BMC Software, Going Private, Puts Consumer Spin on IT, Cloud Services

As companies large and small try to figure out where they fit in with cloud computing and IT services, a competitive landscape has evolved where everyone is vying to create the next big innovation.

BMC Software, a 33-year-old firm, is making its way through the cloud-computing maze in Houston, and it is defending its territory from competitors like Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and CA Technologies. Last month, the company (NASDAQ: BMC) agreed to go private in a $6.9 billion sale to private equity investors.

On the IT front, the company has an internal team to work specifically ahead of different tech trends, said Jason Frye, a director in the office of the CTO at BMC Software. The team looks at the trends, sees which ones have the potential to stick, and then considers how best to apply a technology.

Over the past year and a half, BMC has focused on “quantified enterprise”—the relationship people have with data created by an enterprise, like a specific project or communication. It can also have a social aspect, such as how someone reacted to content created by a company by commenting on it or “liking” it on Facebook.

The company started to see a trend around enterprise users wanting to have the same experience with their own company that they had being consumers of other businesses, Frye said. His emphasis at BMC is on mobility and cloud computing.

“We thought about what was happening on a mobile perspective,” he said. “People want to buy a plane ticket, check-in, request an upgrade, all on one device.”

Frye added, “To do that previously, you had to pick up the phone and talk to someone, go to the airport, and wait in the security line. Today, we have more power in one hand. There are all sorts of things you can do now from a mobile device or a home PC. You can cash a check without going to an ATM.”

That led to Frye and his colleagues wondering how they could harness trends in consumer tech and the cloud to provide that same kind of interaction between an employee and his or her company. And at the same time, get rid of the friction between employees and IT departments, as well as provide social capabilities.

One of the tools that Frye said will make quantified enterprise easier to manage for companies is called MyIT, which rolled out last fall. At first, the project was a huge shift for BMC, which had not built a product before that was consumer-focused. BMC decided to go that route after seeing … Next Page »

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Christine Hall is a freelance business journalist based in the Houston area. Follow @ChristineMHall

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