CA-NetQoS Combo Gives Partners Cloud Computing Clout

Resellers and distributors for software giant Computer Associates Inc. (CA) should benefit as much from the buyout of NetQoS as CA itself.

CA said Monday it will pay $200 million in cash for NetQoS, maker of network performance management and service delivery software, in particular to strengthen its year-old cloud computing focus.

That’s good news for channel partners, more of whom are taking an interest in cloud computing. Still, many industry experts view cloud computing as a new variation on the old theme of hosted and managed services. And perhaps partly because of that, cloud computing interests large enterprises more right now than it does SMBs, a reality that could frustrate resellers who target smaller customers.

The problem, says Steve Hilton, vice president of Yankee Group’s Enterprise Research Group and author of the “Ask Steve” column, is that SMBs “see little value in cloud computing compared to a host of other technology offerings.”

But as vendors and service providers work out the kinks for big companies, SMBs should start to take notice.

“We recommend you drop a casual reference to cloud computing with your clients and see if it sparks some questions,” Hilton wrote in this month’s column for PHONE+. “If it does, talk about the needs of your clients over the next few years. Are they adding resources or office locations, expanding internationally, becoming more reliant on particular business applications, facing changes in compliance or regulatory issues or changing particular business processes? Then link some of these business needs with the cloud definition we provided to show how cloud solutions might solve some of their problems.”

Meanwhile, for CA, buying NetQoS means added expertise in network flow monitoring, unified communications management and response time analytics. And when the deal closes – that should happen by the end of this year – NetQoS CEO Joel Trammell will join CA as senior vice president and general manager. Cathy Fulton, CTO and executive products vice president for NetQoS, also will move over to CA. Most of the 250 people employed NetQoS should keep their jobs, CA said.

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