In our August 2013 analysis of TIBCO’s social collaboration capabilities, one of the areas we highlighted was the weak support in its enterprise social networking platform, tibbr, for more structured document- centric and task-based scenarios. An encouraging roadmap was promised, and we’re pleased to see that TIBCO is now delivering on it.
At its TUCON customer conference event this October TIBCO made a number of announcements which further the company’s aim to provide what they describe as a “unified collaboration experience”. The announcements came in two flavours: content discovery, aggregation and publication; and secondly, social task and project collaboration.
In the first of its announcements TIBCO promised to make each of its 6.5 million paid tibbr users a publisher, enabling users to find, publish and share content from a variety of sources within the enterprise using the new tibbr Pages app. At first glance, making it easier to create pages might look like a content proliferation nightmare waiting to happen… but fear not, as the publishing environment also manages content entitlement policies, as well as allowing administrators to control who can see what, when and how.
In a second announcement TIBCO announced the availability of two new apps for the tibbr platform. The first, tibbr Files, enables users to search for, discover and work on files scattered across multiple on-premise and cloud-based file storage applications, including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Huddle and SharePoint. The second app, tibbr Tasks, adds social task management capabilities to the platform, enabling people to create, assign and track tasks and projects.
Last but by no means least, the third announcement builds on this integration significantly, with news of a strategic partnership with Huddle, a provider of SaaS-based file storage and sharing capabilities. The partnership gives Huddle customers access to the tibbr environment, adding a layer of social collaboration capabilities to its content storage and sharing play. In return, tibbr users now have full use of Huddle’s content collaboration service.
For TIBCO these announcements strengthen its position in the B2B social collaboration market, not only through the addition of more advanced features for content creation and collaboration, but also through the access to potential new customers its partnership with Huddle affords it – the private London-based company claims 80 percent of the Fortune 500 as customers, as well as 80 percent of UK government departments. (Could an acquisition be on the cards at some point we wonder?)
These announcements are also indicative of a current trend I discussed in my recent webinar – namely the convergence of applications and tools for social collaboration and task- or project-based collaboration. (You can watch a free replay here.)
This is a rapidly changing market sector, with vendors like TIBCO that previously focused on the softer people and relationship-based aspects of enterprise social networking and collaboration now adding support for more structured content and task-based activities. Likewise, vendors of tools focused on file storage and sharing (like Huddle), and applications for more structured, process-driven activities are now starting to add social functionality.
With others vendors like IBM, Jive, Igloo, and Telligent from the social collaboration side (to name but a few) and vendors like Clarizen, asana and LiquidPlanner from the task and project management world (again, to name but a few) all aiming their sights on providing a single platform which enables the best of both these worlds, the fight now is for vendors to establish dominance as the primary interface / access point for team workspaces, task and project management, and other flavours of social collaboration and networking activities. We’ll keep you posted on developments.