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CA Technologies to dive further into SaaS market

CA Technologies plans to deliver more software-as-a-service-based applications, as it is seeing more demand for them than on-premises applications.

There are some customers that are choosing to keep their applications on-premises, but increasingly, there are others choosing to operate them as software as a service (SaaS), and CA Technologies plans to take advantage of that growing demand.

Speaking at CA World '14 in Las Vegas, CA Technologies chief technology officer John Michelsen said the company's SaaS portfolio is growing fast, with expectations that the momentum will continue.

He said, without delving into specific numbers, that the company's growth has been mainly supported by its SaaS portfolio.

"Three years ago, it was four products; two years ago, it was seven products; and today, it's 20. So there's a dramatic increase in CA taking its capabilities to the cloud, with SaaS and delivering it to the customers through our portfolio of management cloud," he said.

Michelsen said the products that customers are choosing to convert from on-premises to SaaS-based delivery form are applications that have been mainly focused on business monitoring and the company's Clarity PPM solution for project and portfolio management.

Additionally, the company has seen growth in its SaaS-based service management solution, which has grown triple digits since it was released, versus CA Technologies' traditional service, which is "not growing significantly", Michelsen said.

As for what specific products customers are interested in operating as SaaS, and which on-premises products CA Technologies will convert to SaaS going forward, Michelsen said it depends on the product and how close it is to traditional IT.

"We want to not follow; we want to lead in those areas, such as PPM, which is growing nicely in SaaS and not on-premise. We don't want to find out the hard way by watching our on-premise business not do well, and then figure out someone else is delivering as SaaS and winning those customers away from us. We're focused on what product areas customers are interested in operating as SaaS, and heading there," he said.

But Michelsen advised that CA Technologies' goal is not to be a traditional services company that sends software consultants out to set up, configure, and implement software, but rather to go beyond that.

"While CA does do all of that, SaaS also sees CA Technologies do more than that. It signs us up for not only ensuring that configurations work properly, but on an ongoing basis we host it, we make sure it stays up, make sure it has all the right scale, and has all the security features," he said.

Ultimately, though, CA Technologies' SaaS-based company will be dependent on how its customers want to consume its products.

"We don't want to be the ones that try to make them, but clearly we want to help cause the migration from on-premise asset in whatever product areas they want. It's common now, but it will be more common in the future. We'll have on-prem and SaaS versions of our software, but it won't be too far to have only SaaS version of our software. It currently isn't the case, but I can probably guarantee it."

During CA World '14 on Monday, CA announced its Cloud Service Management , a software-as-a-service-based service desk solution aimed at eliminating the need for big development teams and long customisation and development cycles. The company has begun offering the solution on a try-and-buy basis to boost customer conversion rates.

Aimee Chanthadavong travelled as a guest of CA Technologies to CA World '14.