CA to invest Platinum resources in e-commerce

Computer Associates International Inc. detailed its post-merger plans for the holdings it acquired through its US$3.5 billion acquisition of Platinum Technology, plans that centre on the creation of a sweeping electronic-commerce platform.

In a press conference in New York, CA and Platinum officials outlined the e-commerce strategy, which will draw on Platinum’s data mining, data warehousing, and so-called knowledge management software, along with CA’s data visualization, neural network and systems and network management software.

The plans, which entail unspecified investments in the Platinum software, run counter to common perceptions of CA’s usual handling of acquired products, which is considered light on research and development and heavy on capitalizing on the installed base.

According to CA officials, investments in the forthcoming e-commerce platform will also benefit users of the current Platinum products.

CA also discussed layoffs, 90 per cent of which it said would affect Platinum’s administrative staff and 10 per cent of which would cull development staff.

CA’s absorption of the Platinum products puts them into seven groups, according to a CA statement:

• data warehousing, business intelligence, and knowledge management: spanning data warehousing, meta data repositories, and an enterprise data portal. Under the plan, Platinum’s DecisionBase, InfoPump, InfoRefiner, and InfoTransport products will gain CA data transport and enterprise Access features and other technologies. CA will also funnel resources to Platinum Repositories, PR/MVS, and PR/OEE, as well as its Forest and Trees decision-support/business intelligence tool, in the latter case merging InfoBeacon, InfoReports, and PRF together. The DecisionBase knowledge base product will also gain enterprise resource planning (ERP)-specific modules, according to CA;

• application development: CA plans to integrate its Jasmine development tool and object database with Platinum’s Advantage life-cycle development tools, which include application modeling, component development, configuration management, process management, and project management tools;

• security: CA will maintain security product lines from Platinum and Platinum’s earlier acquisition, Memco, in addition to its own;

• IBM DB2 database products: CA will roll out updated versions of these add-on products for DB2 Version 6;

• database management tools: CA will offer the existing Platinum line, and will offer versions of integrated solutions with CA Unicenter TNG;

• workload scheduling: CA plans to support Platinum’s scheduling products and to integrate them with its own. This product will sport hooks to ERP applications and Unicenter TNG, as well, according to CA officials; and,

• performance management: The product line will be integrated with CA’s Business Process Views and Neugents neural networking technology. CA plans to offer stand-alone versions and those integrated with Unicenter TNG.

In the area of professional services, CA is looking to the Platinum organization to bolster its Global Professional Services (GPS), particularly in the European market, according to CA officials. CA GPS will implement Platinum “best practices” and products, according to the officials.

More information on the post-merger plans will be released later this month in New Orleans at CA World 1999 and Platinum PLATforum, the companies’ combined user group meetings.