BMC integrates management tools

BMC Software last week announced the integration of its management tools to further its Business Service Management (BSM) concept.

Among the innovations, BMC said its 5.0 release of Service Impact Manager is integrated with BMC's Mainview mainframe management software, its Smart DBA data management software and Remedy IT Service Management Suite for the Enterprise.

Peter Armstrong, director of corporate strategy at BMC, said the product integration effort is joined with broad interoperability of BMC products with other management tools, such as Hewlett-Packard's OpenView software and Computer Associates International's Unicenter software.

"Customers don't have to rip out their existing products" to install new BMC tools, he said.

Joe Furmanski, technology project director at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said he is testing Service Impact Manager 5.0 to help monitor the center's massive Electronic Health Record application, which is used for ordering medicines, managing surgeries and providing a range of patient information.

The E-Health application, provided by Cerner, is a 10-year, US$130 million project at the center. Service Impact Manager will help give insights to business managers when problems occur with E-Health, Furmanski said. The underlying value of the management software will be to keep the E-Health application running around the clock, he added.

The center chose BMC over other management vendors primarily because of a BMC-Cerner partnership, Furmanski said. He expects to have Service Impact Manager fully integrated in three months. In all, the center has invested US$1 million in BMC products in recent years, he estimated.

The BMC news "makes BMC products more manageable in smaller bites" for users, said Dennis Gaughan, an analyst at AMR Research Inc. in Boston. "BMC is trying to make the BSM concept not seem so daunting," he added. "It's a sound approach."

Tim Grieser, an analyst at IDC, said BMC "has discovered that IT does not want a rip-and-replace approach to products supporting the business impact of IT. Integration of these products is a big deal to CTOs."

BMC joins CA, HP, IBM's Tivoli and others with major initiatives similar to BSM, which attempt to make IT more relevant to the business segment of a company, Grieser added. "BSM is a real thing and not a marketing position," he said. "It's a real attempt to provide a platform that shows the IT impact on business services."

Grieser said BMC has moved more quickly than competitors with its version of the initiative. BSM is one of the faster-growing segments of the overall systems management software market, which IDC said totaled $8.2 billion in sales in 2003 worldwide, up 9 percent from 2002. IDC predicts the market will grow about 6.6 percent each year through 2008, Grieser said.

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