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Why the Mainframe Matters

Posted by Tom Parish Nov 30, 2006
Why the Mainframe Matters: Podcast interview with Mike Moser, product management director and program executive at BMC Software, Inc.



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At one time or another, virtually everyone who works with mainframes has heard that the mainframe is dying. This has been especially true in recent years, with the media publishing forecasts that foretell its imminent demise. But Mike Moser, product management director and program executive at BMC Software, disagrees. He has gathered actual customer data showing that more than 80 percent of the respondents say that mainframe use is holding steady or is actually growing at their company as new applications and new workloads are configured. And, why not? Most of the world's mission-critical data and transactionally intense workloads are hosted on mainframes. Also, if you are seeking the most reliable and stable platform with the lowest TCO, the mainframe is still king.

In this interview, Mike discusses the important developments and investments being made for this platform and the challenges and priorities of the organizations that have mainframes in their IT environment today. One key issue is that even though the mainframe is here to stay, fewer people are entering the workforce with mainframe expertise and experience. Mike explains why this skill set is valuable and where the opportunities lie. If you want to work with the most mission-critical applications and solve the toughest business problems, the mainframe is where it's at.


Email Mike Moser

BMC® MAINVIEW® Transaction Analyzer


Mike Moser is a product management director and program executive in BMC Software's Mainframe Service Management business unit. Before coming to BMC, Mike spent several years at both Digital Equipment Corporation as a hardware engineer and later in field consulting with clients in the aerospace industry on software development in real-time computing applications. Later at Ralston Purina, Mike was involved in IT strategic planning, technology planning, and application development. Mike has spent the last six years with BMC as a product manager in both distributed and mainframe product lines, with his most recent assignment focused on making BMC's extensive mainframe solutions portfolio a fully integrated member of their Business Service Management solutions.

The Future of Usability

Posted by Tom Parish Nov 16, 2006
The Future of Usability: Podcast interview with Randolph Bias, associate professor, The University of Texas at Austin School of Information, and Scott Isensee, user interface architect at BMC Software, Inc.



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bias.jpg isensee.jpg


What is the future of usability? Whether it's software, hardware, or any other technology, one thing is for sure: it's all about ease of use. But, that's a vague term, a catch-all phrase that just muddies the waters. Just what does "usability" mean? What's the history behind the term, what's driving trends in product usability today, and what are the biggest challenges in finding usability nirvana? Dr. Randolph Bias and Scott Isensee give sometimes opposing views of these questions, and more.

Have you ever had a problem justifying the cost of usability? You're not alone. This, and problems like developers testing their own designs and the dangers of amateur usability, are discussed in this podcast. The field of usability has existed for at least half a century, but interfaces are still difficult to use. Will this situation get better, and if so, how? One point on which Randolph and Scott both agree is that usability experts need to have a good mix of academic knowledge and business experience to be truly successful.


Randolph Bias
Scott Isensee's Blog: User Interface Design and Usability
Cost-justifying usability: An update for the Internet age
Designing for the User with OVID
The Art of Rapid Prototyping: User Interface Design for Windows and Os/2
User-Centered Design: An Integrated Approach



Randolph Bias was a usability practitioner for 25 years before joining The University of Texas at Austin School of Information in 2003 to research human-computer interaction and teach usability. He has published over 50 technical and scientific articles and co-edited Cost-Justifying Usability, 2nd edition: An Update for the Information Age. Randolph led BMC Austin's first usability team before joining UT, and he holds a B.S. in psychology and a doctorate in cognitive psychology.


Scott Isensee designs user interfaces for systems management products and leads a team defining the common user interface for BMC Software products. In the past he designed the Netpliance i-opener information appliance, led the cross-company user interface architecture group that designed the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) GUI for UNIX, led the IBM user interface architecture group, served on ISO and ANSI committees writing HCI standards, and designed hardware and software for the banking industry. Scott holds 50 U.S. patents and is a coauthor of the books The Art of Rapid Prototyping, Designing for the User with OVID: Bridging User Interface Design and Software Engineering, Information Appliances and Beyond, Constructing Superior Software, and User-Centered Design: An Integrated Approach. Scott holds master's degrees in Computer Science and Industrial Psychology.

