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IT Service Management

64 Posts authored by: Dan Turchin
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By Dan Turchin, former Aeroprise CEO. Follow Dan on Twitter.



Every week is big in enterprise mobility. But this is one we’ll remember for a long time. Consider…


We mourned the passing of our icon, spiritual leader, and Zen master. A Steve Jobs story that is personal but worth sharing: my wife Julie got her PhD at Stanford in 2005. A healthy, humble Steve delivered the commencement speech that has forever made life more difficult for commencement speakers. I was mesmerized at the time and still am when I re-read it.


It’s as clichéd as it is true: when he finished speaking, a hushed silence fell over the stadium. We didn’t know whether to cry or applaud or rush the podium for a group hug. Most of us sat in awe and knew we had just become part of a special fraternity.



In other, less consequential news…


Amazon launched the remarkable Kindle Fire and Silk browser. It will do to the tablet market what every consumer tech vendor has failed to do: loosen Cupertino’s iron grip. It is elegant, marries content and distribution like no other device can, and makes innovative use of cloud storage in ways nobody outside Seattle saw coming. And most important, at $199 it’s priced based on reality. Kudos to Bezos.


…And one more thing.


A rare, under-hyped Apple product launched. The 4S is shattering Apple pre-launch sales records – and for good reason. Siri alone, Apple’s “voice assistant”, warrants all the launch euphoria and then some. It will be to human computer interaction what Atari was to video games and iPod was to digital music. There were ways to interact with computers before and there were even natural-language speech interfaces but we’ll look back on Siri as the next Apple technology to disrupt an entire industry that seemed mature and impermeable.


So what will next week bring? Who knows but it too will measure on the Richter scale. Until then…


Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

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Dan Turchin is the former CEO of Aeroprise. Follow him on Twitter.



Every runner knows the old adage: the first mile's the toughest. Turns out it's also true in enterprise mobility.

Just how true it is hit me like new market share data hits RIM's board (low blow). Doug Mueller and I presented our annual soapbox Q&Arunning_shoes.jpg on the state of mobile ITSM at last week's (fantastic!) Worldwide Remedy User Group in DC. I asked those in the room using mobile ITSM to share advice with those who aren't.


Veterans like Steve Brewing from Bank of Montreal waxed poetic about how mobile approvals and mobile incident management have become second nature for his team and about how supporting mobile apps required no incremental administrative effort once they were deployed.


Steve was joined by a chorus of others who coached newbies to focus on performance and usability. But most of all, he said once his team trained users a magical thing happened: IT took a backseat and users started helping each other. They got better at using the apps, got more excited as they got better, and recruited others around the company. Now years have passed and the company's perception of what it means to deliver great service in real time has completely changed.


This isn't about ITSM and it isn't even about smartphones. It's about having the vision to see beyond security, base stations, and bandwidth - those small obstacles standing in the way - and focus instead on the transformative power of a culture of collaboration.


So thanks to Steve and everyone who inspired me, Doug, and the group.


My takeaway? That runner's high is so worth the first mile. Lace up those trainers.

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Before coming to BMC, Alf (@aeroprise) and I would hang out by the Ganesh totem (an explanation of that another time) at Aeroprise and solve the world's problems. Unfortunately, no one wanted to hear our ideas for eliminating hunger or removing cruel dictators. But enough people pretended to care about our permobmonkey1.pngspectives on the mobility industry that we started sharing them at team meetings. Sadly, both Ganesh and our team meetings are gone but we're continuing the discussions in a new podcast series we call Mobile Monkeys.


Think Wayne's World for geeks. Two dudes in mom's basement waxing philosophical about topics ranging from the consumerization of IT to why ad hoc wireless networks will be the next disruptive mobile technology. Each episode is short - about five minutes - and we'll cover one or two themes. In the first episode, we talk about the impact of HP killing webOS and Google's bombshell acquisition of Motorola Mobility.


Party on.




Dan Turchin is the former CEO of Aeroprise. Follow him on Twitter.

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By Dan Turchin, former CEO of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.


