Vivek Ranadive is not only the chief executive officer of TIBCO Software, Inc., he's a New York Times bestselling author (of works like The Power of Now, The Power to Predict and the recently released The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future -- Just Enough.) As you'd expect from such a literary type, this proponent of event-driven computing and herald of Enterprise 3.0 is handy with a well-turned phrase. He describes your relational database as a "phone that doesn't ring" and his description of what happens when you open a certain software package from rival IBM is likely to stick in your mind. In this latest installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Ranadive spoke with IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant about why your company needs to move to real-time computing and how TIBCO's 'two-second advantage' can change your business.
Let's start by setting the table. Explain for folks what it is that TIBCO does for enterprise customers and what makes the company unique among enterprise software providers? TIBCO provides the platform that allows companies to tie all their systems together and so that you can take advantage of real-time events. In the 20th century, people would react to things after they happened by looking at information in a database. With the TIBCO platform, not only do you save a lot of money because you're able to connect everything through a software bus so you don't have to have lots of back-and-forth interfaces, but you're then able to find things out before they happen. I call this in my new book the 'two-second advantage.' If you have just a little bit of the right information, just a little bit beforehand, it's more valuable than all the information in the world six months after. What's the point of knowing you've lost a customer after the customer leaves or that you've had fraud committed after the money was lost, or that you have a power outage when it's already dark?
Think of Oracle as the platform for transactions, for static data. In that world, data was static and the Oracle database was the building block, ERP was the killer app and business intelligence was the [tool for] business insight. In the TIBCO world, instead of dealing with static data, it's dynamic or moving data. Instead of a database in the middle, you have a service bus that connects everything. And instead of a database-oriented architecture it's a service-oriented architecture. Instead of having to continue buying siloed ERP apps, you do end-to-end business processes as part of BPM [business process management] capability. Instead of having reporting systems for business intelligence, where you're grinding reports out months after things have happened, you have predictive systems that enable you to predict that, say, you're about to lose a customer.