With cloud-based services now becoming a fact of life for enterprises of all sizes and shapes globally, it's a clear trend that a growing number of vendors and service providers are following the lead of Apple and Google and building out their own public and/or private clouds as application, product and service stores.
This is simply basic "consumerization" of business IT, front and center. All of the new cloud apps are designed for 24/7 user access from any type of device—mobile or otherwise.
BMC Software has been ahead of the curve on this, launching its MyIT help desk cloud in October 2012. On Feb. 18, the Houston-based IT tools maker came out with 2.0 versions of MyIT and BMC AppZone alongside a new edition of BMC Remedyforce, which the company has dubbed "Winter '14."
On a high level, MyIT, AppZone and Remedy smooth out relations between the IT department and a company's employees. The social media-like MyIT enables employees to get the IT services and other information they need at any time of day and from any device, whether or not a service desk is open, and do it in a user-friendly manner.
AppZone provides an enterprise central access to approved business apps—whether cloud, mobile, custom or desktop. Remedyforce helps enterprises deliver a range of services from simple help desk functions to sophisticated digital business services that could use a Google-like mobile-user experience.
"We've expanded MyIT in v2.0 to include a much more social paradigm to enhance peer support," BMC Senior Director of Product Development and Partnerpedia founder Geoff Mair told eWEEK. "It's all about enhancing productivity by giving employees better access to everything they need to do their jobs."
BMC acquired PartnerPedia in August 2013 to provide application hubs for customers. This is the first major BMC release that includes PartnerPedia intellectual property.
The new products are purpose-built to manage a wide range of next-gen services that give employees tools to maximize job performance, Mair said. IT managers, meanwhile, are freed up to solve high-priority issues.
"MyIT 2.0 is like a touchscreen kiosk for end users -- just swipe, touch, click and help is on the way," said BMC customer Robert Stinnett, a data center automation engineer at Carfax. "I can see this having a lot of potential for creating 'micro assistance centers' within the organization.
"For example, teams rolling out a new project live, or a particular application within the organization, can quickly and easily setup their own micro assistance site through MyIT. It's a new era of IT that uses the collective knowledge of the organization to help find answers and deliver end-user services in near real time."
MyIT 2.0 and AppZone 2.0 are now fully integrated with Remedyforce, which gives employees a user-friendly interface across on-premise, on-demand and cloud/SaaS versions. MyIT 2.0 is currently in beta and will become generally available in April. To view a demonstration, go here.
With AppZone 2.0, enterprises can build their own app stores in which employees can comment, rate and share apps they like, allowing others to on-board applications based on peer selections. For IT, an enterprise app store provides the ability to procure, publish, secure and manage apps across the organization. Go here for more information on AppZone 2.0.
Top organizations have known for a long time that mobile social technologies represent the future of IT, but the products and services they've had to work with in order to make that leap were not designed for that task, BMC Chief Technology Officer Kia Behnia said.
"Our new products enable IT leaders to fundamentally transform the self-service experience by offering end users a powerful yet intuitive solution rooted in expectations created by Facebook and Twitter."