BMC Software, now a Wall Street darling with a stock price thats doubled in the past two years, has transformed itself from a company struggling to remain profitable to one that is outpacing competitors—despite a relatively flat mainframe management software market.
As it dismissed workers and suffered through acquisition rumors, the company worked to flesh out its business service management strategy through internal developments and acquisitions.
On Feb. 8 the company posted a better-than-expected 9 percent revenue gain and bested its earnings per share estimates at 41 cents a share for its fiscal third quarter of 2007. eWEEK Senior Editor Paula Musich spoke with BMC President and CEO Bob Beauchamp about the turnaround.
BSM is not the easiest concept to grasp, and it generally means different things to different people. Why is it that BMC seems to be getting such good traction now in its BSM strategy?
I think its a couple of things. One is that we hit the sweet spot of managing IT processes consistently. I was on the phone yesterday with the CIO of Lowes, and he talked about the need to manage configuration, change and assets in an integrated and consistent fashion to automate IT operations. We have the bases covered with great prods, methodologies for implementation, a strong Atrium [Configuration Management Database]. We can deliver the architecture to finally manage IT like its part of the business. IT did this for CRM, supply chain, financials and HR. Now theyre doing it for themselves in building an integrated system to manage IT instead of [using] a bunch of point products.
BSM really assumes for the most part the implementation of (IT Infrastructure Library) best practices, but that can be a multi-year effort and involves significant re-engineering of the way IT is organized and managed. Isnt it a very long sales cycle to try to sell technology into that process?
Its not because we dont attempt to get customers to buy off on the entire ITIL lock stock and barrel. In my call with the CIO from Lowes, he said I have to do change management, configuration management and most importantly asset management, but I will do each of those one at a time. People are taking a pragmatic approach. BSM gives you the architecture to build one step at a time, not the entire staircase in one day. We focus on bite-sized implementations—discrete processes one at a time.
We saw big bang projects would not work, so we deliver this with an overall architecture that gives confidence in moving toward a highly integrated method of managing IT, but not in one big buy or one big project.
How well has Atrium (BMCs CMDB) done since it became available? What progress has it made to date?
Its one of the fastest growing products in our history. It is part of a very large percentage of our BSM customer successes. Customers are buying off on the CMDB, its scaling to volume, and in production with large customers. Its the one piece of software in our whole portfolio I was most counting on—that it would work right, scale, and change the industry. Im pleased to report it is delivering everything it was promised to do. Its the glue that pulls it all together.