TIBCO NOW 2017 – Berlin, Digital Smarter!

As an technology enthusiast with a strong focus on the latest development of innovative, sustaining and disruptive concepts and technologies, I could not be missing this year on TIBCO NOW 2017, the annual conference of one of the most advanced software suppliers from Silicon Valley, TIBCO. The event venue this year was Berlin, the theme was digital transformation of organizations, industries, as well as the society in which we live today.

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The further digitization of society has various implications and the question is how can organizations transform by becoming digitally smarter and gaining more (valuable) insights into data to prevent them becoming disrupted (or uberized) in the new world’?

The answer and also TIBCO’s vision on this is briefly summarized in two quotes from Thomas Been, Chief Marketing Officer, TIBCO.

“In order to succeed in this evolving digital world, companies must think past traditional business intelligence tools and consider a digitally smarter approach.”

To support this “digitally smarter approach”, Thomas Been said the following about TIBCO’s vision:

“TIBCO continues to place innovation first, focusing efforts on interconnecting data and augmenting the results to provide users with a seamless experience.”

The product portfolio is logically a reflection of this vision and is simply divided into two major categories.

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Interconnect Everything
Interconnect Everything is all about integrating and connecting people & processes, APIs and data & systems. The full integration spectrum is covered in this product category from traditional core integration (on-premises) to the edge (internet or things). Capabilities recognized by TIBCO are messaging, application integration, micro services, blockchain, api management, cloud integration, business process, internet or things, edge apps and low code apps.

TIBCO’s flagship, BusinessWorks, is one, if not the most important product in this category. Development on BusinessWorks is still ongoing and leveraging open-source innovation, the new strategy is “build once, deploy anywhere”. With the introduction of the product TIBCO BusinessWorks Container Edition (BWCE), it has clearly sought the approach to (open-source) containerized runtime environments (PaaS) such as Kubernetes, CloudFoundry, Docker and OpenShift. Also, native concepts and techniques such as configuration management (Spring Cloud Config, Zuul, Consult), service discovery & registration (Eureka, Consul), circuit breaker patterns (Hystrix Framework) have been adopted by TIBCO. In my honest opinion, this is a very wise choice!

As an iPaaS alternative, TIBCO offers the TCI service (TIBCO Cloud Integration), a fully integrated TIBCO runtime environment as a service with Amazon Web Services as the underlying infrastructure. In any case, you can switch between the various execution environments (“build once, deploy anywhere”) with minimal effort. This will certainly help in mass migration into a cloud-native architecture, but also the temporary hybrid situation, in which various organizations are currently finding themselves.

A remarkable but nevertheless impressive product in the category is FloGo, the open source IoT integration product of TIBCO, which celebrated its first anniversary. Time will show whether it will be a great success within the open-source community, but it definitely has potential!

Augment Intelligence
This product category is about enhancing (enriched) operational insight through smart (real-time) reporting & dashboards, intelligent data analysis capabilities and streaming analytics. After the acquisition of Spotfire (a few years ago), TIBCO has a very powerful product for visual data exploration & analysis capabilities, which has been extensively expanded in the meanwhile and linked to the remaining products within the analytics platform. Capabilities recognized in this area by TIBCO are master data management, data wrangling, embedded analytics, streaming analytics, machine learning, data science, visual analytics, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence.

TIBCO is trying to position itself in the market of big data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. On the one hand, this is not a big surprise given the fact that integration of data is crucial (see interconnect everything), on the other hand, this is a very specialized branch where innovation is specially driven by open-source . With the recent acquisition of data science and market leader Statistica, TIBCO wants to onboard this expertise and experience. The product will form part of the TIBCO Insight Platform, which also includes formerly mentioned TIBCO Spotfire.

Connected Intelligence
The combination but especially the collaboration between “interconnect everything” and “augment intelligence” is what TIBCO describes as “connected intelligence”, and stands for the vision of TIBCO with the ultimate goal of achieving operational excellence (connect -> sense -> Learn -> act) and thereby digital leadership in the new world. All products conclude this and in theory this is a very powerful proposition from a technological point of view. Only the extent to which organizations will be able to implement it from an organizational point of view. In practice, this is often a high threshold to be overcome and as long as IT is seen as supportive (read subordinate) to the business, this will be a major challenge within many traditional organizations. However, digital transformation is not a choice, it’s unavoidable, organizations must go along or disappear!

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