Opening its annual CA World user conference in Las Vegas, CA has announced a new roadmap for its products that isn’t all that different from the old one.
The roadmap, called Unified Service Management, lumps CA’s Enterprise IT Management products (the bulk of its portfolio) into three familiar baskets: Business Service Management, IT Governance, and Security.
In essence, it divides the old Unicenter products into business service management and security, while grouping the original IT asset management products with the acquired Niku Clarity offerings under IT governance. That doesn’t make it much different from the previous way that CA grouped its products. But the unified modeling theme is intended to promote integration and correlation between IT services, and the pieces of infrastructure necessary to run them.
This is about making Enterprise IT Management more digestible, said Brian Bell, senior vice president of worldwide marketing. He singled out the idea of consolidating service management.
If you don’t have a common definition of what a service is, you’ll continue to have challenges, he said, pointing to last summer’s acquisition of Cendura, which brought application mapping technology to CA’s Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
CA’s unveiling of the Unified Modeling roadmap was a bit anticlimactic because it’s not much of a change from what it’s been saying up until now.
The fact is that CA has been touting Business Service Optimization to communicate the idea that managing enterprise IT is more than just a data center concern. Bell clarified that BSO as a term is not being phased out. Instead, it’s just the name of the business unit that includes various pieces of the Enterprise IT Management product portfolio.
Still, you will have to excuse us if we get a bit confused over the overlapping monikers. Admittedly, there’s only so many ways that one can express the idea that IT operations are correlated with the IT services that the business uses. Not surprisingly, CA’s BSO sounds almost identical to HP’s BTO (Business Technology Optimization) and BMC’s BSM (Business Service Management). And now CA too is using BSM, while it still maintains a BSO business unit.
The reality is that CA has been trying to turn over a new leaf. It, like all systems management vendors, has been guilty of marketing what were in effect point solutions, but using common branding umbrellas to provide the idea that they were all packaged wholes. But the reality has been that systems management tools, whether it be asset management, network operations management, access control, and other pieces have always been point tools that were simply darn difficult to integrate.
The good news is that groundswell for ITIL adoption has gotten us to the first step of standardizing the vocabulary, and prodded IT management tool vendors to embrace CMDBs as a major step towards unifying their disparate offerings.
The problem is, while the systems management crowd has been talking real steps to rationalize their offerings, some are still getting hung up in word games.