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Compuware Takes on 'Big 4' in BSM

Compuware Corp.  this week purchased Proxima Technology for $31 million in cash to prop up its software collection.

Compuware, a specialist in the market for software that manages IT operations, bought Denver-based Proxima for its Centauri product, a software platform designed to help companies get a better grip on delivering IT services.

Following industry standards and practices, Centauri automates service improvements based on ITIL  and Six Sigma  quality-control schemas.

Compuware will blend Centauri with its Vantage application service management software for preventing application performance problems with precise diagnostic information and reports before they hamper business processes. Centauri also supports the Compuware Changepoint IT portfolio management software with compliance metrics.

Steve Tack, director of product management for Compuware's Vantage lines, told internetnews.com that Compuware's Vantage strength lies in the actual metrics for service level management, and Centauri will help Compuware render those metrics more readable for customers.

"We see the Proxima technology solution as offering a lot of value in combining application metrics, infrastructure metrics and service-desk metrics and organizing them and communicating them to help IT manage business more effectively," Tack said.

Compuware's purchase of Proxima has more general value, too.

With more and more IT processes being fostered by businesses, as well as the increase in federal regulations that require tighter controls of IT practices, corporations need better management software to help them align computing resources with business processes.

Business service management (BSM) is a crucial component of such IT and business process fusion because it allows IT managers to work better with customers and to prioritize service delivery.

With the acquisition, Compuware moves squarely into a multi-billion-dollar market with the so-called Big Four in management software: IBM , HP , CA and BMC .

Compuware, which will retain Proxima's 70 employees, as well as its offices in Denver, Australia and the U.K., will need to execute well to gain ground on its rivals in the competitive BSM space.

But the company could argue that being smaller will be an advantage, because it may be able to move quicker to meet customer requirements.

Tack said Compuware expects to provide more information about how the integration of the Centauri product with the Vantage and ChangePoint lines, as well as Compuware's competitive position in the market, will evolve in the next six months.



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