eWEEK has begun a new IT products and services section that encompasses most of the categories that we cover on our site. In it, we will spotlight the leaders in each sector, which include enterprise software, hardware, security, on-premises-based systems and cloud services. We also will add promising new companies as they come into the market.
Today: BMC (tech-support service and asset management software)
Company description: BMC helps customers run and reinvent their businesses with open, scalable and modular solutions to complex IT problems. Bringing both experience in optimization and a passion for innovation to technologies from mainframe to mobile to cloud and beyond, BMC helps more than 10,000 customers worldwide reinvent, grow and build for the future success of their enterprises–including 92 of the Forbes Global 100.
BMC is a private company headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. Peter Leav is the CEO.
eWEEK on June 7 published a deep look at BMC’s venture into introducing cognitive computing into service management.
Markets: IT service management and IT asset management markets
International Operations: All BMC office locations can be found here.
Product and Services:
- Enterprise & Mid-Market Offerings: BMC offers two offerings for service management with Remedy Service Management Suite for medium and high maturity organizations, and Remedyforce for basic maturity organizations, both with built in best practices designed based on thousands of customer implementations, configurations and integration capabilities to meet the needs of every service organization.
- NEW OFFERING: BMC Helix: End-to-end Cognitive Service Management SaaS offering that customers can run in their choice of Cloud (AWS, Azure & BMC Cloud). At the core of BMC Helix are three attributes:
- Cloud: Everything delivered as a service: Remedy-as-a-Service, Discovery-as-a-Service, Digital Workplace-as-a-Service, Business Workflows-as-a-Service and Innovation Suite.
- Containers: Runs on customers’ choice of multi-cloud (BMC, Azure, AWS, etc.)
- Cognitive: Embedded cognitive capabilities to help customers transform from ITSM to CSM.
BMC Helix provides:
- Discovery-as-a-Service helps businesses discover assets & services across on-premise and multi-cloud environments (AWS, Azure, Open Stack, CloudFoundry)
- Remedy-as-a-Service delivers predictive service management through auto-classification, assignment, and routing of incidents; embedded multi-cloud capabilities to broker incidents, changes, and releases across cloud providers; integrations with tools like Jira to help operate in DevOps model.
- Business Workflows-as-a-Service helps extend beyond IT to lob like HR, Facilities, Procurement etc.
- Digital Workplace-as-a-Service provides omni-channel conversational experiences for end-users beyond web to Slackbot, Chatbot, SMS & Skype.
- Innovation Suite: Cloud-native micro-services-based platform that helps companies extend, customize and integrate through REST APIs.
Core ITSM Capabilities: Remedy provides the richest out-of-box IT service management capabilities from end-users, agents and operations.
- Rapid ticket entry and resolution with Smart Recorder. Enables service desk agents to enter incidents or service requests using natural language data entry, replacing the traditional form and field-based approach to incident registration and allows users to simply type free-form text as they converse with customers. Users, assets and services can be quickly searched, selected and tagged using the “@” symbol – much like using social network sites like Facebook or Twitter. Remedy will automatically analyze the agent’s description and suggest relevant incident templates, service catalog items, knowledge articles, assets, user history, outages, similar incidents and problem investigations that can help the agent resolve the ticket quickly
- Rich, ITIL compliant best practices for key service management processes that embed mature practices into both the user experience and the back-end workflow to ensure process maturity out of the box, reducing administrative overhead to automate service management.
- Native mobile apps: Fully featured apps on every iOS and Android device that empower users to accomplish their tasks from anywhere, including mobile dashboard & reporting. Includes unique features based on mobile capabilities, including bar code scanning for asset inventory, asset swaps and re-assignment via Apple Watch.
- Persona based user experience, based on extensive customer research and prototyping, that automates and simplifies ITSM processes for users and tasks.
- Embedded KCS: Embedded Knowledge-Centered Support best practices to find, create, and evolve knowledge articles. Track and manage knowledge candidates, contributors, coaches and publishers, perform article quality assessments on-the-go and out-of-the-box reports for managing article lifecycle.
