BMC Software Helix ITSM

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BMC Software
Helix ITSM

by Sherry Kercher

Docid: 00011128

Publication Date: 2005

Report Type: PRODUCT


BMC’s Helix ITSM suite, formerly referred to as Business Service
Management (BSM) or IT Service Management, is designed to facilitate the
automation of routine tasks and the standardization of processes with an
increased focus on the cloud. BMC is owned by a group of investors
including Bain Capital, Golden Gate Capital, GIC Special Investments, and
Insight Venture Partners. This report details the different components of
BMC’s Helix ITSM suite.

Report Contents:


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Introduced in 2003, Helix ITSM, formerly referred to as Business Servic e
Management (BSM) or IT Service Management, is a suite of applications used
to implement a strategy for helping businesses respond to changing market
demands and IT spending cutbacks.

This strategy works by enabling the IT departments of organizations to
demonstrate tangible benefits to the company via faster, more
comprehensive services, reduced operating costs, and by providing direct
support for key business initiatives. Helix ITSM looks to align an
organization’s IT infrastructure and assets to meet their business
objectives as well as ensure that IT is able to support those business
objectives on an ongoing basis.

Helix ITSM looks to enable companies to move beyond traditional IT
management and manage their business-critical services from both an IT and
business perspective. The intent of the IT Service Management strategy is
to provide organizations with the methods that enable customers to link
their IT resources tightly to business objectives through a range of best
practices, such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) requirement.
Additionally, Helix ITSM looks to manage IT resources based on business
priorities by providing a complete view of the business and IT operations.
Using Helix ITSM, organizations are able to identify which resources
should be addressed immediately and which can wait.

BMC Software
2101 City West Blvd
Houston, TX 77042 US
(713) 918-8800
(800) 841-2031
Fax: (713) 918-8000
Type: Data Networking Vendor
Service Areas: International
Founded: 1980
Number of Employees: 6,000

BMC’s IT Service Management initiative provides an open approach to
enterprise management that integrates the vendor’s best-of-breed products
with a client’s current IT infrastructure. The BMC IT Service Management
strategy looks to provide clients with an easy way to implement and change
their IT infrastructure, as well as solutions that co-exist with their
current products. The company’s key offerings and disciplines in the Helix
ITSM approach include:

  • BMC Helix ITSM (Next Gen Remedy)
  • BMC Helix Digital Workplace
  • BMC Helix Chatbot
  • BMC Helix Discovery
  • BMC Helix Monitor
  • BMC Helix Optimize
  • BMC Helix Remediate
  • BMC Helix Business Workflows
  • BMC Helix Platform
  • BMC Helix Remedyforce

BMC Helix ITSM includes the following capabilities:

  • Incident and Problem Management
  • Proactive Service Resolution
  • Knowledge Management
  • Multi-Cloud Service Management
  • Smart Reporting
  • Change Management
  • Release Management
  • Digita l Workplace
  • Asset Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Service Request Management
  • Service Level Management

BMC Helix ITSM offers:

  • Enterprise management integration, from mainframe to distributed
    systems, databases to applications, service to security.
  • Support for ITIL, used to assess and provision systems.
  • BMC Managed Services, including software, hardware, and staff for
    deploying, administering, and utilizing software in a pay-as-you-go

Figure 1 illustrates the BMC Helix Service Dashboard Interface

Figure 1. BMC Helix Service Dashboard Interface

Figure 1. BMC Helix Service Dashboard Interface

Source: BMC Software

Configuration Management

BMC Configuration Management comprises a shared data repository, a
unified service model, and common user and reporting interfaces. BMC
Configuration Management provides and supports an approach based on Web
Services to allow organizations to integrate and interoperate both BMC
products and third-party tools. Atrium enabling technologies have been
designed to fit into a heterogonous IT environment and interoperate with
existing IT operations and management solutions.

The heart of the Atrium Configuration Management is the CMDB. It is an
object-oriented central repository that stores data about IT assets,
relationships, classes, sub-classes, and states. The intelligent data
repository provides a working model of an organization’s enterprise IT
infrastructure, and consolidates disparate datasets within an
organization. Use of the Atrium CMDB ensures that organizations can employ
a consistent approach to maintaining IT processes, such as incident,
problem, change, configuration, asset, and service impact management.

