Enterprise intelligence

TIBCO’s acquisition of Spotfire promises “next generation” of business intelligence

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SOMERVILLE, Mass.—The decision of San Francisco-based TIBCO Software to acquire Spotfire Inc. promises not only to boost software-maker Spotfire's cachet in the world of life sciences but also to usher in the next big thing in business intelligence software for many other business segments as well, according to the companies.

TIBCO, a provider of enterprise software that helps companies achieve service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM) success, has agreed to an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $195 million. What it sees in Spotfire is a rapidly growing software company that possesses excellent business intelligence (BI) software that can be merged with the SOA, BPM and business optimization offerings of TIBCO.

"Our customers are constantly seeking a sustainable and systemic information advantage," says Vivek Ranadivé, chairman and CEO of TIBCO. "The combination of Spotfire's next-generation BI capabilities with TIBCO's real-time infrastructure will successfully transform the way customers can interact with data to offer a complete and contextual picture for making truly informed decisions. Until today, no one has been able to deliver this type of joint offering."

In turn, Spotfire now becomes part of a much larger company, giving it more resources to better serve its customers, including drug discovery and other life sciences customers, where Spotfire has a substantial footprint.

"We're going to leverage those resources and the technology that TIBCO brings to enhance our products for life sciences and the other markets that we're in," says Roger Oberg, CMO of Spotfire. "We've done very well on the research side of the pharma business, and we've continued to expand upon the functionality of the products but also have broadened into clinical trials and pharmaceutical sales and marketing functions as well."

As Oberg notes, when a company like Spotfire starts to become relevant to many different parts of a business, it increasingly has to work with the IT departments and IT vendors of that business. And that means that more and more, Spotfire needed to be able to work seamlessly within the IT architectures on which each customer has standardized its operations.

 "TIBCO is very widely valued in IT organizations and departments for its ability to extract data from many different kinds of data sources and ship it to wherever it needs to go," Oberg explains. "They are famous for, and highly respected for, their middleware and messaging technology. And that's very important to us moving forward."

Oberg predicts that as the drug discovery offerings of Spotfire continue to expand and the other pharmaceutical areas it is delving into also develop, having TIBCO behind the company will "accelerate the adoptability" of Spotfire's products.

"Today's front-line decision makers want not only unparalleled access to business-critical information, but also a broader, clearer view of how that data relates to processes," says Christopher Ahlberg, CEO of Spotfire. "By bolstering our platform with TIBCO's real-time infrastructure, we can deliver a responsive and user-friendly environment for businesses to discover new insights, make better decisions and take action. This combination provides the information advantage that is a prerequisite to the competitive advantage that all our customers seek."

Oberg predicts that Spotfire customers will notice little change in the "Spotfire experience" except for perhaps getting even better service and seeing Spotfire as a visibly stronger company. Spotfire will operate as a division of TIBCO, he says, and all the existing sales relationships and development relationships will continue to exist within the Spotfire family.

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