BMC tackles e-biz reliability concerns

BMC Software Inc. recently announced new products and services designed to improve the reliability and performance of electronic commerce applications.

BMC, viewed as the fifth-largest independent software company, unveiled an initiative called Service Assurance for E-Business, which builds on its existing line of application management technology.

The e-business initiative consists of three parts: Patrol for E-Business Management, which is a product line designed to manage World Wide Web applications; Mainview for E-Business Management, which consists of applications that monitor Web-based mainframe applications; and Service Center Assurance Center for E-Business, which offers products, methodologies and consulting services for mission-critical e-business environments.

"We had 80 percent [e-business] coverage before this announcement. This adds 20 percent of what we need in this specialized environment," said Harry Clarke, BMC's federal manager. For example, BMC has added a set of products for firewall and Internet server management, including the capability to conduct simulated response-time analysis.

"Firewalls, electronic commerce servers, Internet servers—these are all things that are highly stressed in an e-business environment," Clarke said. "We've moved from 7-by-24 to 24-by-365. E-business is all the time, anywhere."

BMC, whose users include the Defense Department, the U.S. Postal Service and the FBI, takes a different approach from other enterprise management companies, Clarke said. "We focus on an integrated end-to-end management approach," he said, adding that the company focuses on managing all the links among the applications that make up an enterprise.

Clarke said this announcement should help the company continue to grow at a fast clip in the federal market. BMC has more than doubled its revenue and resources in the federal space annually since establishing an office in the Washington, D.C., area five years ago.

BMC's Patrol for E-Business, along with its Mainview for E-Business, promises users an end-to-end view of their e-business applications, which is significant, said Richard Ptak, vice president of security, systems, applications and e-management at the Hurwitz Group Inc.

"They are taking an active [step] to put together a complete set of products and services to monitor, manage and report on the delivery of e-business services," Ptak said. "You don't have to rely on multiple vendors or partners to get that complete integrated package."

The fact that this is an extension of BMC's existing product line likely will attract its existing users, Ptak said.

Still, the challenge for BMC will be how to differentiate itself from the crowd. "Everybody comes out saying they're a leader in electronic business," said Joseph Marino, an Internet commerce analyst at Current Analysis Inc., Sterling, Va.

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