TIBCO Now Roadshow: Toronto Edition (Part 1)

TIBCO’s doing a roadshow called TIBCO Now, and because the Toronto one is practically in my backyard – and is at the Hockey Hall of Fame, which I’ve always wanted to visit – I’m here this afternoon to hear about what’s coming up product-wise, and also hear from some of their local customers.

We had a quick update from TIBCO (sorry, missed the name while I was looking for non-existent wifi and getting my tethering set up) on their direction: I love the “two-second advantage” message that I’ve been hearing since their TUCON conference in May, but really dislike the “Enterprise 3.0” nonsense. He had one slide in his presentation that really resonated: “Business is event-based. IT systems are transaction and query-based.” That sums up the difference between how things happen in the real world, and the nature of the systems designed to support those things.

Grant Geminiuc, former CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart (a large Canadian retail store), gave a presentation about the Canadian retail perspective on the two-second advantage. Given that we’re smack in the middle of the financial district, I’m imagining that most of these blue suits belong to the towers above us, but there are common themes about reducing operational costs and increasing revenues that apply to everyone. For Shoppers Drug Mart, the two-second advantage is about the window of opportunity when the customer is in the store or on the website, and having enough information about the customer and their buying history to position a cross-sell or up-sell that will resonate with them. For Canadian Tire, it’s about managing inventory to reduce out-of-stock situations, and expose inventory levels – and purchase capabilities – to customers on a website rather than by going to the store. For Rogers, it’s about back-office and channel integration to enable service bundling, consolidated billing and a single point of self-service provisioning. In short, leverage and integrate assets, and understand your customer.

Tom Laffey, TIBCO’s EVP of products, was up next to talk about their technology. He gave us a review during the analyst session at TUCON, summarized by Matt Quinn the next day; this was mostly a review of that. He outlined four critical requirements for businesses and their technology: handling events on a massive scale; universal application development lifecycle management providing freedom to innovate; integrating people; and deploying what you need, when and where you need it. He gave use the 50,000 foot view of their new and enhanced product suites:

  • ActiveSpaces Suite, including the DataGrid product for an in-memory data management, and the Transactions and Patterns products (both via acquired companies) providing data manipulation; on top of ActiveSpaces, you can run their event-driven architecture or service-oriented architecture
  • FTL, their next generation appliance for extreme low latency message handling (which I think has the coolest name but probably not well-liked by the marketing folks)
  • ActiveMatrix application development platform
  • ActiveMatrix BPM product that I recently reviewed
  • Formvine, a browser-based end-user application creation environment
  • Tibbr, a microblogging tool (think Twitter for the enterprise)
  • Silver Spotfire, a cloud-based data analysis and visualization tool based on their (acquired) Spotfire platform

Next was David Hickman, long-time TIBCO employee and currently in SOA Product Marketing, to cover their SOA strategy. He started with a couple of examples of how their customers have used TIBCO products to create shared services and components, and integrate systems, then moved on to a more detailed view of the ActiveMatrix platform. All AMX products share a single runtime engine, a single design-time interface (Business Studio) and a single administrative console; this reduces complexity for the IT users as well as reducing costs through shared components. He covered the somewhat large list of the AMX products, spending a short time on each one to note what it does, how it fits into the big picture, and the specific benefits of their product over the competition.

Last up before the break, we heard from HP, who is co-sponsoring this shindig as well as being a long-time partner of TIBCO’s, on application lifecycle management. There was no discussion, however, about the lifecycle of HP CEOs.

We’re taking a break now; but I’ll be sticking around because I’d never hear the end of it if I skip Jeremy Westerman’s talk on AMX BPM. Plus, there’s a cocktail reception afterwards.

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