CA changes name, again

Enterprise software vendor CA, formerly Computer Associates, is now CA Technologies

For the second time in five years, CA has changed its name.

Henceforth, the Islandia, New York-based company will be known as CA Technologies, it announced on Sunday during the kickoff of its CA World 2010 conference, being held in Las Vegas this week.

The new name better "reflects the full breadth and depth of what the company offers," according to a statement from the company.

This is the second name change for the company in the past five years.

In January 2006, the then-named Computer Associates International switched its name to CA Inc.

William Lozito, president of Strategic Name Development, which consults on corporate name changes, is doubtful about the necessity of the CA name change.

"There is nothing inherently wrong with changing a company's name twice provided there is a fundamental reason for doing so," Lozito said, though adding, "based on CA's press release, I see nothing fundamental about where they are taking the business that would warrant a second name change."

He noted that the CA nameplate conveys everything that "CA Technologies" does, and does not incur "the cost and time needed to educate their customers, media and their suppliers."

"I do think CA runs the risk of becoming the Larry King of company name changes," Lozito said. "He's on his seventh wife, and CA will be on its third name in five years."

In 2006, the company changed its name to reflect a changed focus to helping organizations "simplify the management of enterprise-wide IT," according to a company statement.

In April of that year, former CEO Sanjay Kumar7 pleaded guilty to financial fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company paid out $225 million to the fraud victims.

Lozito noted that companies change their names for a wide number of reasons. A company may assume the name of one of its most popular brands to improve overall visibility of the company, or it may shed its name because it no longer reflects what the company offers.

Both Dell and Apple dropped the word "Computer" from their names in recognition of the wider range of electronics beyond computers that each company sold.

Overall, about 1,900 U.S. companies change their names each year, Lozito said. he also noted that over 1,000 U. S. trademarks have the word "technologies" in the name.

CA certainly has been expanding its pool of technologies. Earlier this year, the company completed purchases of both cloud software provider 3Tera, performance monitoring software Nimsoft and service level management software company Oblicore. In 2009, the company acquired network performance monitoring software vendor NetQoS, the assets of automated virtual server deployment software vendor Cassatt, and data loss prevention software provider Orchestria.

In March, CA announced gains in both revenue and income for fiscal 2010. Revenue grew to US$4.35 billion, up from $4.27 billion, and net income grew to $771 million, up from $671 million.

The company also redesigned its Web site to accompany the name change.

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Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
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