun and Acquires Nimsoft

After a string of questionable acquisitions, CA hits a homerun by acquiring Nimsoft for a cool $350 million.  Nimsoft is a pioneer of “Unified Management” and an emerging competitor to the Big 4 monitoring companies.  Nimsoft gives CA a double-shot-in-the-arm of much needed excitement, product differentiation, and thought leadership.

What does Nimsoft bring to CA?

  • Approximately 800 Enterprise and Managed Service Provider Customers
  • An innovative Unified Monitoring approach spanning Cloud Computing, SAAS, Data Center, Application, Database, and Virtualization Management
  • Unified Reporting including Customer Dashboards
  • Next generation Event Correlation and Analysis
  • Strong Upward Growth
  • Easy to Use, Powerful, and Elegant Software Solutions
  • Unified Monitoring APIs and 3rd Party Extensions to quickly add existing CA solutions
  • Talent, Leadership, Execution, and more

It is great to hear that Nimsoft will not be folded into CA but instead will be run as a separate business unit.  However, instantly CA feels a bit more hip, in-touch, and ready to step-up to the challenges their customers face.  Suddenly the chuckles of “they bought who” at IBM, HP, and BMC gave way to “holey s***, CA just bought Nimsoft!”

If CA can keep Nimsoft’s talent, rationalize their product portfolio, and integrate some key CA assets into a single integrated solution suite, then they will be a force to reckon with.  Additionally, by no means do I think the M&A activity is over for CA or any of the Big 4.

Congrats to Nimsoft for collecting a cool $350 million and building a strong, innovative, and growing business.  Congrats to CA for recognizing all of the above and adding a gem to their cloud computing management portfolio.

CA buys 3Tera: Playing the Cloud Computing Field to find a Diamond in the Rough

CA has announced the acquisition of 3Tera for an undisclosed amount of money.  Like Cassatt, 3Tera is a pioneer in cloud computing and they will join CA’s ever expanding list of acquisitions within Cloud Computing Management.  3Tera is home to AppLogic which started off within Grid Computing and has now morphed into a Cloud Computing Platform.  Per 3Tera’s website, “AppLogic is a turn-key cloud computing platform for running and scaling distributed applications.”

It seems that CA is engaged in “a throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” method of M&A.  Only two of CA’s last four acquisitions have sustainable/notable customer lists (per their respective websites), at least two of the acquisitions have technology overlap between themselves and/or other CA products, and one acquisition may have come with few customers yielding little revenue.  Of course, this may be indicative of the space itself as Microsoft has revealed that revenues are years away from Cloud Computing providers.

Perhaps CA is attempting to become the “arms dealer” of Cloud Computing Management, but that’s a tall order for any company.  HP has spent billions on notable software companies such as Opsware, Peregrine, and Mercury Interactive.  BMC has added BladeLogic, Tideway, and Phurnace to integrate within their Remedy/Atrium products.  Meanwhile, VMware/EMC, Microsoft, and Citrix continue to beef up their management portfolios along with a host of start-ups and disruptive virtualization management companies.   IBM has recently acquired Intelliden to plug a hole within their Tivoli management software and they are the fathers of autonomic computing.  Finally, Cisco lurks as an ever present threat within this space.

For CA to be successful, they must not only continue the development and integrate these products into a single solutions suite, but they must execute on a coherent marketing and sales strategy.  With BMC set to fill the management void left by the rift between Cisco and HP, CA may look to Juniper, Brocade, or perhaps Huawei as potential partners.  If not, CA will be forced to compete with Cisco, HP, and IBM on the back-end of these next generation datacenter build-outs with a management agenda that is often an after-thought.

While I wouldn’t count CA out, they have a lot on their collective plates.  Will CA be able to quickly expand 3Tera to support VMware?  Will CA figure out what to do with Cassatt?  Will CA open new markets to NetQoS?  What about security management?  What will CA do to counter IBM’s purchase of Intelliden?  Will CA’s properly package these new products?

How many acquisitions does it take to create a market within Cloud Computing Management?  One…NetQoS…Two…Cassatt….Three…Oblicore…Four….3Tera….Five…

It’s a great time to go shopping for companies that have money and CA is definitely playing the field in search of that diamond in the rough.