By Dick Stark
In November 2010, BMC climbed to the top of the mountain, the pinnacle of IT’s holiest of holy places, the upper right corner of the IT Service Desk Gartner Magic Quadrant. And when they looked around, they found their closest competitors, CA, HP, and ServiceNow, lagging well behind in the challenger’s quadrant.
Now, 20 months later Gartner has replaced the IT Service Desk with IT Service Support Management Tools (ITSSM) Quadrant. Once again, BMC is higher and farther right than any of its competitors, except this time the Leader’s Quadrant is empty. Blank. Zilch. Nada. It turns out that none of the vendors Gartner evaluated this time exhibited the characteristics of either Leaders or Visionaries. The good news is BMC did not take a step backward, it’s just that Gartner developed a new set of criteria for the market and has raised the curve, meaning that BMC and other vendors must earn their way to the top.
The specific Quadrant under discussion is the Magic Quadrant for ITSSM. It “offers a tighter integration of functions that correlates with the activities of the broader IT support organization.” This means the ITSM market is maturing. It is much more than integrated incident, problem, change, and configuration management. It is about life cycles, business views of IT, ITIL framework automation, and self-service and healing. ITSSM does not focus on BMC’s Service Assurance and Service Automation product families. Nor is this about Remedyforce or FootPrints. The product line of focus is Remedy or Remedy on-Demand ITSM, which has been the market leader in this space for years.
What makes Remedy so great is that it has evolved from the ground up to an integrated tool set of ITIL modules. Implementations can be out-of-the-box quick using the ITIL framework in just a matter of weeks. Alternatively, implementations can be several months or longer based upon factors such as integrations (for example, between ADDM and the CMDB), and the level of automation desired (for example, closed loop change management). The recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report also identified several Remedy cautions around ease of use and user experience, and ease of upgrade capabilities related to Remedy’s reputation as being overly complex.
Fortunately, BMC has been aware of these cautions and has moved quickly to address them. In the soon to be released Remedy Version 8, both the user experience and upgradability is much improved. RightStar goes live with a version 8 beta site customer on Tuesday and anticipates no issues. The version 8 upgrade process is much faster and the installs worked “without a hitch.” The new Remedy overlay model means that future upgrades should occur as fast as one would upgrade Microsoft Word. Of course, there may still be a need for a dev, test, and production environments, but the total upgrade process is days now, not weeks.
In addition, the user experience is much better. Although there are no significant changes other than to the Service Request Management module, there are many minor improvements, such as reductions in the number of screen pops. My prediction: an excellent Remedy 8 review and a hasty ascent into the next ITSSM Leaders’s Quadrant.