Mobile Self Service is today where Mobile Incident Management was five years ago: universal interest, demand from early adopters, but ultimately limited usage.


What changed the trajectory of Mobile Incident was the same thing that eventually toppled Mubarak and will someday end world hunger (mark my words): the 2007 launch of the iPhone. Once smartphones became ubiquitous and Rolex-chic Mobile Incident became a business requirement, not just a technology curiosity.


dog_costume.jpgAll businesses have a fundamental need to work trouble tickets at the point where service is delivered but everyone first needed devices to be cheap and easy to use. What’s holding back Mobile Self Service is similar but different. Again, there’s universal interest and demand from early adopters but ultimately limited usage.


The reason this time: self service without integrated knowledge is useless. Before Mobile Self Service hits the knee in the curve most deployments will include not just the ability to request a service but also the ability to solve problems before making the request. Today, it’s a rare customer discussion that involves both.


Which brings me to a meeting last week with my friend Bruce Murray, Service Delivery Manager for a global hardware company. Bruce is a seasoned IT exec with battle scars he’s proud to show from years of arguing that solutions matter and tools don’t. Bruce’s company deployed Mobile Remedy Incident on BlackBerry and Asset for Symbol scanners in 2009. Here’s how the conversation went:


BM: “So we’re finally ready for Mobile Self Service.”

Me: “Aha. Took you long enough.”


BM: “But we’re not going to make it easy on you.”


Me: “Have you ever?”


BM: “Here’s the deal: we need our knowledge base available on smartphones and integrated with our request portal.”


Me: “Been waiting to hear you say that for years. I could kiss you. What changed?”


BM: “Well, for starters, don't. You know that request portal we deployed in 2010? Dead on arrival.”


Me: “Even after the CIO made a fool of himself launching it?”


[Note for context: the launch involved three execs on stage, a dog costume, and a bowl of Kibbles to showcase the new “fetching” app. Truly pathetic. CIO cool is what our Mark Settle did. Dude's a rock star!]


BM: “Yeah, well, turns out it takes more than dog food to make an IT project successful. What happened is we tried to force everyone to use it and got way ahead of ourselves. We even trimmed staff on the help desk in anticipation that call volumes would plummet.


They didn’t. So wait times went up and usage of the portal hovered around 5% of overall tickets.”


Me: “Ouch. So not exactly the 50% you were targeting.”


BM: “Here’s what we learned too late: requesting is fine but it doesn’t solve any problems. And frankly, requesting from a catalog isn’t much better than requesting over the phone.”


Me: “So why the renewed interest in Mobile Self Service?”


BM: “Six months ago we added answers and traffic is up 500% since then. Now, users describe what they need in a Google-like text box and up pop a combination of answers and requestable services as they type. We just missed what really matters the first time around.


Now we’re getting inundated with requests for a smartphone app. And we’re ready this time, going straight to answers so right on the phone you can solve your problem, not just describe it.


Mobile is the last missing piece. Users tell us their biggest frustration is not being at a PC when they have a problem, especially when what they’re trying to report is a problem with their PC.”


Me: “Music to my ears. May I quote you?”


BM: “Yeah, on one condition. You and me on stage in gorilla suits to remind the CIO he went ape **** when the portal almost died.”


Me: Dead silence.


Any Bruces out there? Mind sharing your story? I’d love to find out we’re closer to an iPhone moment in Self Service than I thought.

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By Dan Turchin, (former) CEO of Aeroprise.Follow Dan on Twitter.

The second in a series of FAQs about the acquisition...

What does the Aeroprise acquisition mean for BMC customers?

Obviously, it means BMC is investing in mobility. The products you love are still being sold and supported. But our tiny team's growing so we’re rapidly ahnold.jpgadding products that extend Aeroprise beyond ITSM. Shameless tease but look no further than BMC's home page for a good sense of where we're headed.

More important, I can say from the inside that BMC is innovating. The perception I had about mainframe this and that and lumbering big companies was just wrong. The team here is looking ahead three to five years which in the mobile space takes real vision and visionaries.

