Tibco Buys Jaspersoft: A Deal With Transformative Potential

Since Tibco acquired Jaspersoft on April 28th, 2014, I keep being asked the question: “Will this deal change the BI and analytics landscape?” (If you missed the announcement, here’s the press release.)

The short answer is: it could. The longer answer goes something like this: Jaspersoft and Tibco Spotfire complement each other nicely; Jaspersoft brings ETL and embedded BI to the table, whereas Spotfire has superior data analysis, discovery, and visualization capabilities. Jaspersoft’s open source business model provides Tibco with a different path to market, and Jaspersoft can benefit from Tibco’s corporate relationships and sales infrastructure. And with its utility-based cloud service, Jaspersoft also adds another option to Spotfire’s SaaS BI offering.    

But that’s only the narrow view: once you take into consideration Tibco’s history (the hint’s in the name - “The Information Bus Company”) and the more recent string of acquisitions, a much larger potential story emerges. Starting with Spotfire in 2007, Tibco has assembled a powerful set of capabilities, including (but not limited to) analytics, data management, event processing, and related technologies such as customer loyalty management and mapping. If Tibco manages to leverage all of its assets in a way that provides enterprises with a flexible and agile integrated platform that helps them turn their data into actionable information, it will be a powerful new force that has the potential of changing enterprise BI platforms market.

To get there, Tibco has a number of challenges to address. On a tactical basis, it’s all about making the Jaspersoft acquisition work:

  • Retaining the talent
  • Making it easy for clients and prospects to engage with both companies
  • Integrating Jaspersoft’s open source business model
  • Continuing the relationships with Jaspersoft’s existing software partners
  • Providing OEMs with a suitable engagement framework

The most important part, though, will be the development and execution of a long-term strategy that leverages all of Tibco’s BI and analytics assets, as well as its historical strengths. If it doesn’t manage to do that, Tibco will remain a collection of brands that's seen as less than the sum of its parts.

For a somewhat more detailed discussion of the opportunities and challenges inherent in this deal, check out my short piece Quick Take: Tibco Continues Build-Out Of Its BI Portfolio By Acquiring Jaspersoft.

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