Posted by: Ryan Shopp
BEA, BMC, Cisco, DataCenter
Great article by Jim Duffy, NetworkWorld, called “Cisco to accelerate shift to software and data center in 2008” had some really interesting thoughts.
One statement that got those juices flowing was, “Some analysts believe Cisco’s ambitions may lead to the acquisition of a major software vendor – perhaps BEA Systems…”
Now that is a serious thought! IBM has WebSphere, the biggest pure play application server platform beyond them is BEA!
Cisco already has, and continues to build out, all the non-system data center infrastructure categories (e.g., switching/routing, storage, security, application/network optimization). I would assume they don’t want to go head-on competitive against their biggest partners/channels (e.g., the server/storage vendors; HP, IBM, EMC) so a creative end-around, “coopetition” play, would be to buy in and establish credibility with a major “platform” vendor (e.g., application platform or even a database vendor). I personally think they have shown signs of this intention through buying Webex.
Another way to creatively gain further credibility and an established customer base in the data center would be to grab a major management software vendor (e.g., BMC). Now that would bring excitement to the hole Data Center Automation (DCA) front! BMC has legacy data center presence (e.g., mainframe), system/storage/application monitoring presence, CMDB play with Atrium, RealOps acquisition for process orchestration, configuration/change automation with Marimba, help desk with Remedy, etc. One of BMC’s biggest perceived gaps/weakness has always been “the cloud,” what a great combo this could make. With all the web 2.0, virtualization buzz you have to believe Cisco want’s to be in the heart and minds of data center executives so they can capitalize.
Doing some further back-reading after Cisco launched Data Center 3.0 found these statements made in another article by Jim Duffy.
Whereas Cisco’s Data Center 1.0 and 2.0 strategies focused on data center consolidation, 3.0 targets virtualization and automation, says Jayshree Ullal, Cisco senior vice president of the Datacenter, Switching and Security Technology Group.
Data Center 3.0 is also aimed at optimizing application performance, service levels, efficiency and collaboration, Cisco says.
Hmmmm….that sounds like an advertisement for what BMC could bring them!
Anyways, just as an FYI, BMC & BEA have a market capitalizations of under $7B on revenues around $1.5B. Who knows, it’s fun to just step back and ponder what-if scenarios like this sometimes.