Why is mobility such a hot topic in Enterprise IT?

Mobility has infiltrated our lives.Sad but true: your smartphone knows you better than your spouse. Enterprise IT is finally waking up to these realities. The consumerization of IT is all about bringing mobile sensibilities honed outside work into the office. That means IT has a new boss: YOU.

Mobility is on every CIO’s priority list and it’s not going away. Take any topic that matters in IT – cloud, virtualization, automation, security, ... – and stick “mobile” in front of it. There, you’ve got a credible 12-month IT roadmap for any CIO who will be employed a year from now.


It's like that commercial where the tiny Asian woman does two curls and grows Ahnold biceps. Take what's working today, add smartphones, and all of a sudden you're the ITIL equivalent of Charles Atlas.

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By Dan Turchin, former CEO of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.


Based on the volume of interest in the acquisition I thought I'd post answers to frequently asked questions here. This one seemed like a good starting point...


Why did BMC acquire Aeroprise?


First, some context:


  • There are more than five billion mobile subscribers on the planet - so about three out of four humans has at least one mobile device.
  • More than 15 billions apps have been downloaded from Apple's App Store alone in four years and they're now flying off the virtual shelf at a torrid billion per month.
  • As a consumer technology, smartphones are being adopted at rates that dwarf those of any other technology in history including the TV and PC.


mad_scientist.jpgWith a new generation of workers entering the workplace that grew up using mobile technology, expectations about what smartphones do in our jobs are transforming the very nature of work in ways we haven't seen since the Industrial Revolution.


So why did BMC acquire Aeroprise?


Here’s my take…


This is the most customer-focused organization I've ever seen and the team heard customers request mobility enough to know it was time to act. The trend toward personal devices being used at work, often called the consumerization of IT, has everyone re-thinking how we deliver services to the business. And as mobile devices become our primary computing endpoint it's essential that all software first be designed with handhelds in mind then extended to PCs for anything that can't be accomplished while mobile.


Team BMC gets that. That’s what drove the acquisition and that's where we're spending our time moving forward. Let me be clear: this goes way beyond apps for smartphones. Yes, this is a shameless tease but one I promise we'll back up: we've got stuff bubbling here in the cauldron that will knock your socks off. So stay tuned... and 'why' will answer itself.

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By Dan Turchin, former CEO of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.


The Fab Four on Ed Sullivan in '64.Neil Armstrong's moon walk in '69. Schilling's bloody sock in 2004. All shook the earth when they happened. But it was the aftershocks that made them endure.


Today, I'm proud to announce Aeroprise has been acquired by BMC Software. I'm thrilled for our employees and partners and incredibly excited to be joining an excellent, wicked smart team. But I'm the first to admit it doesn't mean much today - a headline, a new logo, no more Red Bull in the break room.


More important than today’s announcement are the aftershocks that lie ahead. Consider where IT is and where we’re going:

  • IT is getting more social every day.
  • Apps are moving to the cloud.
  • Consumers are bringing computing habits and sensibilities honed after-hours (the "consumerization of IT") into the workplace.


Fab_Four.jpgThe thread that binds all of these? Mobility. Who gets that more than any other enterprise vendor? BMC.


I was with a customer last week who put it this way:

"How can we claim to support the business until we support smartphones and tablets? In twenty five years in IT I've never seen a more dramatic shift happen so quickly. Every day we wait to execute on our mobile strategy is a day we fall farther behind the competition."

Powerful stuff. That's why we're teaming up.

My rendition of "Imagine" shatters glass towns away. I can't moon walk to save my life. My curve doesn't and my control makes Ricky Vaughan look like Orel Hershiser. And yet, I'm thrilled that our team will play a part in the reawakening of IT.


Thanks to everyone who supported me and our motley crew for ten years. I'll never, ever forget that you got us here. To our loyal customers and partners: I promise this is a big win for you.


Know this: you won't see us doing a victory lap or patting ourselves on the back. In fact, the hour after the deal closed we were heads-down packing up Aeroprise (think Palm III covered in dust bunnies) so we could report for duty at 7:00 AM the next morning as BMC employees.


