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Computer Associates running behind in services push

Computer Associates running behind in services push

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Computer Associates' Australian services push should be nearly six months old by now, but the company admitted last week it could still be another six months before it has a services arm here.

The software giant is still on the hunt to acquire a local services company, preferably one with at least 200 staff. When it does make its move, Computer Associates will waste no time copying the model of Computer Management Sciences (CMSI), the US services company it acquired for $US435 million last month, by establishing a "system outsourcing centre" in Australia.

The length of time it has taken to make its US foray has slowed down CA's push into other regions, said Sanjay Kumar, CA's president and chief operating officer.

"The deals in the US have taken longer than we would have thought. The real issue we've had has been the integration speed. It's all been a matter of how fast can we do this."

With the acquisition of Computer Management Sciences (CMSI) under its belt, CA will now turn its attention to Europe and then Asia-Pacific.

Kumar confirmed that along with Chris Wagner, general manager for Global Professional Services, and Stephen Richards, general manager of sales, he had meetings with potential partners during their visit to Australia last week.

"For every acquisition we've done, we have already had some kind of partnership arrangement," he said.

Potential buyout targets would have strong skills in customising packaged software to solve business problems and would have skills across a range of platforms.

If it isn't able to find a company with the size and skills it is after, CA will instead acquire a number of smaller organisations.

"If you're looking for a profile of the type of company we want to acquire then look at CMSI," said Wagner.

System outsourcing centres

One of CMSI's strongest selling points was its system outsourcing centres. CA will be looking to open system outsourcing centres in various countries around the world, including Australia, Wagner said.

The SOCs are like a one-stop services shop which will allow users to come in and build or replicate systems on any type of platform.

According to CMSI's Web site (www.cmsx.com), a SOC typically houses a training centre, a data centre which enables CA to test applications on a wide variety of platforms, and development centres. All SOCs around the world will be networked allowing CA to pool the resources of its worldwide professional services arm.


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