Tibco Software’s acquisition could address several new business intelligence and analytics needs. But keeping the product groups separate could confuse, and its longer-term integration plan may not counter near-term threats.
On 28 April 2014, Tibco Software announced that it would acquire Jaspersoft, a vendor of commercial open-source business intelligence (BI) and analytics software, for $185 million.
With this acquisition, Tibco is poised to deliver a single environment that supports data discovery, embedded and traditional BI use cases. For Tibco, the purchase could complement its other acquisitions and development in the areas of mobile key performance indicator (KPI) delivery, advanced analytics, geospatial analytics, real-time analytics and data discovery. Both companies have complementary cloud offerings and pricing models, which will also help Tibco address a broad range of current and emerging market requirements.
Jaspersoft and Spotfire will remain separate product groups for the near term, and Tibco plans to continue to maintain Jaspersoft’s open-source license model and community. This will be key to keeping Jaspersoft’s customers and its developer community, while still appealing to the Spotfire business buyer. However, Gartner believes that the difference in pricing, licensing and development models may confuse customers, as Tibco cross-sells and ultimately integrates open-source Jaspersoft capabilities with commercial and premium-priced Tibco Spotfire.
Tibco plans a loosely coupled integration road map, which should enhance Spotfire’s potential to improve embeddability, add production reporting and expand its use as an enterprise standard. But executing on this road map will likely take time, and we believe that maintaining separate license models may inhibit extensive integration in the short- to medium-term. Moreover, historically, large acquisitions in the BI space have faced challenges and yielded mixed results. Over time, however, by gradually integrating Jaspersoft and its technology, Tibco should be able to:
Address a broader spectrum of high-growth BI buying requirements for embedded BI applications, data discovery and advanced analytics.
Deliver production reporting capabilities that the other data discovery specialists currently lack.
But many other vendors are pursuing similar strategies. This acquisition could encourage additional acquisitions in the BI space, and put pressure on Tibco’s competitors to accelerate their plans to deliver native combinations of embedded BI, governed data discovery, advanced analytics and production reporting, without the integration challenges facing Tibco. A number of BI vendors are making data discovery their primary offering, adding pixel-perfect reporting capabilities and other aspects of embeddability and governance. At the same time, the other data discovery specialists, Tableau and Qlik, are adding enterprise features to their platforms, including better embeddability and governance.
Gartner believes that, by keeping Jaspersoft as a separate product group, Tibco will take a while to reach this level of integration. Moreover, it will require a number of components of governed data discovery that are not addressed by this acquisition, such as support for business model promotability.
Tibco and Jaspersoft customers: Ask Tibco for a product integration road map and its migration plans and timelines, including plans for Jaspersoft or Spotfire products that will not be strategic for Tibco in future.
Jaspersoft customers: Request written confirmation of Tibco’s plans to continue the open-source license model and community, including the timing of any changes. Ask Tibco to lock in the current terms.