To say we're excited and motivated is an understatement. We’re bringing all we’ve learned, all we’ve developed, and all our eccentricity and passion. Expect great things.

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By Dan Turchin, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.



We're hosting a webcast this Thursday, June 2 at 2:00 PM ET about the major trends impacting today's mobile enterprise like the consumerization of IT, web vs. native apps, and the ramifications of cloud for wireless solutions.


I'll be joined by Philippe Winthrop - Founder of the Enterprise Mobility Forum, reformed tech analyst, and omnipresent mobile enterprise pundit - and Chris Williams - BMC Software Solution Marketing Manager and too-suave-for-ITSM rock 'n roll history aficionado. Expect a lively discussion. Arrive prepared to heckle, lob tomatoes at our hype machine, and otherwise knock us off our soap boxes.


Our target audience is enterprise IT leaders looking to better support mobile employees and admins tasked with implementing mobile solutions. Contact me in advance if there are topics you'd like added or specific questions you'd like addressed.


Register here if you haven't already. There are a few spots available but we'll probably reach capacity some time Wednesday.



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




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By Dan Turchin, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.




These days we can't scratch an itch let alone buy a latte without announcing where and why we did it. Apps like Foursquare are harvesting and selling troves of data about our purchasing habits. It's like the oft-tweeted, oft-cited internet meme says: "if you didn't pay for it YOU are the product." What's ironic is that as we're soaked by a firehose of useless data and as privacy breaches (Sony, EC2, Epsilon, ...) spread faster than Charlie Sheen rants we're getting almost no value out of powerful sharing technologies where they have the most impact: at work.


I'll go out on a limb and say if 1% of the energy we commit to sharing our prowess at hoeing virtual gardens went into collaborating at work the US GDP would be two points higher by end of year. The power of sharing combined with the power of mobile technology changes everything. Consider three feature requests I've received in the last 30 days from customers on our Advisory Council:

  1. Geo-location: "...we'd like to give our execs a dashboard showing open issues in the building they're in."
  2. Augmented reality: "...we'd like to take a picture of a server to pull up its environmental specs."
  3. Near Field Communications: "...we'd like employees to submit trouble tickets by waving a smartphone in front of a bar code."


Information captured that easily shared with just who needs it in actionable ways is potent. These are simple use cases that require almost no new technology, training, or expense. All they require is a team with vision and an organization that believes in continuous improvement.


Answer me this: what else could you do right now to improve service quality, make every employee more productive, establish hard cost benchmarks for all services IT provides, and bring together employees across cultures and time zones? I'm a little biased but I truly believe in the transformative power of mobility - not because I have some Polyanna faith in technology but because I see it in action every day.


Unlike Galileo (imprisoned because proof the earth revolved around the sun wasn’t in Rome) or Watt (credited with inventing the steam engine in London even though it was already in use in Moscow), we're a swipe away from the world’s biggest brain and no longer need to make bad decisions for lack of information. As a thought exercise, next time you share hamster tai chi pics or your top ten favorite invertebrates or grandma's goulash recipe think about what value that same technology could create at work. The good news? You'll get more done in less time and create a culture of openness that will invigorate your company. The better news? You'll share fewer hamster tai chi pics.



This is an introduction to the first law of mobile enterprise apps: they must be presence-aware. I'll blog about the other six later. If you want a head start, read the whitepaper.



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

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By Dan Turchin, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.



When I started rock climbing years back I threw myself on the wall and flailed around like an epileptic gecko. I thought I'd be better. I'm reasonably athletic, have a low center of gravity (translation: I'm short!), and - heck - what real climbers did looked easy. But I sucked. Ever seen Mr. Noodle get drgecko.jpgessed on Elmo's World (highly underrated if you haven't)? That was me on a wall in a harness with a talcum bag. Then I learned a few simple rules like use legs instead of arms, hold your body close to the wall, and preview the route. In no time I was climbing higher faster and not getting tired.


