I should say right up front that Park Place Technologies isn’t talking, out loud at least, about AIOps. But, given the way the market has co-opted the term to describe the latest push to provide proactive and predictive end-to-end monitoring and management of complex hybrid IT environments, Park Place Technologies will soon be playing in that space.
Best known as a global, post-warranty Third Party Maintenance (TPM) organisation, Park Place Technologies has been quietly acquiring and growing new capabilities that positions it as a much more proactive and predictive IT operations management organisation. The overarching messaging for this new set of capabilities is called DMSO, which stands for Discover Monitor Support Optimise, i.e. what most AIOps solutions purport to do.
Some of its acquisitions and partnerships will clearly help provide Park Place Technologies with key elements in the overall DMSO story, and I will come back to these later. But it is their culture and, more importantly, their heritage that make this a very different proposition. Last week I spoke with Jennifer Deutsch, Park Place Technologies’ CMO and other senior executives at an analyst roundtable in London. It became evident that their position, dealing with IT infrastructure issues around maintenance and break-fix for their 17,000 customers in 150 countries, has given them a more intimate insight into the day to day issues affecting IT operations departments than many of their potential new competitors and is a tremendous, stable base to develop from.
While they have taken the time to understand the main drivers of IT complexity, agility and business transformation, their sharp-end experience of resolving IT operations problems has made them wary of over-hyping new developments or over-promising the delivery of new features. The discussion of their product roadmap was as transparent and realistic as any I have seen. At the same time their understanding of the risks of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), as well as the benefits, has led them to establish dedicated M&A teams that focus on integrating new acquisitions as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
A key element of the roadmap will be how quickly and successfully they integrate the recent acquisition of the Network Performance Management (NPM) company, Entuity into the ParkView Strategic Business Unit tasked with delivering the DMSO vision. It could turn out to be an absolute gem. In today’s globally interconnected world networks are front and centre in delivering business success. In general NPM vendors are good at capturing and analysing huge amounts of wire-data in real time, and also understanding instinctively about infrastructure topology. These are critical capabilities for any vendor looking to compete in an increasingly crowded AIOps space.
The partnership with BMC, whose TrueSight product is the underpinning of their current server and storage monitoring capabilities, is an intriguing one. There was already a strong link between TrueSight and Entuity before the acquisition and this will probably ease the task of integrating the capabilities to deliver a seamless end-to-end view through a single pane of glass. BMC is well known and has a long track record of providing IT Operations Management tools (ITOM) in the on-premises enterprise space. However, it remains to be seen how well they will compete in a DevOps oriented, containerised hybrid-cloud environment against some of the new entrants with a strong cloud first mentality. This is something that ParkPlace Technologies will need to keep an eye on over the next 18 months.
ParkPlace Technologies have some interesting challenges moving their story out of the IT operations department and into the Boardroom. They are well placed to do that with their existing customers who should benefit greatly from the new DMSO capabilities being brought on stream. In more cloud-oriented sectors they will face new competitors making quite a splash about their AI and analytics capabilities and who are engaging on acquisition sprees of their own. It will be an interesting fight and those competitors might get a nasty surprise if they sub-consciously dismiss a company with a TPM heritage.