Software vendor, BMC, has begun discussions with several local network integrators in order to wrap services around new products it acquired last year.
Traditionally, BMC Software has focused on systems and application management products, but its acquisitions of Remedy in November 2002 and IT Masters in March 2003 have changed its product direction and subsequently its choice in channel partner.
Speaking shortly after the vendor’s Australian partner event last week, channel sales director for BMC, Terry Crawford-Smith, said the vendor is marketing a new concept to customers and partners called Business Service Management.
With the integration of the acquired products into BMC’s product set, the vendor claims its software can now not only monitor and manage infrastructure (server and network) systems but also model and report on the impact of these systems and their availability on an organisations business processes.
“This enables our partners to articulate to their customers the true value of IT to the business,” Crawford-Smith said.
In order to provide such a holistic service required not only server/application management skills but also network management skills, he said.
“We have been traditionally entrenched in the apps space – but the network aspect is key to being able to provide business service management,” Crawford-Smith said.
Popular network management solutions such as HP’s OpenView are both expensive and have a high engineering requirement, he said.
Using BMC software on the other hand, can either provide a lower cost solution or fill in solution gaps for existing users of such software.
Crawford-Smith said he was talking to several network integrators at present. While none had actually signed on as BMC partners, several attended the partner conference.
“The network management area is commoditising to some degree,” he said. “Many network integrators are looking to branch out from networks into apps and systems to increase the value of what they are delivering.”
The software tools have been architected so that channel partners can either deploy them onsite for the customer or deploy them internally and offer an outsourced managed service to clients, he said.
Examples of the latter include service providers Red Rock Consulting and mPower.
In the 2002 financial year, BMC Australia made a paltry 10 per cent of its revenues through channel partners – but this has increased to 20 per cent in FY03.
Crawford-Smith attributes that improvement to a “channel neutral” model whereby BMC’s direct sales force is compensated equally for pushing sales through partners as it would for fulfilling sales itself.
The company now expects to push more than 40 per cent of revenues through channel partners in the 2004 financial year.