BMC Backs Installation Guarantee with Rebate

FRAMINGHAM (04/04/2000) - BMC Software Inc. in Houston has begun offering an on-time, on-budget implementation of its Patrol system monitoring software -- or else.

Should BMC run over budget or over deadline on installations of its Patrol software, it will guarantee a 20 percent rebate of professional services costs and free services for that installation until the deadline is met.

The guarantee is a good idea, said Patrick Dryden, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc., in Dallas, "but no more than BMC customers have come to expect."

It's no less than what Jeff Loesch, manager of Unix Administration at Hewitt Associates in Lincolnshire, Illinois, expects.

One of two BMC Patrol implementations at Hewitt ran past a Dec. 31, 1999, finish target, Loesch said. "BMC wound up completing the project in early March, and their services were free from January until it was finished," he said.

The idea of an on-time, on-budget installation guarantee is appealing, Loesch said, and something he would like to see from vendors on other projects.

"There's almost no reason not to have it," he said. "If we deliver on our part, why shouldn't (vendors) deliver on theirs?"

Why not, indeed? said Raymond Paquet, an analyst at Gartner Group Inc., in Stamford, Connecticut. "From a user perspective, I'd prefer all management implementation projects would be guaranteed."

A contractually guaranteed deadline tends to shorten implementations, Paquet said. "And that's a good thing. Studies show that projects that take longer than six months are three times less likely to achieve a good return on investment," Paquet added.

BMC claims a 30 U.S. cents-to-$1 ratio of services to software in its Patrol implementations.

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