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July 28, 2010

BDNA brings tech encyclopaedia to the UK

IT Genome Strategy details hardware, software and more

By Steve Evans

BDNA, the self-styled IT genome company, has announced its launch in the UK market alongside a new strategy that combines an encyclopaedia of all major software and hardware products with a suite of services that aims to help companies gain greater insight into their IT infrastructure.

The IT Genome Strategy works on the understanding that every business has an IT genome – the hardware, software, policies and processes that make up its IT infrastructure. It is made up of two primary elements, Technopedia and the IT Genome Center, which together enable a company to map the DNA structure of its IT.

BDNA says that Technopedia is the result of years of research, and is essentially a database that contains details on over 10,000 vendors, 80,000 products and nearly one million market data points. Using this information a company can then use the IT Genome Center to establish exactly what is going on in their IT systems and identify areas of inefficiency as well as other problems.

This can help with ITSM, software licensing and regulatory issues, the company said.

Walker White, CTO at BDNA said that as the different types of technology used in organisations continues to grow it is harder for IT departments to fully keep on top of what they’ve got and how to get the most out of it. That’s where the IT Genome Strategy comes in.

"Our vision is to help people understand their IT genome or map their technology DNA to make better use out of the existing capabilities they have as well as eliminate waste. In the current market conditions, nothing could be timelier," he told CBR.

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White then expanded on exactly what the IT Genome Strategy can do for a company: "It starts at resources, then becomes hardware and software and then databases, and they become enterprise databases and eventually you get to an element, such as an Oracle 10g release, version 10.204. But we then go further and align external market information you can’t get from the device or package itself: when was it first released, what is its current support level, when does it go to end of life and so on."

The platform can "normalise" information it finds, White said. This means that it can find all instances of the same product that may be listed under different names, such as when Macromedia was acquired by Adobe and various products were renamed.

But the tech industry is a fast moving place, with new products, product updates, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies and new businesses. So how does the IT Genome Strategy keep up to date? "The greatest piece of IP that we have is not the data within Technopedia; it’s the process by which we manufacture the content that goes in it. It’s a continuous process and we have broken down the process of keeping up to date with changes in the market. We have certain people that do certain tasks. The catalogue is updated all the time and the data is fed out to clients on a monthly basis."

The firm counts Pfizer, the State of California and AstraZeneca as its clients and says that typically ROI can be achieved within one year, very often much less than that. Now BDNA is pushing into the UK market, driven by rising demand from customers here, UK country manager Paul Winters told CBR.

"We’ve seen some real interest in the US and know that the two markets follow each other, so there is interest here and that there is a space in the market for us," he said.

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