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BMC, Marimba join forces in $240 million deal

BMC Software last week agreed to acquire Marimba, a Mountain View, Calif.-based maker of change and configuration management solutions, in a cash deal valued at approximately $240 million. BMC expects to complete the acquisition by Sept. 30, pending regulator and stockholder approval.

BMC plans to combine technologies acquired from Marimba with its Remedy line of enterprise management products. "[T]his acquisition positions BMC Software to offer a unique set of enterprise solutions that simplify IT operations and extend our leadership position in Business Service Management," said Bob Beauchamp, BMC Software's president and CEO. "Additionally, the combined technology offers customers a complete solution that focuses on business and IT alignment solutions that reduce costs and business risk."

Business Service Management (BSM) is BMC's strategy for aligning IT with an enterprise's overall business goals. Announced by BMC last April, the BSM strategy is to enable companies to move beyond traditional IT management and to manage their business-critical services from both an IT and business perspective. The intent of the BSM strategy is to provide solutions that will enable customers to link their IT resources tightly to business objectives, and to manage these resources based on business priorities by providing a "whole view" of their business and IT operations.

Conceptually, BSM bears a resemblance to a number of emerging strategies for aligning IT with overall enterprise goals, including Mercury Interactive's Business Technology Optimization (BTO) concept.

Theresa Lanowitz, research director at Gartner, sees strategies like these as responses to the failures of IT investments to yield promised revenue gains or cost savings prior to the tech downturn. "Business and IT are becoming more closely aligned," Lanowitz told eADT. "People now see that IT isn't some sort of odd appendage that needs to be managed elsewhere; IT needs to be part of the business decisions of the overall company."

The Marimba deal represents BMC's third technology acquisition in four months. In February, the company purchased Network Associates' Magic Solutions Assets, which was also integrated into Remedy. In January, the company acquired ASA Knowledge. BMC acquired its Remedy services and support applications in 2002 from then-bankrupt Peregrine Systems. Remedy offers service management products and help-desk software designed to allow users to automate and manage internal and external service and support processes. BMC's Beauchamp said that Remedy products such as Change Management and Asset Management would be integrated with Marimba's discovery and provisioning products.

Marimba, founded by Sun's first Java product manager Kim Polese, was started as a so-called "push technology" vendor; when that strategy fizzled, the company shifted gears by moving into client/server management right around the time of the dot-com collapse. The company's two main rivals, ON Technology and Novadigm, were each acquired by big players recently (Symantec and Hewlett-Packard, respectively), and industry watchers were expecting a similar fate for Marimba.

BMC's products are used for a variety of enterprise IT management functions, including recovery and storage management, business process scheduling and integration, and application and database performance management. Founded in 1980, the company competes with big industry players, including Hewlett-Packard and IBM, to provide real-time management of IT resources for the enterprise. Industry watchers see the Marimba acquisition as a means for BMC to provide a complete solution on par with its competitors.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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