BMC has bought middleware vendor MQSoftware whose software helps companies monitor the performance of IBM's WebSphere MQ software, as well as other platforms.

BMC competes with Novell, CA, IBM and a range of smaller vendors in the market for BSM (business service management) software, which is meant to help companies manage their IT infrastructure effectively and align it in support of business processes.

By purchasing MQSoftware, BMC wants a stronger play in companies that are working on SOA (service-oriented architecture) projects.

WebSphere MQ is a messaging platform that allows various applications and systems to communicate with each other. It thereby plays a key role in SOA implementations, which seek to create composite applications consisting of multiple, sometimes shared sources.

MQSoftware sells products for managing WebSphere MQ implementations and analyzing the flow of transactions through the systems.

The company has more than 1,000 customers, and some 92 percent of large IT organizations are using WebSphere MQ.

While BMC's announcement emphasised MQSoftware's close alignment with WebSphere MQ, the vendor also makes other products, such as for monitoring Tibco's Enterprise Message Service platform, which competes with WebSphere MQ.
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MQSoftware's website indicates its portfolio will be rebranded as BMC Middleware Management.

However, the MQSoftware tools will be offered on BMC's price lists in stand-alone form, and "customers will not be forced to buy more products," a spokeswoman said.

"However, BMC also may create solution bundles that combine MQSoftware products and existing BMC products in groupings that address customer IT issues, such as for cross-platform management of middleware," she added.

In a research note, Gartner analyst Milind Govekar said the deal should benefit customers of both companies.

"Gartner client feedback indicates that customers regard BMC's Mainview and Performance Manager (formerly Patrol) tools as less than strong when it comes to IBM WebSphere suite management," he wrote. Purchasing MQSoftware gives BMC "credible and proven technology to defend and grow its installed base in this area."

Meanwhile, MQSoftware has been trying to increase its revenue and customer count in recent years, but has encountered reluctance from large enterprises who "perceived it as risky to do business with a relatively small company," Govekar added. "When MQSoftware becomes part of BMC ... this should help alleviate some of those fears."