CA World 2011 Las Vegas BillboardWe ran a case study, for our own purposes, on the biggest CA Technologies event of the year – the annual CA World, this year held in Las Vegas from Nov 13 to 16. The event attracted over 6,000 attendees.

Using our social business intelligence skills to analyze the event’s impact across all media we have come up with some recommendations to improve it next year, should CA care to do so. It’s not so much “improve” as getting a better ROI – a better return on their investment. We reviewed the messages and their reverberations and also compared the opening days to the closing &  trailing days of the event.

How did the key Agenda messages carry?

If we look firstly how CA World 2011 was perceived across all media, using a wordcloud, then we see many of the key messages which it carried in to the conference – agility, mainframe, management (of the transition from mainframe to the cloud), cost etc. No surprises there which is probably a good thing, since CA’s strategic focus on linking mainframe management and the implementation of private clouds by bridging core capabilities is coming through OK.

CA World 2011 Wordcloud General Opening

We reviewed the opening days and the buzzgraph showed that the themes mentioned in the event Agenda came through e.g. a lot of emphasis on risk management in moving to the cloud, and quite a lot on the threat to the IT organisation of moving too slowly; and in single keywords “virtualization” and “consumerization”. How did that translate into buzz?

CA World 2011 Buzzgraph General Opening

It also shows the linkages between mainframe, cloud, agility and the roadmap to get there, and that Executives McCracken and Dobson created good buzz.

Which themes propagated in the 2nd half and trailing days?

If we jump to the latter half of the conference, the buzzgraph shows quite some difference. Agility (and agile) strongly stand out, with a strong link to the mainframe, and management of the infrastructure shines through. Mr Dobson stays in the limelight and is joined by Mr O’Malley (Chris O’Malley, CEO Nimsoft @chris_t_omalley) and the brand Arcserve shines through. Presumably that demonstrates some key role that CA sees for Arcserve in the journey from mainframe to cloud (addressing data security, which is a hot topic).

Nimsoft had strong influencers but not the strongest linkages to propagated keywords

What’s interesting is that when we analysed the key brands we found that Nimsoft had the most influential supporters in Twitter, for instance, including the Nimsoft team itself. Nimsoft had good authority, but when it came to linkages with other key words, as represented in the brand Buzzgraph, then Arcserve came through with the strongest word associations or linkages.

CA World 2011 Top Influencers Brands 2nd Half

The buzz was VERY unevenly distributed across available media

Now, let’s go back to fundamentals – where in the media was CA World generating activity?

CA World 2011 General Activity Opening Half

We can see from the chart above that it was almost all in the traditional News and in Twitter:

  • 4,405 mentions
  • 74.5% Twitter
  • 21.7% News
  • (12th to 15th November).

If we examine activity for the 2nd half and trailing days the result is almost identical, although there is an increase in the small number of blog post. It’s normal that blog posts would start low and trail the event – but can this “normal” be improved?

The brand presence changed in the 2nd half

If we look at the second half (and trailing days) brands Buzzgraph there are some interesting changes. Namely, Arcot came to the fore with its strong linkages to “agile” and “mainframe” , while “Dobson” also remained strong. The linkage appears stronger between mainframe and cloud and roadmap – and Dobson and agility. This stronger linkage probably reflects the nature of the sessions in the latter part of the event.

CA World Brand Buzzgraph 2nd half

The words making buzz also shifted in the 2nd half

Some subtle changes in messages appear in the Wordcloud which emanated from the latter half:

  • Business getting less attention; and,
  • Managing company environments slightly more attention.
  • Which makes sense as the conference moved into more technical sessions.

CA World 2nd Half Wordcloud

How can the Share of Voice claimed by key people and brands be leveraged?

For key personnel, the people who claimed the top 3 positions in Share of Voice, across all media, were Dobson, McKracken, and Mann. The question to ask is – is this a desirable balance of executive exposure, and who else should be out there, and linked to what themes, and what can the laggards learn from the leaders?

CA World 2011 POV People

For key brands, the brands which claimed the top 3 positions in Share of Voice, across all media, were Nimsoft, Oblicore, and Arcserve.

CA World 2011 POV brands


Overall it appears CA World achieved a good media outcome, provided that the brands and topics which came through as aligned with the current business goals and objectives. In summary:

  • CA World 2011 did create relevant buzz
  • The key Agenda themes came through
  • However Twitter and News accounted for 96%
  • Blogs and Discussions were scarce
  • The CA PR teams seem to perform well (Reuters, Yahoo Finance, and The Street carried a lot of the reporting)
  • Seems to be a savvy social media team – ON24 etc.

Note: we don’t know how much activity was generated within the CA firewall in the internal communities and forums. This would be measured by good community analytics from within.


CA World logoAlthough successful, at face value, we think that CA can get a lot more leverage from its investment in the event and collateral. For example:

  • Don’t create a Twitter handle for the specific event (ask us why in the comments below);
  • Engage more non-CA social media influencers;
  • Engage influential bloggers – with a strong forward plan before the event;
  • Repurpose more content from News to social;
  • Bigger video and pictorial effort in social.

As far as brands go, there would be quite a lot of analysis which could be done. CA’s growth path, and margin and revenue protection, is very dependent on the role of many of its new acquisitions e.g. Nimsoft. They need to build up sales of these brands while not impacting margin performance in their traditional business. What were the key messages, in this regard, which the Executive Team would have liked to see spread from CA World? Which themes did catch on which were relevant to particular brands, and which did not, and how could this shape future marketing?

The power of social business intelligence is to enable factual reasons to be found for the current performance, and to use that as the basis for improvement and extension.

Key brand messages came through, but:
  • Few of those are “owned” by CA or their brands e.g. agility, cost, performance; and therefore
  • More strategic brand name tactics might be useful.

CA World is a very solid platform. It’s also very expensive and continuous improvement is a must. Through analysing this years total media performance it can yield better business benefits next time around – for 2012.

Walter @adamson