RealTime IT News

BMC Buys Into IT Process Automation

So much emphasis has been placed on IT process automation in the past year that if there were more startups, they'd be snatched up like buttery sweet hot cakes. Opsware got the ball rolling when it purchased RealOps rival iConclude in March for $54 million.

RealOps today became the second IT process automation (also called run book automation) startup to get gobbled up, with BMC Software agreeing to buy the company for an undisclosed sum.

IT process automation applies the correct resources to changes that arise in computer systems to prevent downtime. The idea of the technology is to keep computer systems running as needed and eliminate a lot of manual work for IT administrators.

The deal is no stretch; RealOps and BMC are already partnered and offer an integrated operations automation platform to enable IT organizations to define and automate their IT processes.

Fully united, RealOps' AutoPilot software and AMP platform will further automate problem, change and service management in computer systems, complementing the Atrium Configuration Management database (CMDB) in BMC's Remedy IT process automation platform.

With AMP and Atrium, BMC hopes to boost the availability of business services by minimizing service interruptions and speeding up problem analysis and resolution.

Buying Real Ops will help BMC compete with Opsware , IBM , HP , CA and others in the competitive market for management software that helps enterprises react quickly and make intelligent business decisions about processes or transactions.

The deal also leaves Opalis and Optinuity as the standalone players in the IT process automation market and is interesting because Opalis partners closely with BMC and makes an integration pack to work with BMC's Patrol package.

Opalis CEO Todd DeLaughter may have proved prescient in telling internetnews.com at the Gartner IT Operations and Management conference last month that Opalis would be the last standalone player left standing. But where does this leave Opalis in BMC's plans?

A BMC spokesperson would only say "BMC is not currently planning to make any changes to the Opalis relationship. Like all partnerships, we will evaluate customer demand and business value on an ongoing basis."

Enterprise Management Associates senior analyst Andi Mann called BMC's move a smart one and said Opalis may have to worry, with RealOps seemingly supplanting any need for Opalis.

"There's a limited number of niche players, and they've all got really good capabilities," Mann told internetnews.com. RealOps is one of the better options and it's a good product."

Mann added that while Opalis has the opportunity to grow beyond a niche player, it will be difficult. He expects Opalis and Optinuity to eventually be targeted by IBM, HP, CA, Symantec or EMC .

"It's becoming a critical differentiator in a company's portfolio and so far, IBM, HP and CA don't really do this," Mann said. "All of them over time will probably be acquired."