- Social collaboration: Activity timelines, tag and comment users in activity feeds, launch & save chats in context of a ticket or change, collaborative report creation and crowd-source knowledge.
- Change Management: Simplified change request process with a guided process on mobile and web, drag-and-drop change calendar, and automated & contextual collision detection and impact analysis.
- Smart Reporting: Self-service BI for ITSM that enables service delivery teams to gain insight into their operations offered for no additional charge. Includes out of the box reports for every process, drag-and-drop, collaborative report and dashboard creation, storyboarding and native iOS/Android apps.
- Asset Management: Scan, receive and swap physical from mobile devices with no additional hardware or software needed.
- CMDB: Scalable, service view configuration management for IT Operations Management. Offers deep class structure, data and service models, federation, reconciliation and normalization from disparate sources, and agentless application and dependency mapping
Cognitive Service Management: Contextual capabilities that assist IT and business users to complete tasks faster and improve productivity and agility throughout service management processes and experiences.
- Chatbot & Virtual Agent: The BMC Chatbot enables end-users search, resolve and request services through a conversational and personalized interface. BMC Chatbot. At any time, self-service users can escalate their issue and chat with a live agent.
- Auto-Classification, Auto-Assignment, Auto-Routing of tickets: We haveembedded cognitive capabilities into Remedy Service Management Suite to automate classification, assignment, and routing of incidents, to deliver fast and accurate resolution tickets.
- Cognitive Microservice: BMC Innovation Suite provides a Cognitive Microservice that integrates with IBM Watson and other AI platforms like TensorFlow, Lex and Cortana in the the future. This provides a turnkey environment for developers and enterprises to embed predictive intelligence into applications during development and significantly reduce time to market and delivery.
- Multi-cloud Service Management: To help our customers deliver and support these digital services in a multi-cloud, multi-provider environment, we have extended Remedy with Multi-Cloud Service Management capability that allows companies to automatically broker incidents to ticket management systems of external providers
- Ticket brokering with Cloud providers: Customers can easily setup ticket brokering capability with pre-built connectors for leading providers like Amazon AWS or Salesforce, while also enabling customers and partners to build their own connectors or define their own policies when such ticket brokering is triggered and how data is mapped. External ticket info is then shown in the Remedy UI in context of the internal ITSM record, and Service Desk agents don’t have to leave the Remedy UI to collaborate with external providers.
- DevOps Integrations with agile SW development tools: With this capability, users can automatically create Jira Issues from Remedy Incidents, without any manual data entry, and they can also create Remedy Change Requests from Jira User stories or relate multiple Jira User stories to a single Remedy Change Request.
- Digital Workplace: The BMC Digital Workplace Solution enables IT, HR, facilities and business groups to offer employees the same consumer-oriented experience workers enjoy in their personal lives. Solutions include:
- Omni-channel Self-Service: Across web, mobile (SMS), social (Slack, Skype), or cognitive chatbots and virtual agents to deliver a rich experience for employees to find answers, submit issues and requests with a consumer-oriented shopping experience.
- My Stuff capability extends interactions beyond requests for new items towards simple submittal of request for existing assets & services of the user.
- Enterprise Service Store: Eliminate catalog sprawl by aggregating catalogs from internal and external providers including AWS and Azure into one service catalog. Create workflows with no code including automated fulfillment and orchestration. Connectors are included to Office 365, JIRA, Citrix and more.
- SmartOffice: Enable users to book appointments at service clinics. View global office locations and floorplans with available hot desks or conference rooms and reserve them.
- Employee Journey: Ensure new hires’ asset and services are provisioned and available on their first day. Request HR services and communicate confidentially with HR.
- Lines-of-Business Service Management: BMC Business Workflows is a modern line of business case management solution for all lines of business like HR, Facilities and Procurement. Business Workflows is available with a Chatbot and can help define and automate workflows and manage cases with ease and efficiency.
