BMC vs. IBM: How to Pick the Perfect IT Partner
Trying to decide between BMC and IBM? Finding the right IT partner is the key to future success—for you and your customers. See the criteria me and my team at Buchanan Technologies used to find our perfect enterprise IT solution.
As our company grew, it became readily obvious that we needed to upgrade our toolset to be able to better support our customers. To take that next step, we needed to embrace the ITIL philosophy to bring even more value to our customers while also becoming more efficient and effective in our processes. We needed to shift our focus from delivering to the customers and building the right tools to simply delivering the best products and services to the customer.
Now, many businesses like to build their own tools; they may feel that they know their systems better than any outsider could, and while that’s fine when you’re small and scrappy, as you grow these disparate systems can become more of a burden than an advantage. That’s when it’s time to bring in the experts.
But with so many vendors available, how do you know which partner is right for you?
For us at Buchanan, we needed a game-changer, and to ensure we found the perfect IT partner, we looked at almost every vendor on the market. From big brand names to boutique shops, we spent about six months evaluating each on how closely they aligned with our business needs and philosophy. Then we narrowed our search down to 10 vendors, and then again to just a final two: IBM and BMC.
We knew we didn’t want just a vendor; we needed a partner who wanted to work with us as much as wanted to work with them. So we posed a question to each of our finalist: How would they step up and help us when an inevitable problem arose? We’re not the largest team—we don’t have 100 personnel dedicated to manage these tools—so we needed to have something that could be used as out of the box as possible, and we needed to know that our vendor would be there for us when the time came. We needed a company that would stand beside us.
Being a former BMC employee, I didn’t want any of my history or any sort of biases to interfere with our ability to pick the best IT toolset available, so I removed myself from the selection process. I remained open to answering technical questions for my team, but I let them guide the process and choose our IT partner based on merit alone.
To help others select the best vendor for their needs, here are a few of the criteria we used to ensure Buchanan chose the best possible IT service management solution possible.
Establish Rules of Engagement
Every company has to establish their own rules of engagement that they have with their customer. You can pay more for a premium level of service, or you can settle for a more maintenance level of service. But there will be times when situations dictate intervention outside of these normal rules.
When evaluating IBM and BMC IT enterprise solutions, we asked questions to determine each vendor’s willingness and commitment to stepping outside of those preset rules if circumstances dictated. Through this line of questioning, it became apparent that BMC would be that willing partner. And it didn’t take long for us to realize the benefit of having that level of support.
Soon after we partnered with BMC, we were in the process of upgrading our product from one release to the next and we had an issue with our admin server—it just wouldn’t come up at all. Now it wasn’t like our production system was actually down, but we needed to get the servers up in a timely manner to be ready for the following week and get the upgrade into production. So while this wasn’t a true P1, BMC understood our urgency and got a technician on the line—on the weekend—and helped us resolve the issue.
To have the knowledge that you can ask your IT solutions partner for these types of extraordinary interventions, and have the faith that they’ll deliver, even though it may be outside the normal rules of engagement, it’s a very comforting feeling. And one only a true partner can offer.
Customization & Integration
Customization takes time, personnel, and money, so when we were choosing our IT solution, we wanted to make sure we chose the technologies that fit our needs best right out of the box.
In addition to being able to use what we bought with little customization, we also wanted to make sure each of our components would seamlessly integrate. We didn’t want to have different pieces from different vendors. We were looking for monitoring, asset management, remote control patching, incident management, problem management, and change management; and we wanted each one to be able to work together without us having to spend time and resources patching them all into one system. So we made sure to ask questions in order to determine all of these components would integrate and function as a complete solution.
In the end, we chose Remedy, which has all the atrium components including orchestration CMDB, and TrueSight, the BMC monitoring tool that is both agentless and agent based. We also decided to add on the client management tool and the Entuity package to monitor SNMP-type devices.
When choosing the right IT enterprise solution, it’s also important to gauge the level of support you’ll have when you need it most. With BMC, we’ve found a wealth of troubleshooting and technical support through the extensive customer communities. To be able to connect and speak with someone who has had the same problem and learn from them has been a tremendous resource for us. BMC also has a robust internal self-help and knowledgebase, but the community has been our go-to source of information, which has saved us precious time and prevented countless headaches.
A Partner in Success
Even though we’re one of BMC’s smaller customers, they’ve never treated us small. They’ve always considered us a partner, and looked at the long game rather than short term profits. They knew that with the right solution, they could help us grow and be a true partner in our success.
From the sales person to the VPs, each BMC employee is sincerely invested in our growth, and the investment is paying big dividends. Our company is growing and finding more and more opportunities, and thanks to choosing the right partner, we can envision a better future for ourselves and our customers.
Good luck to you on your path to finding the perfect partnerships!