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TIBCO CEO: How Real-Time Computing Will Change the Landscape

By John Gallant, IDG Enterprise
September 20, 2011 02:46 PM ET

Alright, now talk about the business process management portion of the business. So now you've got the connections to everything, you've got the nervous system. BPM is kind of like the muscles. It's what makes things happen. Once everything is connected on the bus then you can use the BPM module to create an end-to-end business process. A business process is an end-to-end unit of work. It's auditing cash flow; it's provisioning somebody for a service. Those are business processes. In order to accomplish that, you have to touch seven, eight, 10, 100 different systems. It's about allowing people to come in on a Friday and decide that they want to do a new kind of offer, and have it be looked at, modeled, analyzed and then put into production in days, not years or months. That's what BPM allows you to do.

The next area is business optimization. I think of business optimization as the brain. You connect everything through the nervous system and you're picking up events, and then you put those events into the brain and you start finding patterns. You can find those patterns in a visual fashion, using, say, Spotfire, or you can find them using rules. For example, you know that if a guy buys garden seed then there's a 90% chance he's going to buy fertilizer and there's a 40% chance that he's going to buy garden furniture. There's no point in making him an offer on the fertilizer because he'll probably buy it anyway, but let's make him an offer on the furniture before he leaves the store, because maybe he'll buy it. That's business optimization. It's finding patterns, looking at rules; so you've got the nervous system, you've got the muscles that move things, and then you've got the brain that does the analysis.

Would you equate business optimization with BI? Are they similar? It's 21st century BI. BI is looking at things after the fact, six months after something happens. We're creating predictive capabilities. For example, we were working with a retail store in the U.K. and we found that if somebody buys champagne and razors and diapers, then there's a high likelihood that the person has a stolen credit card. So, you do something about it before they use the credit card. That's twenty first century BI.

The final area is cloud. Talk specifically about how you make private cloud or public cloud better. Also, do you offer these capabilities in the cloud? We offer all our services in the cloud, but we also allow our customers to build their own clouds. What we're finding is that our large customers want to construct what I call an enterprise cloud, or a hybrid cloud, which will be making use of their own infrastructure and services and also making use of the public infrastructure. We provide the middleware so you can create that hybrid cloud. Our customers don't so much want software as a service, what they want is software as self-service. If you get SaaS, you're still getting somebody extorting from you. Once you start consuming software as a service and putting more and more of your data on, say, a salseforce.com, then you're pretty much locked into that. What our customers want is more like Facebook where you can do your own thing. A lot of our customers want to create software as a self-service where their own services can be offered with the same ease of use as a cloud service.

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