BMC recently announced that it had acquired Streamstep, an innovative player in the quickly emerging area of Development operations application management or DevOps. I had a chance to recently sit down with Jody Hunt, Lead Solutions Manager, and Christopher Little, Lead Solutions Manager, to find out more about this acquisition and the added capabilities to the BMC portfolio as BMC Release Process Management or BRPM.
Can you give us a quick overview of what is DevOps?
Hunt: DevOps is a word coined to describe the cultural shift in IT around tighter collaboration between application development and operations. These two organizations have not generally worked closely together, but business demands mean these two silos have to function more like one. The challenge is that Dev is all about rapid application changes whereas Operations is all about maintaining stability. Reconciling the conflicting goals of faster changes with assured stability is what DevOps is all about.
Why did BMC acquire StreamStep?
Hunt: BMC acquired StreamStep to enhance ourDevOps application management offering. The founders of StreamStep were themselves application release managers at a large Insurance provider who saw release process management challenges first hand and built a solution designed specifically to solve them. BRPM is unique because it can be easily layered over customers’ existing release processes without requiring them to change the way their processes are implemented.
What is Release Process Management?
Hunt: Release Process Management enables companies to:
- Deploy business-critical application changes faster, at lower cost and with fewer errors.
- Obtain a single-source of truth for all releases (past, current,planned) with a centralized, graphical, web-based interface.
- Elevate currently invisible release processes into visible,measurable process flows.
- Pinpoint bottlenecks, enabling process optimization and increased automation.
- Supports collaboration between Development and Operations(DevOps).
- Model processes, applications and environments with reusable templates.
- Ensure consistency and flexibility in release planning and execution.
- Leverage logging, alerts and reports to ensure release process compliance and provide transparency across organizations.
Little: This is a solution specifically designed to manage the highly complex application release management process. Some of the areas and capabilities this will provide are:
- Release planning/Release Management: a release calendar, lifecycle planning,activity scheduling, resource allocations
- Controls: real-time status updates, notifications and RBAC-managed teamwork
- Collaboration: groupware-style functions, roles and functional assignments
- Self-service automation: complex provisioning sequences
- Agile software development: frequent movement of application software out of Development and into Operations.
Is this a game changer?
Little: Application release management today is similar to the way sales managers used to manage pipelines, where every salesrep submitted their activity in a spreadsheet that managers had to manually merge and rollup. The process is labor intensive; the information is quickly stale and frequently incorrect.
BRPM is like Salesforce.com for the application release process.It is a centralized, web-based, single source of truth that provides instant access to real-time information for collaboration and focused execution. It also cues manual tasks, updates change tickets and triggers automation in the correct sequence per the defined release plans.
With BRPM customers write the plan, run the plan, then verify results in one environment. BRPM enables strategic conversations with high level decision makers who see personal benefit in its management reporting capabilities.
Next Up: Part II