BMC stakes claim to Marimba

BMC Software Inc. Thursday announced plans to acquire desktop and server management software maker Marimba Inc. for about US$239 million.

The acquisition, which after adjustments for Marimba's expected net cash balance is expected to cost BMC approximately $187 million, will add change and configuration management software to BMC's product portfolio. BMC products include systems management (mainframe and distributed) and application, service and network management products. BMC Software expects the deal to close in its second fiscal quarter, or sometime this summer.

BMC will incorporate Marimba software distribution, server provisioning and change management software into its Remedy business unit. BMC acquired Remedy in 2002 from then-bankrupt Peregrine Systems. Remedy offers service management and help desk software products to let users automate and manage internal and external service and support processes. BMC says Remedy products such as Change Management and Asset Management will be integrated with Marimba's discovery and provisioning products.

BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp says the technology acquired from Marimba, along with Magic Solutions software, acquired from Network Associates in December, will help the company build on its Business Service Management (BSM) product plans. BSM, like Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Adaptive Enterprise and IBM Corp.'s On Demand utility computing initiatives, promises to help enterprise companies dynamically roll out and pull back IT resources based on application demand.

"With a software distribution/configuration solution, BMC can deploy or remove applications from a server farm, which is one way of reallocating resources more dynamically. Ultimately BMC's goal is to have a single solution that monitors service performance for slowdowns and executes a change in the service configuration by automatically deploying another application server," says Jasmine Noel, a principal at research firm Ptak, Noel & Associates.

The purchase plans could be a response to HP's plans to acquire Novadigm, announced earlier this year. "That acquisition left BMC as the only large infrastructure management vendor without the ability to distribute and configure software," Noel explains.

BMC also detailed its fourth quarter 2003 financials, which were up 5 percent from the previous quarter to about $400.2 million. BMC reported $380.7 million in revenue the same quarter in 2002. Marimba announced first-quarter revenue of $8.3 million, compared with $10.1 million for the first quarter of 2003. Net loss for the first quarter of 2004 was $1.2 million.

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