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CA gets into cloud management of IT services

CA Cloud Service Management provides a central location to manage an organization's use of external cloud services

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CA Technologies is applying its expertise in service management to the cloud, launching a hosted offering to allow organizations manage and provision IT assets and external cloud services.

CA Cloud Service Management is a new hosted offering for managing and provisioning IT services within an enterprise, a field of software known as IT Service Management (ITSM).

Jumping into the growing service market for hosted IT management, CA will be competing with the likes of ServiceNow, SAManage, and Hewlett-Packard.

The IT services can be anything the IT department provides for the organization's employees, such as an e-mail address, a server or virtual server for software development, or access to an ERP system.

CA has long offered ITSM software with its Service Desk Manager product, which can be installed and run on premises. This new service was built from the ground up for the cloud and for app-savvy employees, said Lokesh Jindal, CA Technologies' general manager for IT business management. Jindal, who oversees service management for CA, is responsible for managing both the cloud and on-premises ITSM products.

"The promise of software-as-a-service is not being realized in this market. Some of the approaches take the concepts in the on-premises world, and deliver them as a service. So the only thing that changed was the delivery model, but not the fundamental promise of the solution itself," Jindal said.

Typically, setting up an ITSM involves a lot of configuration and coding, which CA worked to minimize in this service, Jindal said.

CA Cloud Service Management can fulfill a full range of ITSM duties, such as service requests, service automation, and asset management. The system can connect to any asset discovery tool or it can automatically discover IT assets on its own.

The administrator can assemble workflows, or the steps it takes to get a new service provisioned, through a graphical user interface. The end users can procure resources from a Web page or from a mobile device, and the service provides a social media forum for users to ask questions and share tips. For the administrator, the service includes a dashboard to monitor operations.

The offering will help organizations better manage their use of cloud services, Jindal said. Administrators can set up a set of rules that can dictate which departments or employees can provision cloud services, as well as what specific services they can obtain.

"What the system allows you to do is to configure those different services based on roles and an approval process, and then automate the entire process of provisioning," Jindal said.

CA Cloud Service Management is another step in a CA initiative to offer its enterprise management capabilities as hosted services, under the rubric of CA Technologies Management Cloud. Earlier this year, the company released Management Cloud for Mobility, a set of hosted services for managing mobile apps and devices.

Pricing for CA Cloud Service Management starts at US$65 per-user, per-month, with volume discounts available.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com



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