IT Horror Stories

Posted by Tom Parish Nov 9, 2006
IT Horror Stories: Podcast interview with Peter Armstrong, corporate strategist at BMC Software, Inc.



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In this interview, Peter Armstrong, corporate strategist at BMC Software, shares common IT horror stories, their fixes, and strategies to maximize IT business value. Peter claims that the approach you take in dealing with potential IT nightmares is critical. It can make the difference between having a well-run organization that meets business objectives, or one that could get the corporate ax due to poor customer satisfaction.

Peter focuses on two things: change management and communication. When proper communication channels are put in place, the IT organization can effectively plan for the capacity necessary to handle any type of workload. Peter recommends incorporating best practices from ITIL and adopting a Business Service Management approach. This allows you to model different service scenarios and offer a complete view of the people, processes, and technology that support the services IT provides for the business.



IT World article:  "IT Horror Stories"

Peter Armstrong's Blog:  Adopting a Service Management Mentality

Whitepaper:  Strategies to Maximize IT Business Value - Automate and Optimize ITIL Processes

Business Service Management at BMC Software



Peter Armstrong is responsible for the increasingly important domain of how business and information technology need to work together. Armstrong has helped to develop the company’s Business Service Management (BSM) strategy. He is also responsible for educating BMC Software's customers and employees, the media, and analysts about the company's vision and strategy. In addition to evangelizing, he works closely with the company's development labs to keep them informed about customer plans and activities, particularly in the non-U.S. marketplace, helping to ensure that the solutions BMC Software delivers are pertinent worldwide both today and in the future.

The CMDB: What's Next?

Posted by Tom Parish Nov 2, 2006
The CMDB: What's Next? Podcast Interview with Ken Turbitt, Global Best Practices Director, BMC Software, Inc.



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What if you were part of an organization that has already successfully implemented a configuration management database (CMDB), the heart of ITIL - what happens next? Ken Turbitt, Global Best Practices director at BMC Software, answers that question by using the Gartner Hype Cycle for IT Operations Management, published this year. He discusses the technologies you need to understand now and the key market drivers like IT maturity, infrastructure stability, and organizational agility.

Did you know that Business Service Management (BSM) is ahead of the CMDB on the Gartner Hype Cycle? That's not unexpected, explains Ken. But, he doesn't agree with Gartner's assessment of the number of years to mainstream adoption: BSM is already mainstream, says Ken. IT controls, governance, and the ability to follow regulatory compliance mandates is a challenge, and the technology is there to overcome it. So, what's next? Ken is paying attention to IT asset management, data mining and analytics, business process consoles (like dashboards), CobIT, and service portfolio management tools (and so, he advises, should you).


Gartner Hype Cycle for IT Operations Management ($$)

Screen shot of BMC Dashboard for BSM

Podcast with Ken Turbitt: Looking at the Big Picture on ITIL


Ken Turbitt is a qualified ISEB ITIL manager and Gartner-qualified TCO consultant. He was a founding member of the Institute for the Management of Information Systems (member since 1985) "outsourcing special interest" group, founded a successful independent consultancy, and was an enterprise architect/analyst for Peregrine Systems, assisting sales and business development across EMEA. Ken also managed the Infrastructure Resource Management (IRM) consultancy practice within Fujitsu/ICL on a worldwide basis, where he was recognized as the ICL worldwide authority on Asset Management and related services. Before ICL, Ken was a management consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers (then Coopers & Lybrand), where he managed their Network Management Center. Currently, Ken is employed by BMC Software working as Best Practice director, assisting BMC in aligning with the Best Practices for IT services (e.g., ITIL, CobIT, ETom), presenting to clients, partners, and analysts.

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