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-by Matthieu Laurenceau, Technical Marketing, ESM R&D


One of the most fundamental components of BMC Atrium is BMC Remedy AR System.

It's the Workflow Engine, initially used by all Remedy Products (ITSM or CSS for example), and now leveraged by more and more Products in various BSM disciplines.


Fundamental Issues fixed

Let's think about the value for a customer.

For each BSM Product you implement (CMDB, SLM, Change, Service Desk, Asset Management, Self-Service, etc.), you have to think about lot's of details (that's what I can read in each RFP).


The first part is quite technical:

  • What Operating System is supported? Can it run on virtual machines?
  • What are the databases supported? (pls confirm that I only need one database, and I can use my preferred vendor)
  • Which vendor/version of Web/JSP Server should I use?
  • Is my current browser version supported? (pls confirm that no Java applet will be used)
  • Can it work in multi-lingual? does it support Unicode? How can I add another locale that is important for my business?
  • How to achieve High Availability? Is it transparent to load-balancing?
  • How to achieve scalability across the WAN?
  • Can it work in a fully distributed fashion, allowing a real follow-the-sun approach?


Even more important, you need to understand how it will integrate with the rest of the IT:

  • Can I use External Authentication? How to integrate with Kerberos and LDAP/AD?
  • How can I implement Single Sign On?
  • Can screens be displayed in my Enterprise Portal, using JSR-168?
  • What APIs are provided? C++, Java, web-services?
  • Does it allow both real-time reporting and multi-dimensional reporting?
  • How to integrate with my current CMDB, or my Business Repositories?
  • How can I maintain People and Group information?
  • Do I have to maintain specific User Preferences (like user_locale or permission - including multi-tenancy) for this technology?


Since these questions are just technical questions, the answer should be the same for all products: CMDB, Service Desk, Asset Management, Change, SLM, etc.


That's what AR System delivers, a unified platform to support these applications. It solves these issues once for all.

Here are some pragmatic take-aways that the Business will love:

  • Applications share a unified database (and OS, and Web/JSP Server), enabeling low Maintenance & Operation costs (no need to maintain several databases and sync them)
  • Applications share the same User Interface, making users far more efficient without costly training (no disruption when using several products)
  • Cross-workflow make sure that the processes are integrated between all these Products, allowing cross-team efficiency


Shared Components

Let's finish with the most impressive area, some rule-based Engines are shared between Products, for example

  • Approval Engine
  • Assignment Engine


Indeed, the process to Approve looks the same between a Change, a Purchase request, or Self-Service Move Request (for example).

Depending on the context, the Manager may be involved, or the Business Process Owner, or the LOB-Manager.

So the Engine is that same, and is used by each Product in their respective context.


The same applies for Assignments: whatever the context (new Service Catalog entry, Infrastructure Change, Incident, Problem, Purchase Request, etc.), we'll have to find groups (or individuals) based on a couple of criteria: time-of-day, location, technical context, operational context, etc.


Why is this important ? Since Engines are shared,

  • They are maintained (by you, and us also) once (no duplicate work)
  • They are far more robust than an individual feature of a given product
  • There is no learning curve for your teams to get familiar with another similar feature of another product, they are ready (and trained) on day 1


Again, this means big money for the business.


Where to go from here?

AR System doesn't require technical knowledge for the platforms it leverages (Operating System, Web/SJP Server, database Server), it solves (once for all) fundamental technical issues (including integrations) for customers.

It allows Businesses to centralize and standardize processes, generating huge savings and efficiency improvements.

You can read more on AR System on David's great blog.

The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.


This weeks gives a great example of the value of a platform.

Cisco has decided to pick BMC Software to handle management of their new strategic launch, Unified Computing System.


I'll let Bob Beauchamp, CEO, explain why:



Last week, we introduced platform concepts.

Today, let's go deeper in defining the scope of a platform, and the value it brings to the Business.

Definition and Examples

According to webopedia, a platform "defines a standard around which a system can be developed".

This definition is quite technical, and makes a lot of sense for all of us when talking about Databases or Operating Systems for example:

  • lots of applications can leverage a given database, they will all use identical grammar structures for SQL statements (that enable data storage and manipulation)
  • on a given OS, lots of applications can be created, they will share some libraries


"Standard" is really meaningful also, because that's why it creates value.

Companies define standards for their IT, typical examples include:

  • for Sales employees, Windows XP with Internet Explorer 7, on Dell Latitude laptops,
  • for Servers, Windows Server 2003 or Linux Red Hat EL 4
  • for databases, Oracle 9i/10g


For such companies, taking decision for these platforms means that it will be far easier (thus cheaper and more effective) to support them, and to deliver enhanced Business value.

Internal teams will be more focused, and acquire skills that they will be able to leverage (never re-inventing the wheel).


Not making platform choice means that they would have to duplicate a lot of work (which does not bring value to the Business):

  • maintaining various hardware (so having each of them in inventory)
  • learning patch management on plenty of OSes
  • getting skills on configuration/scalability for multiple databases
  • testing each software on all possible combination that they may run into (hardware, OS, database)

Now that we're clearer on definition and value, let's be a bit more specific and see how it applies to BMC Atrium.

BMC Atrium is a platform

As we saw in the previous examples, platforms need to "enable", they need to be "easily leveraged".

More important, for companies to choose a platform, it needs to never limit them.

For example, picking Oracle is a safe database choice: most applications that use a database actually support Oracle.

It doesn't mean that they will have to buy everything from Oracle, like their ERP (Oracle E-Business Suite) or their Reporting/Business Intelligence (Hyperion). They can continue to run SAP and Business Objects for example. Again, platforms are open and do not limit.


BMC Atrium, our comprehensive approach to discover, model, visualize and assign priorities to Business Services, fully respects these criteria:

  • 100+ Applications leverage it to provide a Business-focused view of Service Management (BMC Products, but also partner products, opensource, and even competition)
  • it's in production already at thousands of customer sites
  • also, hundreds of partners around the world have skilled teams on BMC Atrium (it's supported by a very active Community)


In the next weeks, we'll touch on each BMC Atrium component and see other interesting aspects of a BSM platform.

The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.

-by Matthieu Laurenceau, Technical Marketing, ESM R&D


Platform is a very interesting concept, that is used for various IT (and also non-IT) topics, for example:

  • Architectures: processors, either physical or virtual
  • Social Media sites: Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and others
  • Software development: Java or Adobe AIR for example
  • Mobile environments: iPhone, Palm Pre or Android


(video - you can also go directly on YouTube)


What is common between the previous examples and BMC Atrium ?

  • solving fundamental pains that several "consumers" experience: for BMC Atrium, consumers are applications
  • can be easily leveraged to enable new exciting capabilities: hence "BMC Atrium Activated" logo, that Products from BSM disciplines enjoy
  • compatibility and stability, including easy upgrades: robustness and maintainability are key
  • critical mass in proven deployments, inspiring trust to grow mainstream: BMC Atrium products are in production at several thousands of customer sites


This is all about strategic value delivered for the customers.

In the next weeks, we'll have a closer look at how BMC Atrium platform helps customers deliver Business Service Management.


The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.

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