BMC Software enhances SAP management tools

TORONTO — Quick return on investment has become just as important to BMC Software’s chief information officer as it has to many of the enterprise application firm’s customers.

“”If you talk to me about a project that’s going to

take one to two years to see ROI, I’m not interested,”” said Jay Gardner, CIO for the Houston, Tex.-based maker of management software. “”Really big projects are very difficult in terms of getting executive sponsorship right now.””

Gardner spoke to Computing Canada during a break at the company’s Canadian user conference. Hudson’s Bay, Telus and other BMC clients gathered to discuss the company’s product roadmap and technical briefings on key applications.

Gardner, who described himself as BMC’s biggest customer, said his own checklist includes improving the customer experience over BMC’s Web site with more detailed FAQs, downloadable code fixes and new releases. “”It’s going to be a sort of myBMC,”” he said, “”Similar to myYahoo!””

Or perhaps mySAP. The day before the user conference, BMC released SAP-centric management solution sets that it said will allow customers to better manage their mySAP applications and the systems they utilize.

BMC gained attention as the first independent software vendor for IBM’s DB2 product line, but earlier this year, it reorganized under an enterprise systems management and enterprise data management unit. Its history in the mainframe space, however, is what attracts customers like Telus.

John Craig, a manager with Telus’ Enterprise Solutions Group, said the company first developed a relationship with BMC through Boole & Babbage Inc., which BMC acquired in 1999. At the time, Telus was left in a quandry when Computer Associates bought Legent and retired a product line, Automate, which Telus used to monitor its mainframes and servers. At the same time, Craig said, Telus was dissatisfied with Candle Corp.’s Omegamon performance and availability monitoring tool.

“”There weren’t a lot of enhancements going on,”” Craig said, which led Telus to work with Boole & Babbage (later BMC’s) software. “”We wanted to stay with a company that believed that mainframes were going to be around for a while.””

Telus has now standardized on BMC’s Mainview product line, which Craig said has offered the company easier installation, a common look and feel for its personnel and an easy interface with the OS/390 automation. Threshold alerts, meanwhile, have helped Telus better maintain its service level agreements.

“”We don’t have the luxury to have people sitting around in front of monitors looking for stuff to happen,”” he said.

BMC has also signed recent agreements with the Hudson’s Bay Company to handle its data storage and Montreal’s Gaz Metropolitan to assure availability of its SAP system.

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