Catching Up With Tibco...And Why IT Really Does Matter
I really should spend more time with my sponsors. I spent most of Tuesday at Tibco's user conference, catching up with the the company's business strategy team and having some great conversations, and thinking I really should spend more time with my sponsors.
Tibco, Infineon Systems, Intel, Edelman and Cohn & Wolfe are part of a small, courageous band of of SVW sponsors. Tibco in particular, has been vital to this venture.
Vivek Ranadive, the CEO and founder of Tibco is one of Silicon Valley's key players and one of its quintessential figures. He "got" what I was trying to do with Silicon Valley Watcher earlier than anybody else, when it was just a gleam in my eye.
Conversely, I feel that I "get" what Tibco is trying to do, as it forges ahead into new territory. And it is a complex new territory that goes beyond information technology as we've known it.
Tibco's focus is on enabling large corporations to move into the next phase of business automation, into the automation of the deployment of business processes.
This is not about enterprise applications, ERP, CRM, etc. and the dozens of acronyms and terms that became common in the lexicon of enterprise IT for the past 2 decades.
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com talks all the time about "the end of software" and he is dead right. Except that he doesn't really mean it. What Salesforce is trying to say is "the end of software-on-your-server."
Tibco really is about "the end of software." The leading edge in the enterprise IT space is not about applications--server-based or delivered as a service--it is about the meta level above that layer. It is in the "wrapper" above where application companies such as Salesforce operate.
Tibco's focus is on automating and managing business processes, and building the service oriented architecture (SOA) that businesses need to quickly respond to a changing world. It's a changing world of competition, and also literally a changing world--rising temperatures, sea levels, and energy costs.
SOA is about reprogramming an entire business on-the-fly, it is about predictive intelligence, it is how large businesses will differentiate themselves from each other.
SOA makes IT strategic again because in a world where everyone has the same enterprise applications, the competitive differentiator becomes the automated business process and how quickly it can be deployed and combined.
The SOA world is a complex one because to get to that level means that a company's IT systems have to be integrated, real-time, and built on an incredibly flexible infrastructure. In the context of SOA, IT really does matter.
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Some recent Tibco news: