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Enterprise IT Service Management Market Is Heating Up

Companies like Cherwell Software, Ivanti, BMC Software, CA Technologies and Micro Focus are cashing in on the enterprise IT automation bonanza.

ServiceNow isn’t the only player cashing in on the enterprise IT automation bonanza. Among the companies that are challenging ServiceNow in the market are Cherwell Software, Ivanti, BMC Software, CA Technologies and Micro Focus.

“Automation has been at the core of what we’ve been doing for 10 years,” Cherwell CEO Sam Gilliland told CRN. “We have the tools that can provide the glue, the integration of all that, from end to end. From the service catalog, to procurement to spinning up the servers to then surrounding the whole package with our IT service management tools.”

Gilliland, who took over as CEO five months ago, said he wants to see a massive increase in the number of solution providers selling Cherwell’s software.

“We think there’s a huge opportunity working with VARs and MSPs and, in fact, that’s a key tenet of our strategy,” he said. “One of the things we’ve highlighted in the time I’ve been here is the importance of our partners. In fact, I’d really like to see about half of our sales growth coming from partners. That would be up from about high single digits of our bookings growth on an annual basis, so really increasing our footprint with VARs and MSPs is a significant part of our strategy going forward.”

Whether customers call it IT automation, or IT service management, Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Cherwell said it offers a codeless platform that makes integration of its software portfolio easier for partners and customers. About 70 percent of Cherwell’s customers use the company’s software for capabilities beyond IT service management, developing their own use cases to fit their business, he said.

“From a target point of view, what we’re trying to go after is a service provider who is at critical mass, who has several lines of business. They might have a managed service provider line business, but they also have a system integration business,” said Cherwell Chief Revenue Officer Andre Cuenin. “Service providers are helping customers go from reactive to a proactive stage. Then they’re all trying to automate what’s possible. They use different technologies to do that. I think the type of technology you choose really matters on how competitive you can be.”

Another big player is Salt Lake City-based Ivanti which, according to Reza Parsia, vice president of channel sales, is expanding its partner program to seize the channel high ground, adding 50 new MSP partners last year as it strives to move to a 100 percent channel model.

“We’ve been very actively involved in expanding our partner programs,” he said. “Automation has been the core of a lot of that. Our landscape of managed service providers, VARs and solution providers, it is what is allowing us to differentiate ourselves by giving our partners the ability to bake in to their own services.”

Looking ahead, Parsia said he sees the channel opportunity for IT services automation growing at a rapid clip.

“There are a lot of partners that we come across who do not have a full concept of this, and they’re trying to figure it out themselves because their customers are asking,” he said. “I see more partners adopting it. I see Ivanti in the driver’s seat and providing this to more partners.

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