Enterprise mobility is similar. Follow a few simple rules and you'll be Stravinski in khakis, performance-enhanced, geek royalty. Don't and well, let's just say there are lots of flailing geckos in IT these days. We just published a whitepaper called The Seven Laws of Enterprise Mobility to solve exactly that problem. Over the years I've seen too many well-intentioned sys admins, product managers, mobility gurus, and CIOs fall off the wall trying to deploy simple mobile apps. No reason for that. The whitepaper was my attempt to give away what I've learned in the hopes that no enterprise mobility projects fail from now on.


I'll be discussing each of the laws in this space separately. For now, here's a summary of all of them:

  1. Mobile Applications Must Be Presence-Aware.
  2. Mobile Applications Must Be Role-Based and User-Configurable.
  3. Mobile Applications Must Be Device-Independent.
  4. Mobile Applications Must Interoperate with Other Mobile Applications.
  5. Mobile Applications Must Not Require Changes to Underlying Applications.
  6. Mobile Applications Must Be Capable of Being Administered Without Wireless Domain Expertise.
  7. Mobile Applications Must Create Real Value in Days Without Programming.


I assure you it's not marketing drivel and it's not a sales pitch. In fact, I'm critical of our own products for not fully complying with all the laws. It's just an honest assessment of what it takes to succeed with enterprise mobility from a decade of lessons learned, feedback from hundreds of customers, and way too many jarring head blows in the cement mixer that is the wireless industry.


Have a read for yourself - but more important, let me know how it helped or what you think I got wrong so together we can improve it. After all, we may think we're experts today but let's just say the wall is high and even a decade later we've barely tied the first knot.



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

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By Dan Turchin, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.



Earth Day, once an annual grassroots protest by long-hairs, celebrated its 41st birthday this week. The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970 and was the brainchild of [green-beyond-his-time] Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. We've all been Gore-ified since then but here's the (grossly over-simplified) reality: today, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is 392 PPB (parts per billion). In 1970, that level was 328. That's a 20% increase in 41 years, shocking given that the previous 20% increase took 500 years. More disturbing: anything above 350 is unhealthy and the rate of change is increasing.


global_warming.jpgWhich is why Greenpeace's railing against Facebook and Apple for building coal-dependent data centers and the California legislature's passage two weeks back of a landmark clean energy bill mandating 33% of the state's energy to be generated from renewable resources by 2020 are more than hippie-era social unrest. We in IT are responsible for emitting massive quantities of CO2 and can do much more to address the problem. Consider: 1.5% of global energy consumption is from power-hungry data centers and that will only increase as cloud computing mushrooms. Oh, and it is: lately, new data centers are cropping up in rural everywhere like paparazzi descending on a royal wedding.


We're not helping but there's hope. As with so many social ills (poverty, famine, war, ...) the antidote is mobile technology. No, really. Mobile employees have a lower carbon footprint and exercise disproportionate influence over everyone else. We're technology's aristocracy and others look to us for guidance. Why do we have a lower carbon footprint? It's tough to accurately measure [sidenote: the best way I've seen is with the excellent "My Carbon Footprint" app from Proctor & Gamble] but here are a few things we know:


Mobile employees...


  1. Rely on data in the cloud which requires fewer physical, local servers. Cloud-based apps are up to 95% more efficient than on premise ones (and public clouds are up to 64% more efficient than private clouds) according to WSP Environment & Energy.
  2. Spend less time on PCs. On average, smartphones and tablets consume 8-26 times less power than PCs (the low end of the range is a comparison with laptops, the high end is with desktops).
  3. Don't commute as much. As long as those fewer car miles don't mean more frequent flier miles virtual work is significantly more eco-friendly.


But how can we green ourselves further? It's going to get easier. Better battery technology (think fuel cells that last ten times as long as today's lithium-ion batteries) will soon eliminate the cord-to-outlet mambo (for the record, I spend half my life doing that in airports - hasn't anybody solved that problem?). Smarter mobile social tools, better virtualization technology, and ubiquitous access to apps in the cloud will make it easier to be more productive with fewer physical servers and no PCs. Plus, telepresence technology will finally eliminate the ridiculousness of cross-continent travel for two-hour meetings.


