BMC Charts Road Map

The product road map includes a storm of change and configuration management (CCM) tools, slated to go to market in a "rolling thunder" of launches this year, according to Harold Goldberg, vice president of worldwide marketing and business strategy for BMC's Remedy service management software unit.

BMC wants the industry to see that it understands the importance of mapping IT networks in a way that reflects the actual business processes that run across them, Goldberg said. So by year's end, the Houston-based software vendor aims to have all the goods necessary to implement IT discovery solutions that help administrators gauge the effects of network changes and model changes"such as server upgrades, patch management and provisioning"before they actually enact those changes, he said.

This summer, BMC plans to roll out its IT Discovery Suite. The software package will include tools such as Discovery Express and Configuration Discovery, which are designed to identify IT components in a network and then define their configurations, respectively.

Slated to come out this fall is the Topology Discovery tool, which will allow administrators to see how IT systems are related by application, Goldberg said.

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Also this year, BMC plans to leverage its acquisition of Marimba by serving up tools that help identify known, quality configurations. On that front, the open-architecture Configuration Management Database (CMDB) will act as a clearinghouse for the latest, best-practice configurations, allowing administrators to model changes against known configurations and safely experiment with changes, Goldberg said.

"Many network [administrators] are not upgrading things because they are scared of the changes that could occur," he said. "They don't realize what the upload and download effects of a change will be."

Tim Yario, president of Column Technologies, a Chicago-based VAR and Remedy partner, said he's looking forward to the new CCM offerings but has concerns about potential channel conflicts with direct-sales reps from BMC, Remedy and Magic Solutions, Remedy's midsize-business management software arm.

"The Remedy reps are selling Remedy, the Magic Solutions reps are selling Remedy, the BMC reps are selling Remedy. So what is going to happen to the channel?" Yario said. "It's a cloudy channel, and when you have all those mouths to feed, you mostly take care of your own before you take care of the channel."