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StreamWeaver Is The Engine To Drive BMC’s AIOps Strategy: Margaret Lee

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BMC recently acquired StreamWeaver, a company that helps enterprises achieve their end-to-end observability, AI operations (AIOps), cloud migration, and cost reduction goals with extensive industry-leading data integration capabilities. We sat down with Margaret Lee, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Service and Operations Management at BMC Software, to learn more about this acquisition and BMC’s long-term strategy.

“StreamWeaver is the engine that’s going to help us drive to collect high value and high variety and real-time data to align with our AIOps strategy.” – Lee.

Here are the topics we covered in this show:

  • What does StreamWeaver do and what attracted BMC to StreamWeaver?
  • What are the core offerings or strengths of StreamWeaver that add more value to BMC?
  • Will StreamWeaver remain an independent company or BMC will integrate its offerings into its own products and services. Should existing StreamWeaver customers be worried?
  • BMC is going through its own transformation; this acquisition is in line with that transformation. What are the areas where BMC will be focusing on where we can see more movement, growth and even more acquisitions?
  • Understanding security from the perspective of the Helix platform.
  • In addition to anomalies, one more factor that plays a very big role in vulnerability or risk is also human factor, which is misconfiguration, unnecessary over privileged access. What is Helix doing to people-proof itself?

Guest: Margaret Lee
Company: BMC Software (LinkedIn, Twitter)

About Guest: Margaret Lee is SVP and GM of Digital Service and Operations Management of BMC Software. She has P&L responsibility for the company’s full suite of BMC Helix solutions for IT service management and IT operations management.

Swapnil Bhartiya: This is your host Swapnil Bhartiya and welcome TFR Newsroom. BMC recently acquired StreamWeaver. And to talk about this acquisition we have with us, once again, Margaret Lee, senior vice president and general manager of digital services and operation management at BMC. Margaret is great to have you back on the show.

Margaret Lee: Thank You Swap. Glad to be here.

Swapnil Bhartiya: What does StreamWeaver do? And why was BMC interested in them?

Margaret Lee: StreamWeaver is a company that over the last nine to ten years have been specializing gathering variety of data for IT operations management. They have built dozens of adapters to gather data from most popular iT operations, data sources. For example, connectors to Splunk, to Dynatrace, to other cloud vendors, to solo winds. They really are very adapt at gathering a lot of operational data for IT management teams.

Swapnil Bhartiya: So what was their core strength or offering that you saw can bring a lot of value to BMC?

Margaret Lee: As we spoke last time, BMC is going through a transformation and on portfolio side we’re doubling down on AI ops. We believe that in the future with a large volume data coming into IT operations teams, it is critical to use AI, to find probable root cause analysis to manage risk and, and prevent outages. So with that strategy, it is critical that we gather as much data from customers complex pathologists possible, right? At the end of the day, your root cause analysis is driven by how much information and data you have of the customer’s environment. So in that context of investing in AI ops and trying to gather data, StreamWeaver, when we realized exactly what they’re doing and how good they are at it. Perfectly aligns with our strategy. They’re the engine that’s going to help us drive to collect high value and high variety and realtime data to align with our AI ops strategy.

Swapnil Bhartiya: How are you plan to integrate those into BMC or are you planning to keep that as independent unit within BMC and should the existing customers, users of StreamWeaver be worried about anything?

Margaret Lee: Foremost, we’ve done a lot of detail technical due diligence between both teams and it turns out it’s actually quite in easy to integrate StreamWeaver’s technology into the BMC’s Helix platform. So we are very much taking a platform approach on Helix. So when we acquire companies like StreamWeaver, that has an excellent set of technologies that can be very easily integrated in Helix platform. That’s the way we are going to go to market. So that means for existing Helix customer, right? They will just very quickly see expandability to collect data and thereby improve their analysis using our AI ops for. For StreamWeaver customer. Right? Of course, they’re not using StreamWeaver standalone. That means they’re probably today already collecting data, working with some monitoring, some AI op solutions. So we will definitely offer to those customer an alternative and then welcome into the Helix platform. So we are not [inaudible 00:03:39] going to operate StreamWeaver as a separate business unit or team. There will be very tightly integrated incorporated into the Helix platform and the Helix team.

Swapnil Bhartiya: You of course cannot talk about the next acquisition for sure. But if I ask, if you look at your trajectory, the transformation, what are the areas where BMC will be focusing on where we can see more movement, growth and transformation?

Margaret Lee: Right. So the areas we’re investing in is four areas within Helix. First is the platform and StreamWeaver acquisition is actually a example of that. Expanded our platforms capability to collect data, to do analysis to common services. That’s one. Second is we’re investing significantly in the service management space to introduce AI capabilities and high end DevOps capabilities into service management. Thirdly, like I already mentioned is AI ops to get other data and do analysis for IT operations teams. And the last one is a new one that we’re investing in is called service ops. So that is a reflection that for many customers, whether it’s end users creating tickets, reflecting a website or services slowing down or inaccessible, that’s just the one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is really from IT operations perspective, looking at servers, containers, deployment architectures, what is trending from green to yellow to red.

So those two are two sides of single coin and BMC is uniquely positioned to get, we have the data around outage tickets, change tickets, problem tickets. We have the data around logs, metrics and health of the system at the backend. And we are looking at this as a swarming, as a service ops opportunity to support situations like incident Swarming, RCA, and also risk analysis prevention. So Helix platform, AI for service management. AI ops and service ops are the major areas that we’re investing in. In that context, we are definitely looking at a number of cost partners and potential acquisition that can align with our strategy.

Swapnil Bhartiya: One thing that you mentioned in the previous discussion was risk management, especially when we do look at a lot of cloud native workloads or any mission critical workload, we are also seeing increase in attacks whether it’s ransom VIR or even there is an increased focus on security as well. But security is not one thing. There are so many things you have to monitor, you have to log, and then you have to take action about it. So where does security fit into either Helix platform or BMCs larger strategy to as you mentioned, these big clients and customers?

Margaret Lee: Right. BMC absolutely has security as one of our main pillars. If for anybody who is familiar with our AED strategy, one of the key dimensions of the five dimension AED strategy is cybersecurity. So from a Helix perspective, right. So we are looking at logs, we’re looking at a server return metrics to detect anomalies, right? And those anomalies could be operational, but those anomalies could also be access. And looking at the patterns as users log into systems, if there’s an anomaly that aligns with the security dimension, we’ll be able to build alarms and prevention items for customers to be aware of as early as possible.

Swapnil Bhartiya: In addition to anomaly, one more factor that plays a very big role in vulnerability or risk is also human factor, which is misconfigurations, unnecessary access. What is hex doing to kind of people proof itself?

Margaret Lee: So this is where one of our strategy under the Helix platform. There is a whole set of capability under intelligent automation. You are exactly right. Sometimes the vulnerabilities are introduced inadvertently because too much manual tasks, right? So when you are, for example, in an environment that is running low on resources, you want to add additional capacity, whether it’s on premise servers or in cloud container based notes, all of those type of tasks need to be automated, right. And need to be logged and need to be auditable. So these are all things that lend themselves to automation. So we are, for example, in the most recent release of the Helix platform, we can integrate with technologies such as Ansible, such as our server automation and server orchestration tools. So, that way these things can be automated. And those actually are probably safer than have a lot of human steps, manual steps.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Margaret, thank you so much for taking time out from your schedule today and talk about this expedition, also your strategy for StreamWeaver, and also the transformation that BMC is going through. And as usual, I would love to have you back on the show. So I am excited about our next conversation. Thank you.

Margaret Lee: Thank you for the opportunity.

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