17:07 PM

The Predictive Enterprise book launch

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

Predictive_Power.jpgThe place to be Wednesday evening was the Asian Art museum and the launch party for Vivek Ranadive's "The Power to Predict : How Real Time Businesses Anticipate Customer Needs, Create Opportunities, and Beat the Competition" He is the CEO of Tibco, which is a founding sponsor of SVW and one of my earliest supporters.

It was a smart, cultured crowd in a smart, cultured venue. And I met several outstanding people--a perfect evening.

The Power to Predict is surprisingly good for a book about IT strategy. My former colleague at the Financial Times Louise Kehoe contributed her formidable editorial skills to the project. The book explains how enterprises can take the next step beyond real-time IT systems and take advantage of predictive patterns.

The problem with the Predictive Enterprise concept is that the message--once you get it--is very powerful. And so Tibco is finding it difficult to get its customers to talk abut how they are using its real-time predictive technologies.

I'm not surprised that they are reluctant to talk because this is something I have seen happening time and again. If IT strategy is strategic to my business, why would I tip off my competitors and have them copy my process? There is nothing in it for me.

Tibco is also, very much an old school Silicon Valley company, the culture of the software engineer has an important standing within Tibco, along with its close ties to Stanford University. It is a conservative organization--but one that is trying to break out of its mold.

Tibco is willing to take a chance on the new media technologies, the podcasts, the vidcasts, books--whatever it takes to establish its thought leadership. And the new rules of the new communications reward the less-scripted interview or presentation. The more real, off-the-cuff, less-controlled--the more effective the communication.

And that was clear at the book launch. When Tibco senior executives didn't stick to their scripts that's when their stage presence became more noticeable and more interesting.

That is why I recommend to people: don't over prepare for presentations--and ditch the PowerPoints. You know the subject by now, tell a narrative--and if there is no PowerPoint the audience will look you straight in the eye. Why distract your listeners from you?

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