April 10, 2013 – CA Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mike Gregoire, who joined the East Coast software maker in January after a career in Silicon Valley, wanted to figure out if his top lieutenants were nervous enough.

So he instructed product executives to download and test trial versions from six startups offering business software online. These were the types of companies that CA, whose computer programs manage data for Verizon Communications Inc. and other corporate giants, had to watch warily, he said. The group’s reactions told him everything he needed to know, Gregoire, 47, said in an interview. Some realized CA’s shortcomings and were “sick to their stomachs, like I am” after tinkering with the demos, he said. Others showed little sign of alarm.

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