One application to rule them all — that’s what is needed to keep an ICT shop running smoothly, according to Sean McDermott, founder of Run-Book Automation specialist, RealOps.
Enterprises that have invested in point products — for fault and incident management, performance management, asset-tracking and other aspects of keeping an ICT shop running — are starting to realise they need an over-arching application to bring all the information together, says McDermott, who founded RealOps in 2004 with just such a market in mind.
BMC Software clearly agrees with McDermott’s prediction that this market is ripe, having bought out RealOps last year.
McDermott was in New Zealand last month, as part of the Pacific region rollout of the RealOps’ RBA product. The first Australian client was signed up last quarter, he says, and he is scheduled to speak to a number of local companies he considers promising prospects.
Jim Grant, general manager of BMC’s Enterprise Service Management business unit, said at the time of the RealOps buy: “The acquisition of RealOps provides BMC with a mature product that fits well with our BSM (business service management) strategy.”
RealOps came about as a result of the service automation work he had been doing since 2001, says McDermott. When the company was formed, in 2004, it started out selling to a few early adopters, says McDermott, who is now BMC vice-president for service automation.
However, since mid-2006, there has been a sudden rise in interest, he says — as demonstrated by the many people coming to the RealOps booth at trade shows.
“People were promised large returns on investment [from products aimed at boosting operational efficiency], but there was insufficient integration, so they found they weren’t getting it.”
RealOps work is called run-book automation, a term from the early days of computing which refers to a written set of standard operating procedures. Typically, it contains procedures for starting, stopping and monitoring systems or networks, and for handling special requests and problems that may arise.
Analyst firm Gartner has identified RBA as a class of products ripe for growth.
McDermott names HP and OpsWare as leading competitors in the field, but neither offer quite the complete picture that is the BMC-RealOps combination, he says.