MWD on TIBCO and ActiveMatrix BPM
published a brief piece about TIBCO and ActiveMatrix BPM. There’s a more in-depth assessment available as well, coming down the pike. A couple highlights from his write-up:Neil Ward-Dutton and MWD have
But specifically the BPM part of the business doesn’t seem to be standing out (the growth doesn’t look that different from the company as a whole):
TIBCO is now rapidly approaching $1 billion in annual revenue; and its acquisitions have helped it broaden its market footprint into healthcare, retail and other industries.
- Revenue was up 25% year-on-year
- License revenue up 32% year-on-year
- Non-GAAP operating profit up 31% year-on-year.
Q2 BPM license revenue was 9% of the total $83m; that’s around $7.5m. TIBCO declares that this is up 33% year-on-year – which is a good sign – but I’m guessing that at the moment, the company hasn’t yet seen a return on its very significant redevelopment investment.From what I understand ActiveMatrix BPM was a “start over” rewrite of their BPM offering… and from what we’re seeing/hearing anecdotally, it is taking acts of heroic proportions to make big deals happen. Incidentally, wholesale rewrites of a product are rarely the right thing to do. They open up all the existing customers to re-examine their go-forward choices… and then they have a new, less mature product to go pitch against entrenched competition. Let’s suppose you build a better mousetrap that scales better (in theory). Prospect A says “can you show me the three references where it scales to x million transactions per time unit?” and… well you can’t, can you? It is a new product after all. And then if you get a customer to buy into it – maybe it scales, maybe it doesn’t. Scale is just one dimension- there’s feature-fit, UI/UX, production support, etc. So many unknowns to answer, that the old product had answers for (maybe bad answers, but answers nonetheless). But, ironically, a company does have to have the courage to rewrite pieces of their software – or to acquire new pieces of software (as Tibco has done). Sometimes the difference between a product rewrite and a “module” rewrite is one of perspective, but one rule of thumb is that the product is a SKU – something you sell. A module isn’t sold independently. I think the move to ActiveMatrix BPM was more problematic than it appeared on the surface. Putting the $7.5M in perspective… if that is up 33% over prior year, they were as low as $5.625M the year before… This is about the scale of pure-play BPM vendors… but TIBCO + Staffware used to be much bigger than those vendors at the time of their merger… Their momentum seems to have been in the wrong direction… (when I worked for one of those pure-play vendors, we always looked forward to competing against Tibco in a BPM deal cycle…)