Configuration Management CMDB provides a Common Data Model (CDM) based on
standards such as Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), Common
Information Model (CIM), and Managed Object Format (MOF). By being based
on a standard IT configuration, data can be managed within a single
environment, while also leveraging a set of best practices that will
support future growth across IT. The CMDB also includes a patent-pending
Reconciliation Engine that looks to ensure a single consolidated view
across IT environments. Finally, the tool features a single, logical data
store that can reside on multiple data sources throughout an IT

The Configuration Management CMBD consists of :

  • Graphical Interfaces – Lets users launch a view into
    the BMC Atrium CMDB to view CI and relationship data relevant to their
  • BMC Analytics – Enables configuration data analytics
    and on-the-fly report creation through interactive, ad hoc query and
    analysis capabilities. 
  • BMC Discovery – By automatically populating and
    maintaining BMC Atrium CMDB with BMC Discovery, a current view into IT
    infrastructure components and relationships is provided.
  • Common Data Model – A Common Data Model and service
    model are used to infuse business relevance into an industry-standards
    approach to managing IT.
  • Reconciliation Engine – Merges data from multiple
    discovery tools into a single dataset.
  • Open Interfaces – Open up the system to any business
    processes and tools supporting the IT environment.
  • Federation Management – Federation management can
    build a single data store that can reside on multiple data sources.

Asset Management

Asset Management is designed to allow organizations to locate,
categorize, and manage the lifecycle of the assets in their IT
infrastructure. Asset Management consists of inventory and asset
discovery, tracking, reporting, and lifecycle management capabilities, all
of which are fed into a central configuration management database. It
features automated best-practice lifecycle, contractual, and financial
control, as well as a complete line of discovery tools. Asset Management
includes the following components:

  • BMC Configuration Management CMDB – An
    intelligent data repository that creates and dynamically maintains a
    logical model of the IT environment, including assets, their
    configurations and inter-relationships.
  • Remedy Asset Management – The tool is designed to
    automate lifecycle contractual and cost controls over assets. It
    provides workflows, business rules, reporting, and more throughout an
    asset’s lifecycle, including procurement, receiving, stock management,
    deployment and disposal. The tool automates the maintenance of
    relationships among assets, components, business services, contracts,
    costs, locations, owners, and groups, and also manages data accuracy
    throughout the asset’s lifecycle. Remedy Asset Management also provides
    portfolio management, providing decision support and documenting
    inventory and control processes for regulatory audits, such as

Smart Reporting

The Smart Reporting capability is intended to efficiently turn reports into
innovative dashboards. It includes 90 out-of-the-box reports to get started,
and gives users a storyboard feature to create slide shows with functional
report data. Users can share and get insights with collaboration features.
They can also get automated insights based on the relevance of data.

Change and Configuration Management

Change and Configuration Management capabilities contain change process
lifecycle optimization, automation, and policy-based prioritization. It
maintains accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date data on all six types of
Configuration Items (CIs) across the enterprise. The CIs include hardware;
software; communications/networks; locations; documentation; and people
(including internal staff and contractors). BMC Change and Configuration
Management allows users to map their IT events and business services, all
while identifying infrastructure interdependencies. The program also
maintains configurations automatically, providing a streamlined change
lifecycle, policy-based configuration management solutions, and via the
CMDB, a centralized location for all the processes.

Change in an organization can take the form of three types: the
installation of new components, such as hardware, operating systems,
drivers, and applications; updating existing components; and the retiring
of components. The BMC offering leverages best-practice processes to
streamline and automate the activities that identify, respond to, and
control changes to the IT environment, eliminating the risk and cost
associated with IT change. Change and Configuration Management looks to
manage change through the identification of IT assets, including their
configurations and relationships, and the tracking and management of the
change process from request and planning through implementation and
verification. Via the CMDB, it keeps a current accounting of the
configuration of every IT asset and enables a unified, holistic approach
to managing any changes.

BMC Change and Configuration Management looks to assist organizations
accelerate the implementation of ITIL best practice processes in Change
Management, Configuration Management, and Release Management. It features
automated discovery and detection via the BMC IT Discovery Suite, which
populates the Atrium CMDB and updates it whenever changes are made.

