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Flexera acquires BDNA

Flexera acquires BDNA

Trying to find how many “Classic Rock” tracks you have amongst your music
collection isn’t an easy task…but finding the same info in your Spotify account takes just a few clicks. This is primarily due to the MusicID service, provided by Gracenote, which identifies music files and provides metadata. Flexera’s aim is to bring this up to the minute, widespread product identification to the world of Software Asset Management.

Furthering their efforts to ‘re-imagine the software supply chain‘, Flexera are acquiring BDNA for an undisclosed amount.

Who are BDNA?

Started in Mountain View, California in 2000, BDNA aim to “Deliver the Industry’s Most Authoritative Enterprise Technology Data” through their flagship product, Technopedia.

It contains information on over 1.7 million products and 120 million data points and aims to deliver accurate, consistent data on which organisations can base business decisions.

Why BDNA?

In a product review conducted earlier this year, we concluded BDNA was an innovative offering to identify “the truth” within enterprise networks, well positioned to help with Internet of Things and also with great potential beyond the ITAM department.

Flexera have shown an increased focus on data for some time it’s the industry’s most comprehensive software asset, vulnerability and open source repository and the BDNA acquisition plays into that perfectly.

Having recently added end of service life data to their product line, Technopedia will help Flexera extend this and make it consistent across various business functions – an important aspect for Enterprise Architects. This improved data quality can be applied across ITIL processes, making Flexera an interesting product for ITSM departments and enterprises of all sizes.

Ultimately, this acquisition will make it easier for executives to make decisions on what is happening, and what needs to happen, within their business.

While there is some duplication between the two companies’ offerings, Flexera CEO Jim Ryan estimates it’s only about 20%. Flexera are known for their product use rights libraries while BDNA add a wealth of information around hardware, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as medical equipment.

“Flexera and BDNA understand better than anyone else the key role technology asset intelligence plays in executive decision-support,” said Ryan.

In our review, the only weakness listed was that BDNA would find it difficult to position themselves against traditional ITAM tools – becoming part of Flexera certainly solves that.

“Data is the new oil”. This first seems to have been said by Clive Humby (of DunnHumby & Tesco Clubcard fame) in 2006 and it is still a true statement today in 2017. However, data changes very quickly and old data is possibly worse than no data, which is why “BDNA has refined the processes for creating, managing and curating Technopedia at market velocities, capturing over 2,500 daily updates”. This, coupled with the existing data teams within Flexera, is unrivalled and offering SLAs around the data quality shows how confident they are.

Name that tune

Flexera CEO Jim Ryan sees the combination of Flexera & BDNA as creating something akin to Gracenote for the SAM industry.

Trying to find how many “Classic Rock” tracks you have amongst your vinyls/tapes/CDs/minidiscs (depending on your age/hipster level) isn’t an easy task…but finding the same info in your Spotify account takes just a few clicks. This is primarily due to the MusicID service, provided by Gracenote, which

“uses audio fingerprinting technology to identify digital music files such as MP3s and deliver track level metadata, album art and links to complementary content and services”

And Flexera’s aim is to bring this up to the minute, widespread product identification to the world of Software Asset Management.

Availability

In an analyst call, Jim Ryan told us that this new data offering will be available not just to Flexera customers, but also organisations using other SAM tools.

Just as Gracenote powers Amazon Music, Apple Music and Microsoft Groove, Flexera’s data service will be available to organisations using tools from a range of manufacturers.

Conclusion

Flexera are positioning themselves as the go-to provider of comprehensive, clean, consistent, normalized data for organisations across the IT sector. Not limiting it to their customers coupled with the ability to extend in EA & ITSM areas puts Flexera in a very strong position to become an integral part of the industry – perhaps akin to Akamai in the cloud delivery space.

I’m interested to see further details around the offerings and what the relationships and integration with competitor products will be like – from both sides.

About Rich Gibbons

Rich has been in the world of IT and software licensing since 2003, having been a software sales manager for a VAR, a Microsoft licensing endorsed trainer, and now an ITAM analyst looking at software licensing and cloud.

A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!

Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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