BMC Acquires IT Masters

Service modeling solutions strengthen IT service-level management tools; analysts see winners all around

Houston — March 27, 2003 — Enterprise solutions provider BMC Software has acquired IT Masters International, an enterprise management solutions company, for approximately $42 million in a move that analysts say will benefit both companies as well as their customers.

IT Masters is a privately-held company with software development offices in Belgium and Austin, Texas. The company develops service management technology that allows customers to model and visualize information technology (IT) infrastructure components correlated with the ultimate services being delivered. IT Masters' flagship product is MasterCell, an adaptive service management solution.

With this technology, IT organizations can prioritize their work according to their critical business needs. Specifically, customers can prioritize problem responses in a real-time, business-relevant manner by directly linking service delivery and support with IT infrastructure and application elements.

BMC Software said in a statement that the acquisition strengthens its service level management solutions for information technology (IT) organizations by adding adaptive service management capabilities to BMC's enterprisewide offerings. Combining BMC's enterprise management solutions with IT Masters' service modeling capabilities will enable customers to manage their business with an integrated service management approach.

The acquisition adds approximately 75 IT Masters employees to BMC Software.

Analysts See Winners on All Sides

In a commentary on the acquisition, Dennis Gaughan, an analyst with technology consultancy AMR Research, noted: "IT shops are increasingly evaluating their current systems management and service delivery capabilities. Being a good project delivery organization is no longer sufficient; today's IT groups must deliver efficient and continuous service delivery."

While a key part of this change is the IT organizations' shift from managing such technology components as servers and networks to managing business services, such as order management, Gaughan said that tools for measuring and managing the quality of service delivery are also critical. "BMC sees this change, and its acquisition of IT Masters gives it a process visualization technology to help tie together those processes for its customers," Gaughan wrote. "This level of process-centric management is the cornerstone of business service management (BSM), and BMC is now one step closer to filling out this strategy for its customers."

In addition, analysts Debra Curtis and Milind Govekar, of IT consultancy Gartner Research, believe the acquisition should benefit both suppliers as well as their customers. "IT Masters gets a safe exit from an event console market dominated by big enterprise management suite suppliers," they wrote, adding, "BMC gets to use IT Masters technology to build a business service management solution."

The Gartner analysts go on to assert that, "IT Masters technology will breathe new life into BMC's event console product, Patrol Enterprise Manager (PEM). BMC will immediately integrate technology from MasterCell, IT Masters' event console product, into PEM to improve event correlation, threshold analysis and alert escalation."

And MasterCell customers will benefit because the acquisition of the smaller IT Masters by major player BMC "ensures continuity and investment in the product," although Curtis and Govekar warned: "Enterprises using this product with IT Masters' previous partners — Computer Associates International, IBM Tivoli and Peregrine Systems — should prepare for a decline in support for integration with tools from these suppliers. Although BMC is committed to integrating data from multivendor management solutions, these competing suppliers will likely prove far less cooperative for BMC than they were for noncompeting IT Masters."

Final Word to BMC

For her part, Mary Nugent, vice president and general manager for service management solutions at BMC, predicted that the acquisition of IT Masters and its service management solutions would give BMC a significant advantage in the industry, strengthening the company's ability to help its customers understand more fully how the performance and availability of IT technology impacts specific business services.

"Knowing there is constant pressure on IT and business managers to reduce costs and target improvement efforts to areas that are critical to the business, companies need solutions that will help them understand where to focus," Nugent said. "IT Masters' technology allows modeling of the relationships between elements of the business service so that service can be managed dynamically. This makes the customer's service management infrastructure more adaptable so that their business can change faster."