Everybody talks a good game when it comes to service-level management. But how many enterprises and service providers perform true service-level management?
Heres one answer: The market spent almost $1.4 billion on service-level management products in 2005, according to the first market sizing report on service-level management.
Enterprise Management Associates in early April released its new report and service-level management buyers guide, which projects that the market will grow 17 percent a year over the next five years.
According to the report, the top five companies in the SLM market have 58 percent of the total market. They include BMC Software, Hewlett Packard, Mercury Interactive, IBM/Tivoli and CA.
"Those five companies have over $100 million in annual revenue in service-level management," said Rick Sturm, founder and president of the Boulder, Colo., consulting and research firm.
"BMC is over $200 million and HP would be [as well] if we included Peregrine with them. BMC and HP are the strongest leaders in this space with market share and mindshare," he added.
Nine vendors in 2005 reached SLM revenues of between $20 million to $50 million, including InfoVista, Compuware and SLM services provider Keynote Systems. The second-tier vendors make up 18 percent of the market.
And there were 20 vendors representing 17 percent of the market that generated SLM revenues of between $5 million and $20 million, including MicroMuse, which IBM acquired late last year.
The time was right for such a study because of the convergence of several factors. That included the fact that it is now possible to generate measurements such as end-to-end response time.
"For many years in the distributed world, that was an unattainable holy grail," said Sturm.
"IT is now focused on delivering IT as a service at a consistent level, meeting the needs of the business, and end users are getting more sophisticated and demanding," he said.
But there are also economic benefits driving greater adoption of service-level management.
"By putting in a SLM program, companies can avoid overstaffing and over-provisioning to meet undefined user requirements," said Sturm.
"IT is always guessing how good is good enough going to be. With SLM, IT can avoid expectation creep," he added.
The study defined SLM broadly to include technologies that have also been described as business service management.