What the BMC acquisition of Tideway Means to the BSM Market

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BMC Software announced yesterday the acquisition of Tideway Systems Limited, a UK-based, privately-held IT discovery solution.  As outlined in the press release, there is always goodness in IT delivering greater value to their business community through improved understanding of what IT assets are owned, what constitutes their relationships and inter-dependencies, where they are located and who owns them.  Tideway's contribution to that value is unquestioned.  (See Israel Gat's story on the acquisition announcement). 
BMC indicated that "the new offering supports the complete set of discovery requirements for BSM and features deep integration with BMC's Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB)." The yet-to-be fulfilled promise deals with the deeper integration of Tideway's IT discovery and BMC's Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB).  I'm assuming deeper integration as a result of the acquisition, else why the need to buy out their premier IT discovery partner ...except to remove that premiere offering from the grasp of BMC's competitors? 

Unknown is the impact to Tideway's existing partners such as Oracle and ASG Software Solutions.  What about the other 60+ Tideway partners and those customers who are dependent upon Tideway technologies?

We're also wary of any tool that promises to support the "complete set of discovery requirements for BSM" ...when true Business Service Management (BSM) requires discovery and mapping of most business oriented assets.  For example, does this mean that BMC is promising to support all types of business assets, including communication assets, manufacturing assets, inventory assets and transportation assets ...all of which include embedded IT components leveraged by commercial applications?  That would truly be impressive.

Finally, as IT management becomes more of a gating factor for the successful implementation of cloud computing, the BMC recognition that "visibility into the data center" and the need to "model, manage and maintain applications and services" is critical for cloud environments is welcomed. We believe the Tideway acquisition puts BMC in a stronger position to build a cloud-based CMDB which could become a core competence within BMC's solution suite, should they decide to pursue this value proposition. 

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What surprised me about the announcement is that BMC already had discovery tools in place. Perhaps the real reason was a) Improve market share in this key area (it's the starting point for CMDB population and on-going Change management policing) and b) Remove a competitor in this tough entry level arena. Whatever the real reason, it's still a smart move. Traditionally BMC acquire partners that already integrate with their solutions, thus speeding up the offering to market and obtaining a quick ROI. What would be interesting to know is what percentage of the Discovery market BMC now holds with this acquisition.

So which other vendor will now go shopping?

Bill mentions building cloud-based CMDB as one intriguing possibility. See Annie's Shum's post Cloud Computing: Agile Deployment for Agile QA Testing http://theagileexecutive.com/2009/10/21/cloud-computing-agile-development-for-agile-qa-testing/ for a good example of the new styles of computing enabled through the Cloud.


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This page contains a single entry by Bill Keyworth published on October 20, 2009 6:32 PM.

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Peter McGarahan: First Contact Resolution = the Performance Driver for IT is the next entry in this blog.

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