BMC Picks Bishop

Former Tivoli exec Tom Bishop is now planning to help overhaul BMC's technology story

May 19, 2005

3 Min Read
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At a critical juncture, BMC Software Inc. (NYSE: BMC) has roped in former IBM Tivoli exec Tom Bishop to be the firms vice president and CTO (see BMC Appoints New CTO).

The pressure is on: Last month, BMC announced a major restructuring plan, slashing around 12 percent of its global workforce, and is now hellbent on building a new technology story. Bishop will be in charge of product direction.

Traditionally, BMC has been regarded as a systems management vendor competing with the likes of Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA) and Tivoli. However, the company is now attacking a space which it defines as business service management (BSM).

Under the BSM umbrella, BMC is looking to push a broad range of technologies, including provisioning as well as asset, change, and configuration management. A number of the pieces to support this strategy are already in place, although Bishop tells NDCF that it could be some time before the initiative reaches maturity.

”We’re already delivering significant proportions of it now, but in terms of its complete form, that’s probably 12 to 18 months away,” he says.However, the exec admits that the strategy places BMC up against new rivals such as Mercury Interactive Corp., which has a similar pitch for streamlining IT functions. “It does change the competitive landscape, but we’re not afraid of a fight, we’re looking forward to it,” he says.

BMC has also got its eye on the lucrative security market. Like a number of other vendors, BMC is looking to make waves in the identity management space, particularly following its acquisition of Calendra earlier this year (see BMC Acquires Calendra and Identity Management Heats Up).

But Bishop refused to reveal any details of what the company’s product roadmap will look like, post-Calendra. “That’s still a work in progress,” he says, adding that identity management will be a major focus of his new job.

So, is he planning to jump into any new technology areas? The CTO confirmed that he is interested in developing what he describes as a “spanning layer” within systems management. This would enable everything that is managed by a specific application to be offered as a service.

However, it is still early days for this idea, and Bishop has not even decided on the specific technology building blocks. Nor was he willing to discuss which partners would help BMC deliver it. “I haven’t gotten that far yet,” he says.But Bishop was much more forthcoming on the issue of BMC’s Atrium strategy, which is designed to help third-party vendors link up with the Texas firm’s own products through a common data repository and unified interfaces for users.

The initial elements of Atrium have already been rolled out. Back in January, BMC shipped the first Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB) for other vendors and users, built around the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is an emerging data center standard (see Afcom Sets Standards).

A key part of Bishop’s role will be moving Atrium forward, and the exec’s experience at rival vendors could prove invaluable. As well as Tivoli, Bishop has also served as CTO of application management specialist VIEO Inc.

”I hope that one of the values that I bring to BMC is that I have been in the industry for a long time,” he says.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum0

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