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BMC poaches 'Cloudy' Phil Harris, ex-Cisco CTO

Changes continue at 'sexy frontend' firm

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BMC Software has dipped into Cisco for its new techie head, with the once-public systems management specialist nabbing Phil Harris as its chief technology officer.

Harris has already updated his LinkedIn profile to announce the change, and replaces BMC veteran Kia Behnia, who’d been CTO since 2006 and was on sabbatical.

Harris had served as CTO of Cisco’s cloud and virtualisation group, joining the mighty networking firm from virtual computing company VCE bought in 2011.

He was VCE’s chief strategy officer and vice president of platform engineering and strategy from 2010. Before that guess where he’d been - yup, Cisco.

Harris was director and CTO of Cisco’s world-wide partner organization having risen up from the ranks of consulting engineer dating back to 1993.

The Reg asked BMC to comment on Harris’ appointment, but the company was unable to respond by time of writing.

Harris joins BMC at a time of change, having gone private with a $6.9bn buyout deal lead by Bain and Golden Gate Capital - two private-equity firms - in 2013.

Founded in 1980 and with a robust mainframe business, the idea was to give BMC's Robert Beauchamp - chairman, president and CEO - a break from the scrutiny of the stock markets to turn around his business.

Under Bain and Co. Beauchamp has since re-organised and made a string of senior management appointments, all to make his systems dinosaur customer friendly and its software more consumer-like and easier to consume.

The company has built and delivered MyIT self-service app for systems for use on smartphones and tablets and Remedy IT service management suite.

More development around the UI used to control systems is promised from BMC.

In a recent interview with The Reg, BMC area vice president Donn D’Arcy claimed BMC is competing against new entrants such as Service Now - whom BMC is currently suing for patent infringement - and New Relic.

“We are winning where sexy, contemporary front ends are important to our customers,” he said.

He estimates BMC’s experience in systems management means its on-prem-based business is seeing off cloud-based upstart such as New Relic.

BMC cut its teeth in what was once called systems management frameworks, going up against enterprise stalwarts Hewlett-Packard, IBM and CA. ®

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