Change and Configuration Management features Remedy Change Management,
which gives organizations the ability to develop a standardized, orderly,
process-driven approach to controlling change and automating change
lifecycle management, from request and planning through implementation and
verification. Additionally, Configuration Management tools automate the
execution of IT software changes by identifying and managing the IT
environment through continuous enforcement of desired system states. The
tools can manage software assets on virtually all end-points and platforms
in the IT infrastructure, both inside and outside the firewall.

Release Management

Release management allows users to combine multiple change requests into
a single release and manage all related activity in support of a
successful release. Users can track and manage change and deployment
activities and automatically notify stakeholders at every phase of the
release process. They can meet auditable requirements for traceability
through service transition and deliver changes faster at an optimum cost.

Incident and Problem Management

Incident and Problem Management gives clients an organized, single point
of contact to assist users when problems arise. It tracks and reports
incidents and trouble tickets. It is also designed to conduct root-cause
analysis, set problem resolution priorities, and monitor problem
resolution metrics. Incident and Problem Management builds a direct path
to IT Service Management by providing insight into the links between an
organization’s IT components and business process, linking service desk
and event management.

Incident management focuses on responding to, as well as resolving,
end-user issues, looking to minimize the impact on business operations of
specific technical issues, as well maintain specific levels of service
quality. The problem management aspect focuses on correlating incidents to
defects in the IT infrastructure, all while looking to eliminate the
defects, which in turn, reduces the number of incidents. 

Infrastructure and Application Management

BMC’s Infrastructure and Application Management is designed to ensure
that all data in an organization is current and up-to-date. Made up of
application management, operations management, and database management
tools, it gives clients a consistent methodology across their technology
stacks, allowing clients to automate repetitive tasks and implement an
infrastructure that supplies up-to-date information about critical
availability, scheduling, and performance issues. The program monitors
component availability, centralizes and automates scheduling of repetitive
tasks, and drives an organization’s automated activities to meet a
client’s business service level objectives and policies, providing a
bi-directional communication mechanism between the IT infrastructure and
the IT Service Management tools.

Infrastructure and Application Management looks to improve a client’s IT
efficiency, as well as reduce costs, via component management. It allows
users to control their infrastructure via a common toolset across desktop,
mainframe, and distributed environments. It supports a number of
application environments, such as SAP and WebSphere, and allows users to
manage database assets in a centralized, automated manner. It also allows
organizations to leverage their current investments via tight integration
with third-party inventory discovery tools, network and systems management
products, ERP and CRM applications, Web Services, and industry-standard

Service Request Management

BMC Service Impact and Event Management allows users to track their
technology components and services, aligning them to business processes in
an effort to prioritize actions on their impact to the business. Service
Impact and Event Management includes a number of event monitoring and
reporting capabilities, such as those supported by BMC’s PATROL, as well
as event correlation and lower-level event response automation. It
provides an integrated view of all events, as well as their relationships
to the applications and business procedures in an organization. The
functionality of Event Managemenvt and Service Impact Management provides
insight into how events within the infrastructure impact the business, as
well as how new business requirements can impact IT.

Event management involves consolidating and processing raw events from
across the enterprise IT infrastructure and filtering and correlating the
data to deliver meaningful and actionable information to the IT staff.
Meanwhile, service impact management focuses on pinpointing root cause
problems and correlating those problems to real-time IT service delivery,
ensuring that IT response to real-time problems aligns with business
strategies and offers the greatest competitive advantages, and showing how
IT technologies impact the business and how the business impacts IT

It is a scalable, flexible method for event management and root cause
analysis, as well as for service impact management that determines the
business impact of IT infrastructure degradation or outages upon critical
business services. It integrates with other BMC Software and third-party
solutions through BMC Atrium enabling technologies, creating a unified,
holistic approach to managing events, as well as the impact of those
events, on a complex environment. Service Impact and Event Management
works with and consolidates the event management infrastructure that is
already in place. It draws on existing data stores to create a single,
unified view of the IT infrastructure, and it combines standard
availability and performance data from a variety of different types of
event source. Service Impact and Event Management also integrates with
existing event management tools, CA’s Business Service Management
offerings, HP’s ITSM, Microsoft’s MOM, and Tivoli Enterprise, which
leverages an organization’s investment in the tools. Service Impact and
Event Management also integrates with enterprise applications that
generate events, such as ERP systems and human resources (HR)

The BMC technology underlying this technology includes BMC Service Impact
Management, an adaptive solution that integrates service impact management
and event processing automation, linking IT elements with the business
services they support, as well as providing role-specific views that show
the IT services and the IT infrastructure elements that support each
service. The component is used by the IT staff to create and maintain
service models that define the associations between business services, IT
services, and the IT infrastructure. Additionally, Service Impact and
Event Management also features BMC’s Event Manager and PATROL Enterprise
Manager applications.

