Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Tibco Sharpens Its Focus On The Next Big IT Shift 'The Event-Enabled Enterprise'

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 16, 2013

Vivek 1

I'm in Las Vegas this week as a guest of Tibco Software's user conference, TUCON13  - an annual event. I've been to plenty of them and they are often full of marketing razzle with a dash of dazzle but this year things were different.

They were different because the company has reorganized significantly over the past year as it missed some of Wall Street's numbers.

Founder and CEO Vivek Ranadivé (above) made many executive changes and has refocused the company on its strong engineering roots. His keynote, and also presentations by Matthew Quinn, CTO, and for the first time on stage Murray Rode, COO, (bottom) exhibited a fresh new energy at Tibco and very importantly, a tightened vision and strategy.

Its acquisition of Streambase early this year, is a good example of its sharper strategic focus, and it fills an important piece in Tibco's IT infrastructure story. It enables it to make a serious grab for a very strategic piece of the IT infrastructure market: events processing in real-time - what Tibco calls "The Events-Enabled Enterprise."

Matthew Quinn (below) says,"When the industry thinks about events we want them to think of Tibco."

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It's hard to argue with Tibco's vision of what every corporation needs: a real-time messaging bus. I agree, and I think of it in terms of a "media bus" as a core IT infrastructure of every company that's a media company, which is every company.

When Tibco talks about streams of messages triggering events inside an enterprise I think of a media news feed triggering political, cultural, and business "events." All companies have "news" events -- the transactional business data of their everyday working day. They trigger apps to take action and publish new data into the live enterprise data stream.

Vivek Ranadivé talks about the importance of integration of "all data" rather than just Big Data, a subset of an ever bigger data world.

I see all types of corporations, no matter what they make, as media companies because they constantly publish to the outside world, customers, staff, to neighbors, to partners, and to themselves. Now the world publishes back, into the enterprise, in the form of transactional data, cookies, metrics, blogs, tweets, and all sorts of machine data.

Every company needs a real time media bus into which their enterprise apps plug into. It's a unifying platform integrating the silos of internal enterprise activities; and it's the intersection of where the internal meets the external. It's where the data of the external world is sifted and shifted into the right business streams, the right data at the right time, at the right place. Context is very important because it renders Big Data useful data.

Businesses that have the capabilities for extreme agility, that are able to respond with the right decisions faster than their competitors will win, there is no argument there. How corporations achieve those capabilities is Tibco's opportunity. Its competitive advantage is that it has seen the future sooner than other IT companies and has built, or acquired the technologies corporations need.

For example, it knew the cloud would be important and it has tools that allow enterprises to manage their cloud-based apps, and use the cloud as a messaging bus. Also, it recently acquired Maporama, a French startup with key geolocation events technologies.

Inside the enterprise Tibco offers Tibbr, a social media tool that now has 6.5 million users, a quintupling since last year, reports Senior VP Ram Menon, Head of Social at Tibco. He said that Tibbr is adding task management and will add more features over the coming years, burrowing deeper into the enterprise infrastructure.

Tibco has alwys had interesting customers, one of these is Nielsen. A keynote by Mitchell Habib, COO at Nielsen, was very impressive. Nielsen used Tibco's technology as the foundation of a huge new business that essentially saved the company at a time it was losing it's largest customers.

What Tibco does has always been difficult to explain because it is heavy-duty IT engineering. Now, there's a better understanding by businesses about what they need to be an agile enterprise. It's potentially the start of the biggest ever IT infrastructure shift ever seen and Tibco will have to compete against some very large players, but it is more agile. We'll see how that agility profits Tibco.

If it manages to execute on its plans it looks very well positioned for the coming boom in the re-engineering of the IT enterprise.

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Murray Rode, COO, Tibco.

(Tibco has been a founding sponsor of SVW since 2005.)

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