Tibco Silver Spotfire – Social BI? Why Not?

Tibco, fresh from a Q2 with license revenue up 23% over last year’s, continuing a two year run of beating consensus earnings estimates, has stepped up and out ahead to pursue the long-coveted mid-market customers who don’t use BI but find that spreadsheets don’t do enough.  Tibco believes, like Microsoft, that many are social technology users: they have blogs and use other channels available to them, and they will build and share reports given the chance. So, says Tibco, here it is: building on the Silver cloud platform it’s had in beta for about a year, Tibco is introducing Silver Spotfire, with an offer tuned to the cloud user – a no-cost, no-obligation, no-risk 1-year trial of a Spotfire play in the cloud requiring no IT involvement. “All you need is a browser,” is the pitch, and this is not from a new company you don’t know, but an established  player with a sizable roster of enterprise BI customers. [Edit 8/27 – Tibco has put up a Wiki on “what is Social BI“.] Read more of this post

IBM Showcases Software Vision and Hadoop Research

At IBM’s 8th annual Connect meeting with analysts, Steve Mills, Senior VP and Group Executive, had much to crow about. Software is the engine driving IBM’s profitability, anchoring its customer relationships, and enabling the vaulting ambition to drive the company’s Smarter Planet theme into the boardroom. Mills’ assets are formidable: 36 labs worldwide have more than 100 SW developers each, plus 49 more with over 20 – 25,000 developers in all. Mills showcased all this in a matter-of-fact, businesslike fashion with minimal hype and little competitor bashing. A research project aimed at extending Hadoop usage to a broader audience was among the highlights.  Read more of this post

QlikView: Bet Big, Time Right And Become A Disruptive BI Leader

The near-decapitation (by acquisition) of the BI space in 2007-8 was perfectly timed for QlikTech, whose QlikView is rapidly becoming one of the leading independent products. This is hardly new; since its founding in Sweden in 1993, the company’s timing has been unerring. Years of slow growth – “From 1993 to ‘99 we had a grand total of 5 customers, all in Sweden,” Senior VP Anthony Deighton told me recently – ended abruptly with a funding round from a Swedish VC. That led to a revamped management team with an eye for growth, and in the next 6 years, QlikTech climbed to 1500 customers – still mostly in Sweden, though some were in Germany and a few were in the US. The next big bet was what Deighton calls “an over-investment in direct sales” based on a 2005 round of funding from some better known VCs. Since then, the takeoff has been remarkable – a happy timing of product, platform and market. With $120 million in revenue and 50% growth in 2008, Qlikview is reaping the benefits of effective timing, a conservative ramp that did not overreach, and a technology landscape that is paying off its visionary design. Now, wth QlikView release 9.0, it’s targeting enterprise scale, better performance and manageability, and mobile deployment. As the economy begins to recover and mobile platforms proliferate, it appears QlikTech’s timing is once again dead on. Read more of this post