When it comes to the network and systems management software market, most companies not touting the famous four acronyms - BMC, CA, HP and IBM - on corporate letterhead still keep those few key letters top of mind when strategizing how to win customers and dethrone the longtime market leaders.
The big four management vendors take a lot of heat for delivering products that are difficult to deploy, are expensive and really don’t solve the critical problems in customer environments. Yet most industry watchers would be hard-pressed to say that BMC, CA, HP and IBM don't have a wealth of great technology in their arsenal that enterprise IT shops could put to good use. Still, competing vendors argue they can displace the big four and give the network and systems management market some relief from frustrating tools.
Two vendors, in particular, this week announced they had merged (the details of the cash and stock remain undisclosed) and plan to alter the market landscape with more choices for customers and more competition for the incumbents. Service-level management vendor Nimsoft and business service management (BSM) player Indicative Software this week announced they had merged. (View slideshow of 2008's hottest M&A deals.)
The merged company will retain the name Nimsoft going forward and for the time-being the two product sets will continue to be sold to customers. The two companies complement each other well, according to Nimsoft's Mark Rivington, vice president of technology.
"We are agent based and they are agentless. We are mid market and they are large scale," Rivington explains.
Over time, the Indicative brand will go away and all products will fall under the Nimsoft name.
"We will be co-developing and eventually the products will come to a single code base with multiple products. Our customers won't need to migrate and no one is going to be asked to change from one product to another. The paths will converge," Rivington says. "The current products will be upgraded to a common platform in the future."
And with more than 160 employees and 600 customers, the new Nimsoft believes it will definitely provide a viable alternative to the big four for new customers.
"The combined strengths of Nimsoft and Indicative Software will enable us to deliver a new performance and availability monitoring solution designed to serve the needs of customers for the next decade. Our new motto: The Big 4 promise. Nimsoft delivers," said Gary Read, president and CEO of Nimsoft, in a company press release.