BMC Looks to Channel to Build Digital Businesses
Since BMC Software went private in May 2013, the company has been quietly reinventing itself around two distinct business units. One unit is dedicated to distributed computing system opportunities in the age of the cloud, while the other unit is focused on the company's core strengths in the mainframe space.
To bring those units together under a unified banner, BMC this week rolled out what it is calling a "Living IT" campaign that is intended to align the products and services the company provides with the management of digital businesses that are truly using IT as a competitive weapon.
In announcing the initiative, BMC defines it as creating an "entirely new technology experience for employees and IT managers through smart, next-generation social and collaboration tools that enhance productivity, simplify administrative tasks and enable digital services that directly engage customers, partners and stakeholders."
As BMC's vice president of worldwide federal sales for the channel, Brian Marvin is one of the folks tasked with rallying the channel behind that vision. The good news is that since the company is now private—and away from Wall Street's critical eyes—it can take a long-term view of its transformation, Marvin said. To that end, BMC is working off a three-year blueprint designed not only to increase its own profitably, but also to expand its enterprise influence in the age of the hybrid cloud.
Naturally, most customers that have a mainframe also have distributed systems in place, so Marvin still sees an opportunity for BMC to work with solution providers to bridge the management of those two platforms.
Nevertheless, there are a lot more instances of distributed computing systems that are evolving into the cloud computing platforms that will be the foundations on which digital businesses are built. In those customer segments, having a single distributed computing business unit will allow BMC to better focus on those opportunities, Marvin said.
Given its heritage, BMC, of course, still sells a lot of software direct. But as more applications wind up being distributed across the cloud, Marvin sees BMC becoming more dependent on channel partners, which is why BMC Software is investing more in sales enablement, training and certification across its channel, he said.
It's unclear what percentage of BMC's revenue the channel might ultimately generate, but the one thing the company's senior leadership now recognizes is that BMC can be much more profitable with the channel than without it, Marvin said.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.