Mobile app demand prompts BMC's Aeroprise buy

Aeroprise has been developing mobile apps for BMC for some four years

A quick way to understand why BMC Software, a management tools company, today bought Aeroprise is to recall the famous line uttered by Victor Kiam upon his acquisition of the Remington Products Co. in the 1970s -- "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company."

Kiam's memorable advertising quip sums up why BMC bought Aeroprise, which has been making mobile apps for BMC products for about four years.

Aeroprise apps are now available for Apple iOS, iPhone and IPad, Research in Motion's BlackBerry, Google Android and Microsoft Windows devices.

BMC said more and more of its customers are tablet devices and smartphones to run management apps. Analyst have long identified the trend of workers using what are often their own devices for work as the "consumerization of IT."

The increasing importance of mobility, coupled with BMC's familiarity with Aeroprise's capabilities, underpinned the acquisition announced Thursday.

"This transaction allows us to drive better alignment on future products," said Rohit Gupta, BMC's vice president and general manager of service support. "It gives us internal expertise on mobile application development."

BMC is not disclosing the sale price. BMC's annual revenue through March was approximately $2.1 billion.

Earlier this year, BMC purchased Coradiant, a Web application performance firm.

The BMC and Aeroprise combination is already used on a range of IT service tools, including help desk, problem management, asset management, budgeting and planning as well as resource tracking products.

Gupta said BMC developers can now better take advantage of Aeroprise's mobile expertise to extend the capabilities to the rest of the BMC portfolio.

Fred Broussard, an analyst at IDC, said that "the acquisition gives BMC a platform onto which they can continue developing mobile solutions for their IT service management suite of products".

Broussard said the success of the iPad is prolably a key reason for the demand for mobile versions of BMC products. "Ever since the iPad started showing up, I've heard a lot more about mobility than I have ever heard before," Broussard said.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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