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March 2, 2020updated 03 Mar 2020 8:56am

BMC is Gobbling Up Compuware in a Major Mainframe Shakeup

"It’s the ideal time to bring Compuware into our portfolio as the traditional mainframe AppDev market transitions to DevOps

By CBR Staff Writer

US enterprise software company BMC has agreed to buy its third mainframe specialist in just over a year, closing a major deal today to acquire Detroit’s Compuware – a mainframe application development, delivery, and support specialist.

The deal, which represents major consolidation of the mainframe support and services space, comes six years after Compuware’s private equity owner Thoma Bravo took it private in a $2.5 billion buyout. Terms of today’s deal were not disclosed.

“The combined company will help customers better manage their mainframe operations, cybersecurity, application development, data, and storage as part of their enterprise DevOps strategies” BMC said today, announcing the deal.

A spokesman told Computer Business Review: “BMC and Compuware will begin working on integrating the two companies post-close, which is expected in the coming months. 

“BMC has known, respected, and partnered with Compuware for years, and Compuware is a great fit for BMC’s business and culture.  Compuware’s application development and DevOps products are an outstanding complement to BMC mainframe products, which focus on operations. 

“The strategic combination of BMC and Compuware will build upon the success of the BMC Automated Mainframe Intelligence (AMI) and the Topaz suite, ISPW technology, and classic product portfolios from Compuware to further modernize the mainframe industry.

 “The combined company will help customers better manage both their mainframe operations, cybersecurity, application development, data, and storage as part of their enterprise DevOps strategies, as well as provide seamless integration of the mainframe platform development and management processes into the enterprise technology stack.”

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 “When completed, this deal will expand BMC’s overall technology portfolio to build technology enablers in every organization that support a transcendent customer experience, automation everywhere, enterprise-wide DevOps, a data-driven business model, and adaptive cybersecurity.”

The company did not respond to questions about whether it will retain Compuware’s brand, or plans for staff and location integration.

BMC’s customers include Lockheed Martin, SAP and TfL. It has over 10,000 customers globally, including 92 percent of the Forbes Global 100.

Just three weeks earlier BMC – flush with its own private equity backing – also agreed to buy RSM Partners, another mainframe specialist with a core expertise in IBM Z systems.

(BMC itself was bought by private equity firm KKR for a reported $8 billion in 2018).

In late 2018, meanwhile, it also bought CorreLog, a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software company specialising in mainframe logs.

What’s the Attraction?

Mainframes still underpin the bulk of the financial services world’s transactions, including an estimated 87 percent of all credit card transactions. Mainframes also handle 68 percent of the world’s production application workloads.

COBOL code bases meanwhile now run to 9.9 million lines on average, versus 8.4 million in 2017 – reflecting what the UK’s Micro Focus describes as “ongoing investment, re-use and expansion in core business systems”.

Chris O’Malley, CEO at Compuware told Computer Business Review recently that the mainframe remained an “engineering marvel”, telling us (apropos this COBOL growth) that “COBOL is nothing more than program syntax that when compiled into machine code drives compute resources.Of the ever-increasing list of 1000+ syntaxes in the world, no single one is always best. Every program syntax has pros and cons by design. What’s unique about COBOL is the compiler. IBM has done a masterful job at continuously improving the COBOL compiler every few months.

“These improvements fine tune the resulting machine code so that it can most effectively and efficiently drive the latest and greatest compute resources in the engineering marvel that is the mainframe. That’s why the world’s economy rightfully runs on more than 220 billion lines of COBOL code.”

Compuware is the proven and trusted partner in mainstreaming the mainframe for Agile and DevOps, and we are thrilled to now be joining forces with BMC in reinventing the future of the platform,” O’Malley said today in a canned release.

“Both companies have been leaders in mainframe innovation over the last five years and we look forward to combining our complementary solution strengths and common passion for accelerating our customers’ successful digital transformations.

He added: “Without a doubt, a combined BMC and Compuware is the best, brightest, and most collaborative partner for a new generation of mainframe stewards.”

His company made its own move to streamline a legacy IT estate in the not-so-distant past, creating a “two-platform IT strategy” that saw it keep strategic systems running on IBM Z enterprise servers connected via RESTful APIs to public-cloud-based SaaS applications, for what it described as non-strategic workloads.

That move saw it shrink its on-premises IT footprint from 77 racks to just 12, eliminating 19 tons of obsolete equipment in the process.


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