BMC Software yesterday announced the acquisition of mid-market IT management provider Numara Software. It’s an interesting move for this decidedly enterprise-level provider and one that sees them make two distinct moves – firstly into the cloud in a big way and secondly down the food chain o offer a mid-market solution.

I spoke with BMC President, Paul Avenant about he deal and about the broader trends he’s seeing in the IT management space. To set some context, BMC gas generally targeted larger enterprises – it’s RemedyForce product (an IT management solution built on top of salesforce’s force.com platform) has some 150 customers, among them some of the biggest global corporates. There’s a big difference between selling to a Global 100 company and selling to a mid-market corporate. I questioned Avenant on this and asked how they would reconcile the different pressures involved in running a mid-market and an enterprise offering.

Interestingly enough BMC will create a completely separate sales operation for the mid-market product line, it’s a tacit admission of the fact that mid-market and enterprise have different needs. Even more interestingly, and in a move that gives me faith that his on-premises vendor may well succeed in a cloudy world, BMC has a completely agnostic approach in terms of customers using cloud or on-prem. Sales people are incented equally no matter where the solution they sell sits – that’s an unusual approach and one which certainly increases transparency and the belief that customers are getting the right solution for their needs. As Avenant said;

We give customers the choice to buy the software using whichever delivery mechanism they like. Our salesforce is incented to be neutral between on-prem and cloud

I asked Avenant whether the acquisition was a defensive move, aimed at reducing the threat from discrete, but integrated SaaS application. Unsurprisingly his contention is that mid-market organizations have a desire to use a suite-based product, and that integrated applications will never meet the breadth of heir needs. As such he sees the deal as more of an offensive acquisition – offering he mid-market a broad IT management suite.

Numara currently has around 13,000 customers worldwide for its FootPrints and Track-It! products which will now be offered by BMC. The combined product range will now include;

  • Numara FootPrints product for integrated service and asset management delivered on-premise
  • BMC Remedyforce Service Desk solution,
  • BMC Network Automation as part of the BMC Bladelogic Automation Suite
  • BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping
  • BMC End User Experience Management as part of the BMC Application Management Suite

I’m always interested to see “traditional” companies move to  cloud or hybrid cloud/on-prem model. In this case that, along with the interesting enterprise/mid-market play means that it will be fascinating to see how this goes for BMC.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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