BMC Rolls Out New Online Tool, Revamped Partner Program

BMC's Flight Deck Global Solutions Site helps partners simplify the presentation of its Business Services Management (BSM) offering and related products and better explain the benefits to customers, said Lori Cook, vice president of professional services and channels at the Houston-based software vendor.

BSM is BMC's blueprint for better aligning a company's IT network with its business processes. It's designed to be implemented in a step-by-step fashion that BMC calls Routes to Value, and one of its goals is to deploy BMC's Atrium configuration management database (CMDB), a centralized change management system that encompasses BMC's line of products and those from other vendors.

Since BSM is inherently complex, partners have been crying out for something like the Flight Deck Global Solutions Site to help them explain the BSM proposition more quickly and cleanly. "It literally replaced a six-foot-tall set of manuals," Cook said of the site.

The Flight Deck site features product demonstrations that can be tailored to a customer's IT environment and business processes. Through a detailed interface, the tool can demonstrate processes as simple as the automated hand-off of a service order between departments or as complex as the effectiveness of a CMDB. The site also lets partners create and permanently store custom demos for vertical industries, such as health care and telecommunications.

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Jay Moore, CTO of TuringSMI, an enterprise IT solutions consultant and BMC-only shop based in New York, said the Flight Deck site makes BSM and BMC's product line as easy to sell to business-line executives as to network administrators. The ability to quickly create and demonstrate lofty concepts like BSM in a way non-technical people can understand helps close sales faster, he noted.

"The boardroom wants to be able to get their hands around something [like BSM] quickly," Moore said. "They say, 'I want to see it, I want to touch it, I want to play with it.' "

BMC's retooled channel program adds a third, upper tier to its partner program. Called Elite, the new tier will reward and incent BMC's top-performing partners in a more lucrative fashion than in the previous program, according to Cook.

One such partner that's now in the Elite tier is TuringSMI. The solution provider has doubled its revenue over the last year, in part, because of early access to BMC's Flight Deck Global Solutions Site and changes that have been occurring in BMC's channel program leading up to the launch of the Elite tier, said Phil Brooks, CEO of TuringSMI's Americas and Asia-Pacific operations.

In the run-up to the launch of the revamped channel program, BMC increased its market development funds (MDF) for partners by 3 percent, Cook said. The company also cut 200 legacy partners that were underperforming, she added.

Calling those partners "opportunistic," Cook said most of the partners let go were in BMC's Member tier, and some of them came to BMC via its acquisitions of Remedy, Marimba, Magic and Calendra. In March 2005, BMC consolidated the partner programs of the acquired vendors into one.

BMC's move to drop partners with low sales production contributed to TuringSMI's BMC sales increase, according to Brooks. Competition with some of those partners had squeezed pricing and, in turn, undermined the value of a BSM solution sell, he said.

"They created noise," Brooks said. " 'Body shop pricing' is what some of them would stoop to in order to close a sale."

Since becoming BMC channel chief in May 2005, Cook also has overseen a reduction in BMC's professional services group. The vendor increasingly has been directing professional services business to its channel partners, and today about 90 percent of all services are fulfilled through the channel, she said.