So even if it's shoot 'em up games keeping you glued to the iPad, fire away. Because all eyes are looking at you for technology advice and your smartphone or tablet just may be the best answer we've got for undoing generations of neglect.



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

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By Dan Turchin, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.



Here's something you can only say with a straight face in the bowels of geekdom: I had a conversation about SAML 2 authentication and IPv6 with my new friend Ollie, Chief Security Officer of a technology customer, this week and it inspired me. We were like two giggly school girls having a Bieber moment. Why?



He has an enlightened attitude toward mobile device security at a time when I'm down on enterprise infosec for holding back mobile innovation. Here's how I define enlightened:

  1. Taking proactive measures to partner with the business.
  2. Questioning PC-era policies applied to mobile devices.
  3. Redefining the role of security to be more door and less wall.


Let's face it: in an age when data lives in the cloud, physical assets walk out the door daily, and everyone but the neighbor's pet has access to your network, pretending infosec is the omnipotent immovable force it once was is futile. And yet what I see every day is political battles escalating to the CIO when security teams don't yield to the mobile requirements of the business.


Yes, enforce remote wipe policies. Yes, educate employees about locking devices. But no no NO, don't limit access to third-party apps and don't even think about limiting use of personal iOS and Android devices for business because YOU don't have a way to manage them.


CSOs, compliance officers, and security architects everywhere listen carefully and heal thyself: stop confusing "progress" with "threat". If you don't want to hear it from me take it from experts like JR Raphael (@jr_raphael), well-respected mobile tech pundit, who writes:


"'s a big, bad, scary world out there. But the answer isn't locking it down and having some panel preapprove everything before it gets uploaded. The answer is exercising a little caution and common sense."


Amen. To be relevant twelve months from now get out of your lair, meet the twenty-somethings who are Facebooking your sacred policies (or read their tweets), then go re-invent yourself. Or just talk to my friend Ollie. He's way ahead of you.



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

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By Dan Turchin, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.



Every once in a while I hear a story that creates such a vivid, powerful mental image that I'm reminded why what we do is bigger than we realize. Call them jet packs for the soul. I heard one from a customer in [frigid] Fairbanks, Alaska last week. Hope it inspires you too:


Carl manages the datacenter for a utility that supports 250,000 Alaskans. If he's sleeping on the job they lose power. When it's minus 20 degrees and dog drool freezes before it hits the ground losing power is catastrophic. So Carl takes his job seriously.


dickies.jpgEvery morning he starts his day with strong coffee while devouring six reports showing system performance metrics from the past day. 5-6 times a month something unexpected requires him to brave 50 miles of back roads to get from his office to the server room. He dreads those visits. One time a few years back his truck got stuck in a pothole and he ended up frostbitten waiting for a tow.


The bigger problem with the site visits is they leave Carl disconnected from work and life for most of the day. So he spends almost a quarter of his working life hopelessly inaccessible. He once missed an anniversary date because he didn't get his wife's text in time. He routinely ends up in the office past 9:00 PM on "down days" because work piles up while he's en route. There are seven other "Carls" in and around Fairbanks and, from my travels, a whole population of them around the world.


Carl was miserable and thought there was a better way. Over the past few months, he discovered it. He spearheaded an effort to get his reports and access to his CMDB on his HTC Android device. A few weeks later his knight in shining silicon, Mobile BMC Remedy, arrived. Life improved almost instantly. He now barely uses his PC, his smartphone replaced his laptop, and his truck became a mobile office.


Now, he checks reports before leaving the house and when there's an issue he's able to initiate an action plan - all before he'd normally brew that first cup. He can see who's available from his team to work critical issues, evaluate impact on his customers, and notify management in advance of down time.


What happened next was more impressive: word of Carl's pet project spread...and spread. Soon, the rest of IT then operations and now facilities are using their own mobile apps. Carl's smiling face and [a nauseatingly sugar-coated] quote are on the intranet at the top of the "Request Mobile Service" page. His smug mug has become synonymous with a whole new culture of mobility at the company. Dude went from hypothermic, tardy schlump to Vanna White in Dickies overnight.


