An enterprising idea for integrating IT components

BMC Software''s acquisitions lead to an integrated system for managing an enterprise''s applications and hardware.

As businesses transform themselves into online e-businesses, reliable and continuous operation of technology becomes increasingly critical. When service is compromised, so is an enterprise's ability to conduct business - opportunities are missed, competitive edge is lost and end-user productivity is diminished. BMC Software claims recent acquisitions has helped it produce an updated version of its flagship product for enterprise management, enabling clients to manage service levels more effectively.

Wayne Morris, vice president of BMC Software, says Patrol 2000 provides tools necessary to manage today's complicated IT systems and make sure that everything from e-mail programs to network and database access work efficiently.

At a basic level, service-level management products provide the means to measure the service delivered to customers, whether those customers are employees and divisions within a company served by the IT department, or customers outside the company. But Morris says Patrol 2000 goes beyond just measuring, with a methodology of monitoring, managing, controlling, optimizing and predicting service levels and end-user access to critical applications and networks.

"Patrol 2000 aims at providing the missing links in today's IT environment enabling customers to view the entire extended enterprise and for the first time obtain true end to end service-level management," says Morris.

BMC Software acquired a company called BGS two years ago and as a result started work on integrating BGS' Best/1 product into their range. Best/1 was the industry-leading performance analysis and prediction technology, which made it very complementary to BMC's original Patrol product that focused mainly on application and data management.

BMC software also acquired Boole & Babbage a year ago and immediately began work on integrating its Command Post enterprise management terminal into the BMC range.
Morris admits that bringing these different solutions together was a challenging task, hence the long development time for Patrol 2000. "But we didn't just integrate," he says. "We also added new functionality."

Patrol 2000 now allows management of an enterprise's whole IT infrastructure from a single control panel. It can manage performance, diagnose service problems and events, predict future capacity requirements and generate reports across a whole range of systems data.

BMC Software proudly claims that its products are used at over 50% of Fortune 500 companies and it includes many of the world's top financial institutions, including Merrill Lynch, HSBC and E*Trade. So how does Patrol 2000 cope with the very specific needs of financial institutions? Despite the many specialist networks, messaging protocols and applications that need to be managed by the IT department at financial institutions, Morris says that Patrol 2000 can interface effectively with just about any standards.

"Where we can, we deliver off the shelf solutions," he says. "But for specific needs we can develop solutions that interface with whatever applications a company uses. We can develop these modules ourselves, work with the customer, or the customer can develop new modules on their own."