Service Level Management

BMC’s Helix ITSM enables organizations to tie together IT resources to
meet their service level agreements (SLAs) with clients. The SLM provides
a direct path to Helix ITSM by enabling IT to manage the services it
delivers at the business process level, while it also strengthens the
ability of IT to meet business and user demands and to improve the Quality
of Service (QoS) and the Quality of Experience (QoE). SLM offers a
foundation for the SLAs, providing monitoring, measurement, and delivery
of the service levels expected by customers. The tools making up SLM also
provide accelerated diagnosis and resolution of problems for an
organization, ensuring QoS and QoE for end-users.

The Helix ITSM enables real-time service level management of traditional
business services, as well as end-user transaction services that span
e-business and business-to-business applications. Additionally, it can
leverage existing IT management tools, end-user transaction monitoring
solutions, and service desk processes to provide information about the
current state of the service levels being delivered to clients. SLM can
provide organizations with Web-based dashboards that feature insight into
the service levels being delivered at an organization. SLM also
facilitates communication with business service users by allowing them to
monitor, through the Web-based dashboard, the level of SLA compliance of
those services important to them. Finally, SLM provides information to the
other technologies surrounding the current level of performance and the
availability of business services from the end-user perspective, as well
as how actual service delivery compares to service level agreements and


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BMC’s Helix ITSM technology is designed for use in several industries,
including the financial services, telecommunications, utilities,
healthcare, academia, and the public sector. It claims that more than 80
percent of Forbes Global 100 companies use its IT Service Management
technology to maintain their mainframe environments. The company cites
ITERGO, the central IT service provider for the ERGO Insurance Group in
Dusseldorf, Germany, as well as TELUS as customers.


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Each of BMC Software’s Helix ITSM components are supported by the
company’s line of solutions and complemented by customers’ existing
technology investments. For details on specific operating requirements for
BMC solutions, users can contact the company directly.


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BMC provides customers with a range of support options. The company
offers support for each of its solutions, along with a searchable
knowledge base and frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on its Web
site. The company also addresses customer problems or questions via its
BMC Software Technical Support team, which can be contacted by the Web,
telephone, or email. Each case is assigned a priority level, which will
determine the level of priority each incident warrants. The company
recently reported the availability of a new, as-needed Premier Support
offering to assist customers.

The priority levels are outlined in Table 1.

Table 1. Priority Levels Outlined
Priority Level Priority Description Response Goal


The system or major
application is down or seriously impacted, or a client’s data is
lost or destroyed, with no reasonable workaround currently

BMC responds within one hour.


The system or application
is moderately affected, with no workaround currently available or
the workaround is cumbersome to use.

BMC responds within four business hours.


The system or application
issue is not critical; no data has been lost, and the system has
not failed. The issue has been identified and does not hinder
normal operation, or the situation may be temporarily circumvented
using an available workaround, a feature failure, or a convenient

BMC responds within eight business hours.


Non-critical issues,
general questions, enhancement requests, or the functionality does
not match documented specifications.

BMC responds within 24 business hours.


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BMC Helix ITSM methodology can include a number of the company’s
technologies. Pricing for the needs of each individual client can vary
depending on their particular IT environment and which components are
addressed. Specific, configuration-dependent pricing is obtained from
BMC’s direct sales force.


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BMC’s tools compete with a number of vendors across markets such as
identity management, asset management, and change management. In terms of
a full solution line, Helix ITSM competes with assorted IBM Global
Services offerings; HP’s ITSM; CA’s Business Service Management offerings;
MicroFocus’ ITSM; and Compuware’s Test Data Management.

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About the Author

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Sherry Kercher is an editor for Faulkner Information
Services. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science,
and tracks and writes about storage, communication networks and equipment,
and Internet technologies.

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