How TIBCO Is Evolving Its Platform To Embrace Developers and Simplify Cloud Integration
Reinvesting in foundational technology, returning to the roots of the company, and ensuring existing customers are well-supported and heard.
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Legacy integration and analytics provider TIBCO is at an inflection point. Founded in 1997, the company built its reputation as a leader in on-premises enterprise messaging and event processing. But today's era of cloud, containers, and pervasive APIs requires a new approach.
At the recent TIBCO NEXT conference, I sat down with Matt Ellis, Senior Director of Product Management, and Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi, VP of Product, to learn how TIBCO is adapting its connected intelligence platform and product portfolio to meet modern customer needs.
Several key themes emerged from our conversations, highlighting TIBCO's areas of focus and strategic priorities. Let's explore the key takeaways.
Reassuring Customers With a Cloud-Agnostic Approach
Many TIBCO customers have made significant investments in its traditional on-premises technologies like EMS messaging and BusinessWorks integration. They may feel pressured to rip and replace these with cloud-native alternatives.
However, Ellis stressed that TIBCO is taking a cloud-agnostic approach, "providing the same beautiful experience on any cloud." The goal is to deliver incremental value from existing systems while gradually shifting components to the cloud when customers are ready.
As Ellis stated, "We're not abandoning our current technology stack. We're taking it along for the ride and bringing it into a cloud-native environment via the control plane." This evolutionary path aims to give enterprises the confidence to continue leveraging TIBCO investments.
According to Rajeev, TIBCO recognizes many customers are still in the early stages of cloud adoption. By supporting them wherever they are in the journey — on-premises, cloud, hybrid — TIBCO hopes to provide a smoother transition.
Empowering Developers With Familiar Tools
Another core theme is elevating developers as equal stakeholders alongside IT operators. For example, TIBCO is embracing Microsoft Visual Studio Code as a unified IDE, given its popularity among developers.
As Ellis noted, "Doing things in a more developer-friendly, not just ops-friendly way" encapsulates TIBCO's renewed focus. The company aims to meet developers' needs within their existing workflows rather than dictating proprietary tooling.
This developer-centric ethos extends to TIBCO's Cloud platform evolution. While the centralized control plane simplifies ops management, developers retain CLI and API access to deploy apps to any Kubernetes cluster flexibly.
According to Rajeev, TIBCO is listening closely to customers and acting on their feedback, particularly from developers. Updated developer experiences in TIBCO's portal, new VS Code extensions, and partner integrations result directly from this input.
By collaborating with partners like Microsoft rather than building proprietary stacks, TIBCO hopes to boost productivity for users by meeting them where they are.
Optimizing Cloud Costs through Shared Benchmarking Insights
With hybrid and multi-cloud adoption accelerating, Ellis revealed TIBCO plans to help customers optimize infrastructure spending through benchmarking insights. By aggregating cost metrics across Azure, AWS, and GCP, TIBCO aims to identify opportunities to run certain workloads more efficiently.
While early stages, the goal is to provide actionable intelligence to reduce waste — such as highlighting if a particular cloud's managed file storage is driving overhead for a customer's use cases. Partnerships with major cloud providers will help construct relevant apples-to-apples cost comparisons.
According to Rajeev, this aligns with TIBCO's broader push towards simplification. By providing a central control plane to manage deployments across diverse environments, TIBCO can help customers reduce complexity and duplication.
The TIBCO control plane aims to deliver single-pane-of-glass visibility into performance, availability, and cost across infrastructures. This data can highlight potential ways to consolidate or shift workloads to optimize spending.
Renewed Focus on Real-Time Data Foundations
Both Ellis and Rajeev emphasized how, under new CEO Tom Krause, TIBCO is renewing its focus on its real-time data roots. This means enhancing core offerings like EMS messaging and Flogo workflows rather than continually releasing new products.
Ellis admitted TIBCO erred in assuming customers were ready to consume its latest innovations when many still needed deeper investment in existing solutions. By strengthening real-time data interconnectivity and analytics engines, renewed focus addresses this.
According to Rajeev, while TIBCO is expanding its portfolio to embrace modern data integration and events, traditional capabilities remain crucial. The company is committed to hardening these mature offerings through simplification and intelligence augmentation.
Ultimately, both executives underscored technology alone isn’t the answer. TIBCO aims to first understand customers' problems and then help solve them through interoperability, performance, and reliability — with real-time data central to its heritage.
Navigating the Data and Tool Explosion
With exponential growth in data sources, pipelines, and tools, Ellis acknowledged enterprise architects face overwhelming complexity today. "Developers have so many options, it’s challenging to determine which technologies to choose," he noted.
Rajeev explained that TIBCO aims to cut through the confusion in two ways:
First, by interoperating with popular developer ecosystems like VS Code rather than imposing entirely new systems.
Second, by streamlining and strengthening core data interconnectivity and analytics engines like EMS, Flogo, and Pulsar.
By enhancing these real-time data foundations and embracing common tooling, TIBCO hopes to help organizations avoid vendor and tool sprawl. Purpose-built for harnessing signals across systems, TIBCO's platform reduces the integration burden.
But perhaps TIBCO's biggest value is knowledge. With thousands of deployments behind it, few rivals can match its real-world experience. Ellis emphasized that TIBCO's seasoned professional services team distills complexity by bringing proven blueprints.
The Path Forward
Stepping back, TIBCO finds itself at an interesting inflection point. It recognizes the need to embrace cloud-native development models that developers prefer. But also realizes many customers still rely heavily on its traditional offerings.
Walking this tightrope won't be easy. However, early moves to blend familiar developer tools with streamlined management plane abstractions appear promising. TIBCO's real-time data integration heritage provides strong foundations.
Ultimately, TIBCO's success will hinge on customer outcomes. If TIBCO can help enterprises harness real-time data to outpace competitors, it could see a resurgence. However, it will need to keep improving developers’ experiences while guiding customers to maximize existing investments.
The potential is certainly there. Now, it's about execution. By combining customer-centricity with simplicity and developer productivity, TIBCO aims to help users thrive in the next wave of data-driven digital transformation.
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