I have covered TIBCO before (see: TIBCO Spotfire Brings Self-Service Data Analysis to the Enterprise with a Social Twist). Recently I spoke with Ram Menon, TIBCO President of Social Computing about their upgraded social business offering. TIBCO has been a leader in making the digital world connect for quite some time. So when they turned to social business software connectivity was naturally a sweet spot for them. It is also essential for social business to work as I have written several times (see for example, Maybe Enterprise 2.0 Is About the Technology).
So Ram and I were of the same mind from the start. If you need to get work done, then you need to have all the resources together and connected. As Ram said, in the enterprise it is not enough to like and share, you have to act. I could not agree more.
TIBCO launched tibbr, a heavy duty and secure social platform a year ago and is approaching 1M users at companies like Macy's, KPMG, and shipping giant OOCL. Now they are adding a number of new features. There are five guiding principles in this effort. First, you need to be able to have users get started right away and it needs to be easy to use. The consumer Web has set this expectation and reduced budgets demand it. Gone are the days of six month IT projects and extensive employee training programs. Here is a sample user’s view of tibbr.
Second, tibbr provides the option for cloud technology or on-premise installations. You need to be able to provision the service quickly. They were able to get 19,000 MGM employees up and running in a single afternoon. This doubles down on the first goal.
Third, context has become king more than content. They have introduced subject filters to their activity streams so you take out the fire hose effect. You filter on customers, customers in North America, government customers in North America, etc. so you can adjust the level of granularity to see just what you want.
Fourth, the system adheres to the way people work. They found that 63% of tibbr users operate on a mobile basis so they support all mobile devices and the latest version 3.5 had HTML5. They are also integrating video conferencing. While they find that many people are migrating their work from email to tibbr, you can still post and receive tibbr content through email for those holdouts. Here is a sample mobile screen for a grocery store.
Fifth, you need to make IT happy. So they have focused on such issues as compliance and risk management. They also offer an on-premise version for the same price as the cloud version.
Next I ask Ram about the tibbr GEO function. Ram said that with tools like Foursquare you have to check in. This is not likely to happen in the enterprise. So they turned the consumer ‘check-in’ model on its head for the enterprise. Tibbr GEO is turns physical places into data hubs that can immediately stream important insights relevant to that specific place. Instead of checking in to a location, the location checks into you – and brings you the relevant information, helping you discover important insights and work faster wherever you are.
tibbr GEO gives companies the ability to tag important places, whether in the enterprise or as part of the extended enterprise. As tibbr users approach these places, they’re automatically presented relevant in-stream information. The airline industry is a good example. An airline gate agents can get notified of all the relevant information as they approach the gate. You can see personal information, changes in schedules, catering updates right from your mobile phone as you arrive at the destination. Here's a link to a useful tibbr geo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1p3ugA55T8
I really like what they are doing, especially the five principles, the use of filters for the activity stream and the creative way they have applied location specific information. I look forward to seeing what is next.