July 15, 2010 - Enterprise software providers SAP and CA rolled out a partnership this week to unite and unify deployment of core products for IT and enterprise governance, risk and compliance.

Officially, the announcement calls for the companies to unite CA's IT GRC strengths with SAP's re-architecting of an enterprise GRC platform that competes with standalone and enterprise vendors, notably Oracle. The partnership would wed IT system events to SAP enterprise GRC software through a jointly-developed product integration.

Analysts are divided on whether the resulting platform will be directed to the open market versus upsell only to the SAP customer base. French Caldwell, an analyst at Gartner Inc. says that while future integration needs to address more products, the deal already has more than salutary importance.

"SAP has some catching up to do here, they're re-architecting their enterprise GRC platform this year and if they stay on track, they'll have a competitive product by this time next year," Caldwell says. "But they're also trying to catch up in the IT GRC space. To do that they're making partnerships and CA is the latest."

Michael Rasmussen, an analyst at GRC strategic consultancy Corporate Integrity, says SAP and CA might take the product to an increasingly mature but poorly integrated GRC market.

"Oracle has more pieces of the puzzle, with identity and security and the business applications and the database, but a lot of their GRC products don't really work together," Rasmussen says. "What SAP and CA are doing is creating a broader offering of their own because the two together deliver more than what Oracle does, and they're already showing progress with their integration, so I'm optimistic."

The SAP partnership potentially reopens enterprise GRC competition in an area CA had recently exited that covers overall documentation of management and workflow IT management, populated with competitors that include OpenPages, BWise and MetricStream.

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