BMC targets service management

BMC Software Inc. is ready to explain how it will incorporate technologies from recent acquisitions and tie its systems and applications management products to business objectives.

Fresh off its US$42 million acquisition of IT Masters, BMC will lay out its strategy for business service management. BMC, which also acquired service and helpdesk software vendor Remedy last year, says with IT Masters’ MasterCell software, it can now offer enterprise network managers integrated service management. MasterCell correlates events and models service performance, which will complement BMC’s Patrol application and systems management portfolio.

“IT Masters… has a clear understanding of organizational roles and requirements, focusing quite separately on operations center users, helpdesk users, service managers and client service users, with well-considered, role-based GUIs and reports,” writes Dennis Drogseth, a research director with Enterprise Management Associates, in a recent paper. The paper discusses how the IT Masters acquisition will help BMC move into the business process and service management area, “which is a natural evolution for BMC’s management capabilities.”

Other industry experts agree. Because BMC’s flagship Patrol software already integrates with Remedy, and MasterCell has strong integration with both, the company will be able to deliver products to make good on its business service management strategy in the near term. Also, BMC in February 2001 acquired Perform, a French network management software maker, which further filled out the company’s network and event management capabilities. BMC watchers say the company bought software to build its products into more comprehensive tools for enterprise network managers looking to tie infrastructure performance to the bottom line.

“BMC is moving from managing technology for the sake of technology toward managing technology for the sake of the business,” says Rich Ptak, president of Ptak and Associates.

BMC says it will incorporate technology across its software lines that will take cues from predefined rules and detect potential failures in devices or applications. The products expected to first include the MasterCell, Remedy and Patrol integration include help desk, storage, data, asset, event and change management software. The company says linking the data collected by those products will enable the software to dynamically update service-level agreements, detect when SLAs may be missed and take measures to prevent it.

BMC’s buying spree will add to the company’s ability to track and graphically display system and application performance, says Ptak. He says BMC is clearly focusing its efforts on service management. The company last month eliminated part of its storage management line and reallocated staff to its service management team. The newly honed focus is allowing BMC to put intelligence into its products that improves management features and eases user implementations.

“Management vendors went from managing devices in isolation, to collecting a lot of data from everything without linking it in a meaningful way, to now at least understanding what customers need to do,” Ptak says. “It’s a slow process, but they are evolving their products to manage the infrastructure based on the business.”

Integration among Patrol, Remedy and MasterCell software products exists today, and BMC plans to deliver products based on its Business Service Management strategy in the coming months.