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Posted by Clay Richardson on August 30, 2011
Today, Tibco Software — best known for its SOA integration, complex event processing, and business process management suite — announced its acquisition of Nimbus Partners, a privately held business process analysis vendor based in the United Kingdom. Nimbus Partners is smaller and less well known than the other more mature and full-featured BPA solutions, such as those from ARIS, Provision, and Mega. Nimbus, which employs more than 100 people, sold process discovery and authoring tools along with its homegrown methodology for quickly capturing and managing detailed information on business processes. Nimbus’ features and ease of use appealed mostly to process architects, process analysts, and business stakeholders that wanted an environment more robust than Microsoft Visio but not as technical — or requiring as much training — as other BPA environments.
So, why did Tibco acquire Nimbus? In many ways, this deal is a nod to the “Empowered BT” trend, where more technical capability is being moved into the business. For vendors like Tibco, this means building or buying functionality that puts business stakeholders in the driver’s seat. Over the past six months, one of the top inquiry topics I’ve seen from clients is around “models for increasing business engagement within BPM suites.” In short, I’ve fielded numerous calls from business stakeholders scratching their heads and saying, “I wrote the check for this BPM suite, but the IT guys are the only ones that can touch it.” Forrester predicts that Tibco will leverage the Nimbus acquisition to:
As with all acquisitions, the devil is in the details. And in the case of software acquisitions, the devil is in the integration details. In this case, we expect the integration will be less onerous than other BPM acquisitions that merge competing and overlapping engines. To integrate Nimbus with Active Matrix BPM, Tibco will need to focus on developing a consistent modeling scheme across the two environments and also provide a consistent look and feel across the tools.
Tibco’s acquisition of Nimbus will be welcome news to existing Tibco customers looking to improve business engagement and — if executed effectively — should allow the developer-centric vendor to compete more effectively against more business-oriented players like Appian and Lombardi (i.e., IBM BPM 7.5).
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