BMC buys its way to service management

Over the past four years, BMC Software has transformed its earlier focus on data and applications management into a broad set of offerings centred around the twin philosophies of service management and infrastructure management.


Company: BMC Software

Main products: Patrol, Mainview and Control

CEO: Robert Beauchamp

HQ: Houston, Texas

Status: Publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Key financials: In the year to the end of March 2001, revenues reached $1.5 billion, down from $1.72 billion in fiscal 2000.

Key competitors: Computer Associates, IBM, Compuware

Infoconomy comment: BMC has gone from being a niche player in applications and database management to a mainstream vendor of infrastructure and service management software. But its acquisition-led expansion has left it with product integration issues.



For service management (which the company describes as "the ability to establish and meet business-based, service-level objectives while readily adapting to changes in your business") it has grown its portfolio to include application management and service-level management tools, and products for capacity planning, performance, recovery, and business information management.

Distinct from that, BMC has also augmented its infrastructure management offerings to cover database, network, platform, security and storage management.

That fast expansion, and the repositioning of products around the Patrol brand, has been achieved through a series of key acquisitions, as well as in-house development.

Above all, BMC's March 1999 acquisition of Boole & Babbage added a wide range of mainframe and mid-range server management tools to the line-up, but it also provided the basis for Patrol Enterprise Manager, a central console for bringing together its various service management tools.

An earlier buy-out – of BGS Systems – resulted in Patrol for Prediction and Capacity Management that enable users to pinpoint the cause of current and potential performance problems. And more recently, in February 2001, BMC added network performance reporting and visualisation capabilities in the form of Patrol Dashboard and Patrol Visualis as a result of its acquisition of Perform SA.

Although, with some justification, BMC can now boast its portfolio addresses "end-to-end service management" the company has been criticised for being slow to fully integrate the various acquired elements. Analysts argue that the BMC line up is still only "partially integrated".

Nevertheless, since 1999 the company has gone from being a niche player to one of the mainstream vendors in service management.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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