The maturing of BMC

* The BMC of the 21st century

Recently, my Enterprise Management Associates colleagues and I spent time with BMC for an update on the company's progress over the past year. Like many other vendors, BMC has had its challenges in recovering from the dot-com heyday, but there is much good news to report, particularly of its efforts over the last couple of years.

The acquisition of Remedy in 2002 has obviously played a significant role in BMC's turnaround since - but this should not overshadow the fact that BMC has, at the same time, made noteworthy progress toward the integration of its entire asset family in what appears to be an increasingly coherent whole.

These assets include the 2004 acquisitions of knowledge management company Magic and desktop and server management software vendor Marimba. BMC also enhanced its identity management suite with the acquisitions of Calendra and Open Network earlier this year.

BMC's offerings form the basis of eight BMC-described "routes to value":

* Service-level management.

* Service impact and event management.

* Incident and problem management.

* Infrastructure and application management.

* Asset management and discovery.

* Capacity management and provisioning.

* Identity management.

* Change and configuration management.

Central to this strategy is BMC's configuration management database (CMDB), a product sector that has become important to IT management standardization initiatives, such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library. In many ways, BMC's Atrium CMDB is one of the most mature CMDBs in terms of vision.

BMC's federated approach to the CMDB recognizes the reality of IT in many organizations, where configuration information may be distributed among a number of sources. This places substantial demands on the ability of the CMDB to integrate across a range of domain-specific configuration solutions, with significant implications for change and configuration processes. BMC is consequently able to take liberal advantage of its ownership of Remedy as the anchor of IT service process management in many shops, but the Marimba brand also plays a leading role, as do the company's overall service model and its business impact analysis tools.

The BMC approach to CMDBs recognizes the important role identity information plays in configuration and service management. The company is one of a handful of CMDB vendors that look at mainframe assets, which is still a very important area for most large IT shops.

A number of other recent developments include the progressive rebranding of BMC's Patrol products to become BMC's Performance Manager portfolio - a much-needed rejuvenation of the Patrol brand. Still expected are ways in which the BMC portfolio can be leveraged across IT and organizational silos to integrate application-oriented service delivery vehicles such as services-oriented architectures, as well as ways in which BMC's integrated approach can be leveraged to further security and regulatory compliance management.

We'll be keeping an eye on these and other trends as BMC seeks to carry forward the momentum of the past few years. If you're a customer, we'd be most interested in hearing about your experience of the "twenty-first century" BMC. Drop me a line and let me know if BMC's routes to value are helping you get where you want to go.

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.