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Here are our key takeaways from BMC Software’s (BMC) February 2, 2011 Q3 2011 earnings conference call. Read the full transcript here.

1. Enterprise Software Management (ESM) Is Exceeding Expectations. BMC's core ESM offering increased license booking by 8% to a record $163m on a 15% trailing 12-mos. basis. This has pushed management to up expectations in ESM low 20s compared to prior expectations of high teens growth. (See Jessica Breen's latest analysis.)

2. Multi-Product Platform Deals Are Increasing. Large deals are on the rise along with add-ons from existing customers. Some 75% of the quarter's transactions were multi-product license deals. Along with those deals, BMC's average selling price is increasing. Existing customers added 65 new product placements, with 13 of the top 15 deals resulting in an increase in customer spending with BMC. (See Jeff Kaplan's latest analysis.)

3. Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Management has a contrarian view on the sales cycle. Whether it's a sign of economic recovery or just more agressive sales people, BMC is challenging the accepted wisdom that sales cycles continue to lengthen. They're seeing an increase in the number of transactions discovered, pitched and sold within a single quarter.

4. The (Sales) Force Is With Them. BMC's alliance with Salesforce.com (CRM) is begining to prosper (maybe "live long", too). Building from their first foray with CRM a year ago, the alliance has expanded with the December launch of RemedyForce, which provides a sales channel for BMC's IT service management solutions through Salesforce.com's cloud platform. Another recent alliance, this one with CSCO, has just delivered its first product, an Integrated Cloud Delivery Platform, that combines both companies' technologies for large-scale, multi-tenant cloud computing infrastructures.

5. Professional Services Need to Be Better Managed. The loss in Professional Services increased to $7m compared to a $2m loss a year ago. Like many of its peers, BMC calls on third-party contractors to help with the post-sale implementation of software. While BMC expects to use its own people to fill the demand for these roles, in the short term, continued subcontracting is expected.

Source: 5 Key Takeaways From BMC Software's Q3 Earnings