- Multi-cloud Discovery: BMC Discovery for Multi-Cloud automates asset discovery and application dependency mapping to build a holistic view of all your data center assets, multi-cloud services (AWS, Azure, Open Stack, Cloud Foundry) and their relationships. Discovery delivers the most comprehensive visibility, start anywhere mapping and blind spot detection to deliver the single source of truth for the enterprise.
- End-to-end ITOM integration: An enterprise grade solution set with automation, performance and availability, discovery and dependency mapping and service management working together to speed service resolution, automate changes and populate service models.
- Deployment and Licensing Flexibility: BMC offers a choice in deployment with both cloud and private data center options and with BMC Helix customers can run on their choice of Cloud (BMC, AWS or Azure) BMC also offers transparent and flexible licensing is available with cloud, on premise subscription and perpetual licensing alternatives, and both concurrent and named users at the suite, service desk and operational specialist level to best meet the needs of large, global service providers and enterprises.
- Open ecosystem approach: Partnering with best-in-class IT management, AI vendors provides customers a choice vs. lock-in to a single-vendor framework
Insight and Analysis:
IT Central Station has 265 reviews of BMC software as of Aug. 1, 2018. Here is a recent example from an IT consulting team:
Valuable Features: “The ease of installation and configuration is valuable. It’s quick to build prototypes and full-fledged, database-based applications.”
Improvements to My Organization: “Product consultants who assist and maintain the product for customers.”
Room for Improvement: “It needs to be web based. The product also needs a client native (non-web) version re-introduced.”
Use of Solution: “I’ve been using the AR System for 20 years.”
Deployment Issues: “I’ve had no issues deploying it.”
Stability Issues: “There have been no issues with the stability.”
Scalability Issues: “There have been no issues with the scalability.”
Customer Service and Technical Support: “Both are excellent.”
Previous Solutions: “There was no previous solution in place.”
Initial Setup: “The initial setup is partially complex, but reading the install manual ahead of time is recommended to offset the complexity.”
Implementation Team: “We are a consulting firm that assists our customers based in this area.”
Gartner Peer Insights has, as of Aug. 1, 2018, 361 reviews of BMC software. Here is an excerpt from the lead review by a CTO from 2017:
Overall Comment: “Product is technically sound. Features are also good. But implementation issues are there. Third-party dependency is spoiling the product name. BMC should take the responsibility instead of third-party sub-contacting. In spite of the support was not satisfactory from BMC in the previous installation we procured BMC, based on their assurance for the support and implementation. But we find less experienced people are involved in the implementation. They are restricting their implementation strictly to the product without looking into hygiene of the environment. For example, while in implementation when they find varied number of monitoring tools are present in the environment / organization, they don’t bother about rationalization of the monitoring tools. They do not put efforts to put reduce the complexity of the environment or the implementation. Their planning time is relatively less than the required, because third parties want complete fast and go away to save the cost.”
If you could start over, what would your organization do differently? “If I want to do differently, First train own technical staff on BMC tool thoroughly and implement internally. We would like draw plan and debate and discuss the pros and cons of various alternative. And then only we go for implementation on our own. Direct support from BMC.”
What one piece of advice would you give other prospective customers? “If you are a large organization, do not depend on the third party for implementation. Do it on your own with sufficient planning. Do not implement it hurriedly. For an internal working group for implementation, do not implement any product without discussing and debating, especially BMC suite.”
What one thing do you wish the vendor did differently? “Provide the support directly, especially for large organizations. Do not involve third party for your comfort.”
What do you like most about the product or service? “Features, design and performance.”
What do you dislike most about the product or service? “Complexity of implementation.”
Would you recommend this product or service to others? “Yes.”
Please explain your willingness or hesitation to recommend this product or service. “If they can take care of the support aspects, we can go for BMC.”
BMC customers include:
Ocaso, Transport for London, Southern Company, BMW, eBay, USDA, US Forest Service, SAP, RoyalDSM, BT, NewsUK.
Other key players in this market: ServiceNow, Cherwell, Ivanti, CA Technologies, IBM, HPE, Axios, EasyVista.
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