...And that's what mobility is all about.



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

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By Dan Turchin, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.



"Struggling predator Microsoft corners wounded prey in too-little-too-late bid to salvage futile mobile strategy." Headline describing last week's Elop-Ballmer Nokia-Windows Phone 7 announcement? Or 2006 headline describing the Palm-Microsoft tryst? The parallels are eerie. The result will be the same. Palm was mortally wounded then and Nokia is now. Both had nothing to lose and everything to gain by tying up with Microsoft. And as in 2006, knight-in-shinipredator-prey.jpgng-armor Microsoft is well-equipped to fight the last battle (with an excellent platform now and market share in 2006) but ill-equipped to win the only war that matters today: for developer mindshare.


As Chris O'Brien (@scjobrien) points out in today's Mercury News: "'s no longer enough to make gorgeous phones. The real challenge is persuading thousands of developers to write the apps that define today's mobile experience." It's bigger than that: computing as we know it has changed forever. All software, particularly business applications, must first work well on smartphones and tablets. What doesn't work well on mobile devices should be developed later (the operative term!) for PCs. From now on, to win in the enterprise vendors must win pocketspace. End of story.


Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's widely-circulated "burning platform" private (hah!), internal (hah hah!) memo said it all: "Our competitors aren't taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. Our platform [an effective double meaning, read the full memo] is burning."


Nokia, kudos for doing something. Microsoft, kudos for persevering. Both of you, define the next battlefield instead of fighting the last war or brace for failure.



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

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By Dan Turchin, CEO of Aeroprise. Follow Dan on Twitter.


There was a time when “enterprise” and “mobile” were rarely seen  together – only in the shadowy recesses of IT drudgery like ashamed  lovers forced to elope or endure the paternal humiliation of CFO  scrutiny. That was 2009.


kardashian.jpgNow, they  gallivant openly, Kardashian in the publicness of their affection. In a  reversal of fortune unimaginable two years ago, to avoid CFO scrutiny  today every project *must* include mobility – showcase it, embrace it,  celebrate it. Mobile first: the new mantra of IT. Who would have thought?


Since the new year we’ve seen this trend accelerate in ways we didn’t  foresee even three months ago. Case in point: the call we received from  a telecom service provider that purchased Aeroprise more than a year  ago, relegated their mobile self service and change approvals project to  IT purgatory, and all of a sudden “needs to implement it for 10,000  employees in the next three weeks.” Great! But, uh, what happened?


Here’s how that conversation went:


Me: “Uh, what happened?”


TB (“Telecom Behemoth” VP of IT): “Well, we planned to mobilize self service a year back. But then…”


[Note: there's always a "...but then..."]


TB: “…our timeline for deploying self service got delayed by a Remedy upgrade and, well, mobility was postponed also.”


Me: “Why the urgency now?”


TB:  “Simple. In the past year everyone got smartphones – we went from zero  to 2,300 Android devices alone in 12 months – and now the business says  nobody is using the new self service portal because it’s not available  on smartphones.


We’ve  invested a ton in every aspect of the portal but we literally have  customer outages going unreported for days because nobody’s at a PC  anymore. So we thought mobility was a phase two and it turns out it’s  more like a phase zero. Yeah, we got the tail and the dog mixed up.”


Me: “Wow. I see. And who’s behind the sudden urgency?”


TB:  “The business owner – the VP of Field Operations who reports to the  COO. We were afraid of the CFO before but now he’s putty in our hands.  Turns out he never opposed the project. It’s just the business wasn’t  vocal enough about mobility because they weren’t mobile.”


That’s one of three similar conversations from the past two weeks.  And while they may be unrelated I guarantee they’re symptomatic of a  broader trend. So… Lovers: elope no more. Enterprise IT: prepare for  some serious, unabashed PDA (not the “personal” or “digital” kind) in  2011.



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

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