BMC Software has been on a roll lately. The company raised $750 million to pay dividends to shareholders, launched a new workload change management solution, and partnered with Microsoft to simplify cloud management -- and take aim at VMware.

Microsoft and BMC just announced a new initiative to help mutual customers maximize hybrid cloud environments. The big promise is to accelerate delivery of digital services.

Specifically, customers of the two companies can now use BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management software to manage cloud infrastructure and services built on Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services. BMC said the new updates make it possible for customers to manage digital services delivery, consumption, operations, planning and compliance across multi-vendor cloud infrastructures from one management platform.

Should VMware be Worried?

This is clearly a competitive move for Microsoft. In the announcement, BMC noted that the new updates make for an easier path for customers that want to migrate from VMware-based clouds to Azure. Should VMware be worried?

VMware could not immediately be reached for comment, but we caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on the move against the virtualization pioneer.

“BMC is pitching this as a way for companies that want to migrate away from VMware to do so seamlessly, taking those VMware-based virtualized applications and workloads and moving them over to Microsoft’s Hyper-V,” King said. “I personally think that’s kind of a stretch.”

From King’s perspective, Microsoft has been trying to take VMware’s business away for years without widespread success. The BMC partnership is a new angle, he explained, but he’s not seeing much publicly or hearing much in his discussions with businesses to indicate an exodus from VMware for Hyper-V.

A Win-Win

Beyond the Microsoft-VMware battle, there’s a bigger picture in the announcement. Indeed, there’s a shift in emphasis among public cloud promoters that are beginning to realize that enterprises simply refuse to allow some applications and data to sit in a public cloud. They want it safe and sound in their own internal IT infrastructures.

“Whether it’s business critical applications or the proprietary apps that have been written by corporate developers or data that is business critical or heavily regulated, there are some things enterprises are just not going to trust to public clouds,” King said.

That realization has led the likes of IBM, EMC and HP, among others, to find ways to support private, or internal, clouds that can interact with external clouds when the company wants that to happen, King noted. And that’s the essence of the BMC-Microsoft announcement.

“It’s a deal that could be good for both companies,” King said. “I’m not sure how much actual business this will drive in the short-run. But for companies that use Microsoft Windows Server -- and use BMC to manage those applications and data -- this could provide an interesting unified benefit for public clouds while continuing to support internal cloud requirements,” he said.

Other BMC Wins

In other BMC news, the company raised $750 million of debt to pay a dividend to Bain Capital and other shareholders. And just Tuesday the company brought its developer and operations teams closer together in a move to improve workload efficiency up to 80 percent.

“The importance of developers is growing at a pleasant rate as companies seek to do more than just optimize -- make cheaper -- their IT. These companies want to use customized IT to better instrument and run their businesses, targeting growth through projects like mobile apps,” said Michael Cote, research director of Infrastructure Software at 451 Research.

“At the core of many of these applications are batch workflows that are not as developer friendly as one would expect with today’s rapid development cycles. So it’s great to see BMC addressing this important part of customized IT, improving the developer’s lot and increasing IT-driven business productivity," he added.