I am on my way back from Tucon 2012, Tibco’s annual user conference at Las Vegas. During the event I had a chance to talk with Tibco execs, partners, customers and fellow analysts. I thought I will do a quick post talking about my initial thoughts on what I heard there. Tibco’s rise to fame in the traditional IT world was through their Integration technologies. As social collaboration gained steam, they launched Tibbr sometime back (previous CloudAve coverage).
- Clearly, Tibco wanted to position themselves for the modern technology era driven by cloud, mobile, social, etc.. This was clear from their “Everything is different” message. However, the correct message should be “Everything is different but for some of Tibco’s offerings”. Nope, I am not undermining what they offer in any way. They have a pretty solid portfolio of products. But I am coming out with a feeling that they are not willing to disrupt themselves and prepare their technology (and their customers) to the modern technology. This is not just a problem for Tibco but any traditional vendors who are under the Wall Street’s quarter by quarter performance watch. They are doing social right and have the necessary components to handle mobile, big data and cloud but they are not going the extra mile to transform their offering to be the DNA for the great computing convergence, a term I use for the convergence of cloud, social, mobile and big data.
- Even though their ESB offering is a critical piece for real time needs of today’s world including law enforcement agencies, I see Tibbr to be the most interesting piece of innovation that is going on inside Tibco. As a company with a solid event driven platform for enterprises, developing a solid social bus platform must be straightforward. As I told in my post after their Tibbr announcement, they have got social right and they are continuing the journey with full speed. Their Tibbr Insights (aka Klout for enterprises) is a solid move and once their API is ready and made public, you can expect a vibrant ecosystem around Tibbr. What I heard around Tibbr is very convincing for me.
- The Tibbr-Box partnership is very interesting. Unlike Chatterbox, which is part of Salesforce Suite, Tibbr-Box integration helps advocate best of breed approach. Users need not get locked into one vendor and they can buy services that match their needs. It is a classic Suite vs Best of breed buy decision.
- Right now the Box integration inside Tibbr is very limited and Box acts as a content repository for Tibbr users. The conversations inside Tibbr cannot be seen in Box and vice versa (compared to Chatterbox where the conversations cannot get fragmented). However, Dan Levin, COO of Box, assured me that this is just a beginning and we can expect bi-directional flow as the API matures in the coming months.
- Even though I am pretty satisfied with their social strategy, I am not at all convinced about their cloud strategy. Whatever I am seeing now is more of a cloud washing than any real cloud offerings. Please don’t tell me Tibco Silver Fabric is cloud. It is not. Plain and simple. I tried asking about their cloud strategy at the CEO level but I didn’t get a satisfactory answer. Let me make it clear. From where I see, they have some pretty awesome components needed to offer Platform as a Service suited for the big data world (see my posts on PaaS Ver 2.0 for my thoughts on next iteration of PaaS) but their messaging and strategy around cloud is terrible. They need to get their act together on cloud if they want to be part of the “Everything is different” world.
- Many analysts in the event felt this and I also felt the same. The sheer number of names for their offerings is very confusing (<sarcasm>though it opens up opportunities for professional services/SI companies</sarcasm>) and they need to come up with a simpler message for the modern world dominated by cloud, social, mobile and big data.
These are my initial thoughts on the event and Tibco is one of the companies from traditional software world who has a great potential to adapt themselves for the changing needs and I will be closely watching them in the coming years.
Disclosure: Tibco paid for my travel and stay during the event
- tibbr Unveils Apps Vision and Announces Partner Ecosystem at TUCON 2012 (virtual-strategy.com)
- TIBCO Corporate and Technology Analyst Briefing at TUCON2012 (enterpriseirregulars.com)
- Badgeville and TIBCO Announce Partnership to Offer Game Mechanics in the tibbr Apps Marketplace (prnewswire.com)
- Tibco Joins Box On Tibbr 4, Updated With Klout-Style Enterprise Services (techcrunch.com)
- TIBCO Announces tibbr 4 and Enterprise Social Graph API (virtual-strategy.com)
- Tibco Designs Tibbr 4.0 to Be More Than Just Facebook for the Office (eweek.com)