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Tibco CEO tips CRM sector as the next "gold rush"

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4th Jul 2013
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"All of the things that we're best in class in, we believe there's a gold rush just ahead of us." 
So says Vivek Ranadivé, founder and CEO of Tibco. The trick then is how to close that gap ahead and reap the benefits.
"We're positioning the company for the next phase of growth, which is to be a $2 billion company," says Ranadivé . "We believe that there's a gold rush coming for eventing platforms, for turning customers into fans, for Big Data analytics and visualization for Cloud for mobile. And so we are very, very strongly committing to be the best of the best in all of those categories."
Cloud Computing plays a major part in all this.  "We're also starting to do much more Cloud business," says Ranadivé . "We're starting to invest in areas like Loyalty, which is software as a Cloud service and tibbr."
Ranadivé reckons that Tibco has seen all this before in its evolution. "We were a $10 million, $20 million company and then we went to $100 million and we had to rebuild the platform," he recalls. "We were a messaging company, and then we became more of a message brokering company and then we became more of an integration platform. 
"Now we've become a full event-driven platform that is now starting to offer solutions like turning customers into fans," he adds. "So when you go through those transformations, then you rebuild and that's what we've spent the last few months doing. But it's really positioning for what we believe is going to be a very, very big gold rush. 
Customer fans
It's all about the customer, argues Ranadivé . "Every single customer of ours, every single client of ours wants to have a better understanding of their customers and how to reach out to them, and then tie that to the rest of their value chain in terms what are the products they have,' he explains. "At the end of the day, if customers can simply connect what they have with what their customers want, that's nirvana to them and there's no company that can do that like we can."
With all of that in mind, Tibco is drilling down on what Ranadivé calls "three big bets" to make it happen. 
"First, we're going to double down on integration, a market we pioneered and own, whether it's Cloud Bus, our new Integration Platform as a Service offering, or the latest release of FTL, Faster than Light, within memory persistence for guaranteed delivery, or the addition of StreamBase to our event processing portfolio, nobody has a greater ability to bring together data for people, systems and machines at speed and scale," he says. 
"Second, we are going to continue to build our franchise in analytics and expand our ability to extract actionable insights from Big Data. We saw another good quarter for Spotfire in Q2, and we'll continue to invest in new sales and services people, organic R&D and additions such us Maporama, a geospatial visualization company we recently acquired.
"And third, we're going to bet on the cloud, both in building out our Platform as a Service, but also with specific software-as-a-service applications such as Loyalty Lab and tibbr. We're going to give our customers the choice of using our IP on-premise or as a Cloud service."
PaaS at the heart
The PaaS sell is at the heart of the 'customers into fans' theory. "This is a platform sale that addresses the times we live in. It delivers the needle-moving value that not only CIOs but CMOs and line of business heads everywhere need today," argues Ranadivé . "With it, our clients can know their customers, understand their taste and preferences, encourage and reward desired behavior and engage in a more lasting, value-enhancing relationship. 
"This is something I can assure you that our customers will spend money on today, and it is something we do uniquely with our abilities, including to stitch together systems, people, machines at speed and at scale to automate end-to-end dynamic processes; to extract insights from Big Data; to configure rules and listen for patterns amidst streams of events; and to have a single pane of glass into the processes and data of an enterprise."
Ranadivé adds that organisations need loyalty science experts to build and cultivate true customer engagement and data science expertise to determine which trends are most relevant. "We have the goods. We can turn customers into fans," he insists. "Yes, this is relevant in retail and underlies our strength in that vertical in recent years. But it now turns out that almost every business is a retailer, whether you're an airline, an insurance company or a utility. Every business today needs to engage their customers, build a personalised relationship and work to own a greater share of customer loyalty and spend."
And in many respects, the way ahead plays to the road already taken, at least in terms of integration. 
"You have SaaS for many different people, and so you need to be able to integrate all of that," argues Ranadivé . "You need to be able to integrate it either in the Cloud or on premise. You need to have Cloud to cloud, Cloud to premise, premise to cloud, premise to premise and all of the permutations. Nobody can do that like we can. We're beneficiaries of entropy. Whenever there's something new, it needs to be integrated and we're the ones to do it."
He concludes:  "We can string our pearls together to create these pearl necklaces that are solutions, and some of them are cloud-based. We're not going to pave a cow path and just offer a 20th century CRM and then offer it in the Cloud and say, 'OK, that's something new'. What we're doing is something that nobody else can do - things like what we do with real-time loyalty and offers and tying that to mobility and everything else. 
"That is offered as a Cloud service. So there's a class, what I call the 21st century class of problems that require 21st century solutions that nobody else can do, and we're making those available through Cloud software-as-a-service type offerings."
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