Friday, July 30, 2004

RUG 2004 - BMC @ BMC

Today's speaker was Atwell Williams, Director of IT Services at BMC Software. His "BMC @ BMC" presentation described the trials & tribulations that BMC is encountering as they drink their own Kool-Aid(TM) and work to implement the complete Business Service Management (BSM) suite internally.

Because they get it for free, they already were monitoring each and every IT asset using BMC Patrol. Of course they had no real business priorities (a "critical" alert would send out pages, no matter what), and they certainly weren't tying individual assets to critical business processes.

When they tried to have the managers define what business processes were "critical", the answer was always (surprise): "Mine. Mine, mine, mine!". Trying a different course of action they asked CEO Bob Beauchamp what he thought were the most critical business processes. This time the answer turned out to be: "Anything that touches the customer." Good enough.

One of the cool ideas of BSM and using Remedy Asset Management at the core of the Change & Configuration DB (CCDB) is considering a business process as an asset. Remedy Asset Management allows the configuration of dependencies. This means business processes (like Customer Support) can have dependencies that include all of the hardware (servers, telecom, facilities, etc.), software (web, database, ARS, etc.). Additionally, these dependent items can have their own dependencies that includes things like memory, hard drives, CPU's, etc.

If any of the assets goes down, Patrol captures the event and the System Information Manager (SIM) can immediately map the dependent business process(es) and take action (including creating a help desk ticket and firing appropriate workflow). They learned a lot in this process and I suspect that this knowledge is finding it's way back to the BSM marketing team.

You can read more about his story here (pdf).


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