Achieving Success with Business Service Management

By Mark Settle  |  Posted 2010-08-23 Print this article Print

Achieving success with business service management

Business service management (BSM) is a comprehensive approach and unified platform for managing IT service delivery. At the very beginning of our virtualization initiative, we established a comprehensive BSM framework for managing asset provisioning. We employed the ITIL processes and a collection of BMC, VMware and EMC software products to manage server and storage assets in a closed-loop fashion.

Developers now consult a catalog of standard environments and submit asset requests through a standard service request management (SRM) procedure. Requests are routed to IT support teams in multiple geographies and a combination of BMC, VMware, and EMC tools are employed to allocate the requested resources. BMC tools are subsequently employed to monitor utilization of the provisioned assets. Assets are returned to the pool at the end of an individual project or if utilization is observed to be low or intermittent.

We have been able to virtualize roughly half of our global R&D server environment, reducing the number of physical servers we manage by roughly 50 percent over a two-year period and replacing the retired physical devices with virtual machines. One of the hidden benefits of the initiative has been the elimination of older data center equipment that was difficult and expensive to support, providing paybacks in terms of IT staff time and developer productivity. 

This closed-loop process has reduced our response times from weeks to days. Prior to this virtualization initiative, developer requests could trigger a four to six-week negotiation process between R&D and IT involving extensive paperwork and multiple meetings. About 95 percent of the requests that we currently receive from R&D are satisfied within two working days. More than half are satisfied within a single workday.

Mark Settle is Chief Information Officer at BMC Software. Mark joined BMC Software in June 2008. He has served as the chief information officer of four Fortune 300 companies: Corporate Express, Arrow Electronics, Visa International and Occidental Petroleum. Mark has worked in a variety of industries including consumer products, high-tech distribution, financial services, and oil and gas. During the early stages of his career, Mark was the director of a systems integration business unit within Hughes Aircraft Company. Mark is a former Air Force officer and NASA program scientist. His formal training is in the geological sciences. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from MIT and a PhD from Brown University. He can be reached at

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