A friend and colleague dropped me a short email from the other side of the world today, asking about this announcement:
Cisco and BMC Alliance Announcement – Service Orchestration and Network Containers .
I read it quickly this morning, and then went about the day's meetings.
On returning home, I saw Ben Kepes' reaction to the announcement, the title of which pretty much says it all:
BMC and Cisco Combine to Automate Cloud Delivery–Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
The money quote from Ben:
It’s nothing new – Enomaly, enStratus, Datapipe and many, many other providers (see here) are playing in a similar space – regardless of that, the fact that two stalwarts of traditional IT such as Cisco and BMC are at least dabbling in the hybrid cloud space is a guarantee of two things. Firstly that cloud, if we didn’t need any other proof, has come of age. Secondly it’s an indication that enterprise IT leaders are looking for solutions from these more venerable providers.
I then realized that what had been bothering me all day about the original announcement. This was, in reality, a three-party transaction. The three parties?
- The VCE coalition with Cisco acting on their behalf,
- BMC, and
- Acadia -- the joint venture originally founded by EMC and Cisco, and 'further capitalized by investments from VMware and Intel,' established to help partners and customers 'accelerate the transition to pervasive virtualization and the private cloud.'
Yep. Acadia is a party to the transaction that hasn't been mentioned.
What Cisco has done is secure a source of cloud delivery automation for vBlock which, in Ben's words, represents "…the seal of approval from a 'trusted' vendor (which) means a lot for many risk-averse CIOs."
This is an arms deal, guys. And Acadia just got use of some serious firepower. It would not have been the same had Cisco done the deal with the cutting edge, leading edge players that Ben mentions. They needed a non-affiliated source of management systems, with enterprise credibility, so as to properly equip Acadia. With the BMC deal, they gave them a great present that should keep on giving for quite a while.
For those of you who've heard me hold forth on Acadia... you can stop reading here.
For those who haven't, here's the story in a nutshell: When VMware, EMC and Cisco announced the alliance around Cisco's UCS and the creation of Vblock infrastructure, it was clear that they were missing a key ingredient as part of the ecosystem: professional services.
- None of the three founders entered this market with a PS organization of sufficient weight and focus that they could (or would want to) dedicate it to the delivery of Vblock.
- Within the past few years, big infrastructure competitors have picked up major PS organizations, (e.g. HP's EDS and Dell's Perot Systems), and these organizations were not about to promote VCE's wares to their customer base.
- Engaging and convincing the big independent PS organizations that are still 'non-aligned' would require serious resources in the form of incentives, enablement and marketing expenditure, with no assurance that it would succeed in generating sales or gaining support.
- The most reasonable answer was to create their own captive PS organization - Acadia.