CA launches cloud product barrage: Can it boost growth?

CA stepped up its cloud computing push with a series of products designed to automate and manage data centers and allow customers to easily swap between various providers.

CA on Wednesday stepped up its cloud computing push with a series of products designed to automate and manage data centers and allow customers to easily swap between various providers.

The initiative, dubbed cloud choice, revolves around deploying, planning, designing and delivering public and private cloud services.

According to CA, the company is rolling out 10 new cloud-focused products. The top ones include:

  • CA Business Service Insight 8.0 is designed to measure service levels.
  • CA Automation Suite for Datacenters 12.5 allows customers to move between private and public cloud vendors.
  • CA Automation Suite for Clouds 1.0 provides quick provisioning of cloud infrastructure in heterogeneous and hybrid environments.
  • CA AppLogic, which is helps design and deliver cloud services.
  • CA Cloud Market Accelerator for Service Providers provides tools for sales, collaboration and co-marketing cloud services.

Add it up and traditional datacenter management companies such as CA and BMC are moving to support hybrid environments that involve a mix of legacy and cloud gear. The general theme is that enterprises will be able to easily hop between providers while monitoring service levels.

On CA's fiscal first quarter conference call, CEO William McCracken said the company has built its strategy around cloud management. "We believe our years of experience and core strength in traditional IT management and security, combined with significant investments in our portfolio, will position us as the standard in the industry," said McCracken.

However, CA's cloud focus isn't mature enough to juice revenue growth. CA reported first quarter earnings of $228 million, or 45 cents a share, on revenue of $1.16 billion, up 9 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 55 cents a share, 4 cents better than Wall Street estimates.

The company's outlook for fiscal 2012 was in line with its previous guidance. CA projected revenue growth of 6 percent to 8 percent for the fiscal year ($4.9 billion to $5 billion). Non-GAAP earnings will be $2.14 a share to $2.21 a share. CA also said it would cut about 500 jobs as it pruned units and product lines.

Analysts said that CA's sales struggled in Europe, but revenue in the U.S. was solid due to IBM's mainframe upgrade cycle. "We believe CA continues to struggle to reaccelerate growth, despite several acquisitions over the past 12 months," said Barclays Capital analyst Israel Hernandez.

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