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Tibco adds SaaS version of MDM platform, updates TCI

The analytics vendor unveiled Cloud EBX as it continues to add cloud-native versions of its tools. In addition, it launched an updated version of its cloud integration suite.

In the wake of its recent virtual user conference, Tibco updated its analytics platform again.

On Monday, the vendor released a new version of Tibco Cloud Integration, its platform for integrating applications and services to develop a connected environment for analytics. Last week, on July 13, the vendor unveiled the first SaaS version of Tibco Cloud EBX, its master data management platform.

In addition, after more than a year in preview, on July 12 Tibco launched ModelOps, a no-code tool designed to simplify the deployment of augmented intelligence and machine learning models so that they can be used at scale throughout organizations.

The release of all three capabilities comes about a month after Tibco, an analytics vendor founded in 1997 and based in Palo Alto, Calif., hosted its annual Analytics Forum, a virtual user conference the vendor puts on as a complement to Tibco Now, its primary user conference.

New capabilities

While Tibco does not yet offer a cloud-native version of every tool in its platform, it is steadily adding cloud-native versions of its various capabilities. Among Tibco's competitors, ThoughtSpot and MicroStrategy are among the analytics vendors that now offer completely cloud-native versions of their platforms and prioritize those over their enterprise versions.

Analysts including David Menninger of Ventana Research, however, have noted that a fully cloud-native platform is not yet a necessity.

While ThoughtSpot, MicroStrategy, Domo (which was cloud native from the start), Qlik and others are among those that have gotten ahead of their peers, vendors like Alteryx have been slower to add cloud-native capabilities. But because only a relatively small percentage of organizations have gone through cloud migration, plenty of time remains for vendors to add cloud-native features and eventually offer fully cloud-native versions of their entire platforms.

Meanwhile, the SaaS version of Cloud EBX continues Tibco's movement to the cloud.

Master data management (MDM) is the development of uniform sets of data about customers, suppliers, transactions and any other information pertinent to a given organization in order to reduce duplication of data and improve the overall quality and accuracy of data.

With Cloud EBX's MDM capabilities, Tibco users are able to manage and govern their data to ensure its quality and trustworthiness when used to inform decisions.

Other vendors already offer SaaS-based MDM, but Tibco is being pretty aggressive about consolidating MDM, metadata management and governance capabilities, so it's one of the few offerings that can address multiple domains of master, reference and metadata management in a single solution.
Doug HenschenAnalyst, Constellation Research

The new SaaS version removes the burden of management from organizations, with Tibco operating the system for customers as part of the vendor's Connected Intelligence Cloud, according to Mark Palmer, Tibco's general manager and senior vice president of analytics, data science and data products.

"It's everything about EBX that people love, but SaaS," he said.

But its significance goes beyond just removing the burden of management from organizations' system administrators, he continued. Because the tool is now available in the cloud, it's easier to connect EBX with other capabilities.

"When something is cloud native, of course, it makes it easier to connect to other cloud-native things," Palmer said.

Tibco is not the first vendor to offer cloud-native MDM capabilities. Specialists include Informatica and MDM platform vendor Reltio, while SAP, like Tibco, is a more broad-based platform vendor whose tools include MDM.

Tibco EBX, however, stands out for its ability to unite MDM with other data management capabilities, according to Doug Henschen, analyst at Constellation Research.

"Other vendors already offer SaaS-based MDM, but Tibco is being pretty aggressive about consolidating MDM, metadata management and governance capabilities, so it's one of the few offerings that can address multiple domains of master, reference and metadata management in a single solution," he said.

Menninger noted that the release of Cloud EBX marks further progress for Tibco as it transitions its capabilities to the cloud.

"Like many vendors that started with on-premises technology, Tibco is still completing its transition to the cloud," he said. "So, the real news is the fact that this offering is now available as a SaaS product."

The updated version of Tibco Cloud Integration, meanwhile, is designed to enable developers to integrate tools more quickly.

New features include the following:

  • added smart guidance capabilities powered by augmented intelligence and machine learning that suggest optimal approaches and design patterns as users integrate technologies;
  • the unification of decision management and data governance capabilities so that administrators can delegate authority over certain decisions to business users who can then enforce those decisions across their organization to reduce inconsistencies;
  • a new tool called API Modeler that enables the easy design of APIs for Apache Kafka that subsequently help organizations quickly capture value from events and develop an event-driven architecture; and
  • an integration with Automation Hero's automated document processing capabilities that include character recognition and natural language understanding.

Perhaps most significant is the creation of a unified approach to decision management and governance, while the integration with Automation Hero addresses a specific need, according to Henschen.

"I like Tibco's unified decision management and governance push," Henschen said. "It's a business-oriented capability in a market where IT-oriented functionality prevails. The integration of Automation Hero's intelligent document processing capabilities addresses a need in document-centric automation scenarios, so it's good to see Tibco filling that gap."

Roadmap

With ModelOps, Cloud EBX and the updated version of Cloud Integration now generally available, a major push for the vendor will be integrating ModelOps throughout the Tibco platform.

According to Palmer, ModelOps will soon be integrated with each of Tibco's analytics platforms -- Spotfire, WebFocus and Jaspersoft -- as well as Tibco Data Virtualization, Cloud EBX and Tibco Streaming.

Meanwhile, a new version of Spotfire is on the way.

Tibco released Spotfire 11 in September 2020 as part of a unified approach to analytics that the vendor calls Hyperconverged Analytics, which joins visual analysis, streaming data capture and AI capabilities in a single environment.

Spotfire 12 will enable users to take direct action from their dashboards rather than force them to leave Spotfire and go to another system to turn an insight into action. In addition, Spotfire 12 will add new cloud-native capabilities aimed at easing burdens on system administrators and the aforementioned integration with ModelOps.

"We're doing more synergy," Palmer said. "That's a big part of [the roadmap]."

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