BMC product builds 'Sears catalog' of IT services

BMC's new Service Request Management (SRM) helps IT managers better align work priorities

BMC will share details about a new product designed to help IT managers better align their work priorities with the demands of the business.

BMC's Service Request Management (SRM) software works on top of existing BMC products such as its configuration management database (CMDB) and helpdesk software to create an IT service catalog. The purpose of an IT service catalog is to represent available IT services and provide users with a system to request services, track the status of requests, and verify promised service-level agreements.

"If you think of IT as a business and IT users as customers, the premise of a service catalog is the same as a Sears catalog," says BMC CTO Tom Bishop. "It will show IT users all the services they can order, when they can expect delivery and what they will get with the service."

The software also would link service requests to the fulfillment process, BMC says, and help IT understand why specific service requests aren't meeting pre-set fulfillment goals.

SRM will give IT managers a look at how satisfied customers are with the services delivered and if new offerings are needed, industry watchers say.

"SRM allows IT to operate, implement and provide access to their services in a much more standardized, efficient and cost-effective manner," says Rich Ptak, principal and founder of research firm Ptak, Noel and Associates. "Also this way of accessing IT services will probably be endorsed as a best practice approach."

BMC says the processes laid out in the IT Infrastructure Library, or ITIL, partially drove the development of this service catalog application within BMC's broader suite of business service management products.

SRM runs on top of BMC's Action Request System, which is helpdesk and service management software acquired with Remedy, and works in concert with BMC's Atrium CMDB product, which captures relationships between defined catalog items and service definitions within the configuration management database. The software also works with BMC dashboard and analytics products to provide management views across products and provide ad hoc analysis.

While BMC will face competition from pure-play service catalog vendors such as newScale, Ptak says BMC's timing is right in terms of customer adoption plans.

"[SRM] gives BMC an offering that complies with a best practice approach and addresses the growing demand for service catalogs as IT and their business customers recognize the benefits, such as price, operational efficiencies, lighter maintenance and better understanding of IT services," Ptak says.

BMC's SRM solution is scheduled for general availability April 16. The company will determine pricing at that time.

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