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Blogs > MWD Advisors

TIBCO's on a strong growth path - but what about BPM?
Neil Ward-Dutton By: Neil Ward-Dutton, Research Director, MWD Advisors
Published: 24th June 2011
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
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TIBCO’s been through some tough times, but over the past year it’s started to really motor along. The acquisitions of Spotfire (analytics), Netrics (data matching), Data Synapse (grid and cloud computing infrastructure) have been significant engines of growth—helping to make TIBCO’s infrastructure portfolio much richer. The company has complemented these ‘horizontal’ acquisitions with others which are designed to help it penetrate industries outside its traditional base—examples include Loyalty Lab (loyalty management, principally for retailers), OpenSpirit (application and data integration, principally for energy companies), and Foresight (B2B integration, principally for the healthcare industry).

From a BPM technology perspective, the company has been through a complete redevelopment exercise. We’re just about to publish an in-depth assessment of the new ActiveMatrix BPM platform and, to summarise: it has a number of really strong elements, and it’s a great step forward from the previous offering (which mixed-and-matched elements from a variety of technology sources and eras).

With this in mind, I was interested to see what TIBCO’s business has been like and if there’s been any impact of the new BPM release yet. In its second quarter of 2011 (ended May 31), the top-level picture was very strong indeed:

  • Revenue was up 25% year-on-year
  • License revenue up 32% year-on-year
  • Non-GAAP operating profit up 31% year-on-year.

TIBCO is now rapidly approaching $1 billion in annual revenue; and its acquisitions have helped it broaden its market footprint into healthcare, retail and other industries.

When you look at the BPM business—which, at the moment, also includes sales of tibbr (though revenues are likely to be small, there are around 20 customers live with it at the time of writing)—it’s notable, to me at least, how small the contribution is. Q2 BPM license revenue was 9% of the total $83m; that’s around $7.5m. TIBCO declares that this is up 33% year-on-year—which is a good sign—but I’m guessing that at the moment, the company hasn’t yet seen a return on its very significant redevelopment investment.

This means that right now, at least from a BPM technology perspective, TIBCO is at the same kind of scale as many of the modest-sized pure-play technology vendors out there. Given its business model and momentum I’d really expect it to start to pull away from that crowd; but with many pure-play BPM technology vendors growing 30% year-over-year it will need to accelerate its BPM business further in order to do that.

I’d expect TIBCO to start to try and work ActiveMatrix BPM into more integrated, multi-product deals over the coming quarters—and I hope it succeeds in continuing to grow the BPM business. ActiveMatrix BPM is nice technology that deserves to see some market traction.

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