Now the next fear is ... is something entirely new coming along, and management just becomes irrelevant? And a customer told me why he didn't think that would be true. He said: Eventually something is plugged into the wall, right? It's not really in the cloud. It actually is sitting over there and it's running. And so I just don't see the uber-clouds annihilating all the management layers. Private cloud to us is just another operating system inside our existing customer base.
Business service management
How is BSM, a field you're widely credited for inventing, different from traditional enterprise systems management?
Beauchamp: BSM is the general envelope of how we describe what I've been talking about, which is this self-service provisioning, managed service level, transparency and compliance. And ESM is just a name we made up for our business unit that is the non-mainframe business unit.
Here's an example of BSM. Last year a very large seed manufacturer was remaking their IT organization. I met with the CIO right before they standardized on us, and she was explaining to me the rationale. She basically said, look, we're going from -- and I won't get this right -- two mutations per genome or whatever it is in the seed, to an eight-pack so you can plant wheat in countries you couldn't before. And, she said, in order to do that, they have environments where their scientists need to run simulations that are unbelievably computationally expensive to do.
Sometimes those are just sandbox activities. So in that case they want to go outside. They use a university's grid environment to do a slow computational; it gets it done and just uses whatever resources are available at the time, kind of a grid model. And then when they go to run their big test and they really have to certify it for the government, they want to run it inside on their very scarce resource -- a very expensive, computational platform.
And what they want is people to just request a service, and they want the engine to decide, am I going to jump over here to the university grid, am I going to go run it on the inside physical environment that already exists? Do I need to pick up a new VM on another machine to run it inside that environment because it needs to be segregated for compliance reasons? By the way, that's getting really complicated. They want our software to be the common portal for the "store" where you go to request it, the common engine that decides where to host it, provision it on those environments, maintain the service level, and then report on it.
This is our value proposition around business service management, how we deliver it. And cloud is one module inside of that.
You've used the term "ERP for IT." Where are you on the journey of delivering that?
Beauchamp: Well, we are a little cautious about using that term too much. Some customers just love it, but some people will equate it to the things that didn't go well in the ERP generation. You know, you're going to do it our way, and it's rigid, and it's going to take three years, but it's really going to take three-and-a-half, and it's going to cost a hundred million, but it's really going to cost four hundred million. So we don't use that term externally, really.