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To augment its enterprise management solutions, BMC Software on Oct. 9 introduced an on-demand, Web-based software demonstration tool called BMC Flight Deck GSS (Global Solutions Site), as well as numerous enhancements to its worldwide partner program.

“This was a request driven from business partners,” said Lori Cook, vice president of global services, channels and emerging markets at BMC Software, headquartered in Houston, Texas.

“As our portfolio of BSM [Business Service Management] expanded through acquisition and enhancement to the software, it became more difficult to create a demonstration environment so that the work required to prepare for a customer demo was days and weeks.”

The tool, which can be accessed via a Web browser, provides a series of interactive demonstrations to help partners save the time and costs associated with preparing customer presentations and RFPs (requests for proposals) and shortened sales cycles.

Currently, Flight Deck demonstrations are available for 15 solutions, including BSM and BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database.

“Our partners can provide a demonstration that completely covers the full scope of BSM and allows them to demonstrate not only integration but also to build a version that allows them to populate it with real client data,” Cook said.

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The tool allows solution provider partners to access a fully-functional demonstration in minutes.

“Basically, it gives us a one stop shop for everything we need for a demonstration,” says Phil Brooks, CEO at TuringSMI, a BMC partner headquartered in New York.

“Because it is centrally located on BMC servers, the release and versions are controlled as well.”

BMC is also working closely with premier partners to support them in customizing the tool for vertical market customers. TuringSMI, for example, has created a FlightDeck demonstration aimed at the specific needs and concerns of the telecommunications industry. BMC then hosts the application.

“We are a global team so we are using the telco FlightDeck in regions around the world,” said Brooks. “We are seeing continuity of message in our presentations and a higher quality of delivery.”

Recently, BMC winnowed its partner list from 600 last year to only 400 currently.

“We got rid of the opportunistic partners and kept strategic partners,” said Cook. “We are taking the cost of supporting those partners and moving it toward more robust support of our strategic partners.”

BMC has also introduced a three-tier classification model for its resellers and services partners, including Elite, Premier and Member levels, as well as improved performance-based discounts, and new training and sales resources.

Elite partners receive higher discounts and broader access to tools, including FlightDeck.

As part of its changes, BMC has launched its BMC Partner Advisory Council, which brings the company’s top 47 reseller partners into discussions about products, strategies and programs.

“We want to regularly bring these partners together on a worldwide basis and listen to what they need to drive their business, and then take that and turn it into actions that provide direct benefit,” Cook said.

Meanwhile, a newly launched BSM Certification program aims to help partners differentiate themselves in the emerging BSM market.

“This program says that BMC has scrutinized our organization and knows we have a delivery methodology and people trained in BSM,” said Jay More, chief technology officer at TuringSMI.