Following Oracle’s and SAP’s acquisition, comes another acquisition by a rank outsider. Just last week Tibco announced the acquisition of Spotfire for U.S.$195 million. Given the acquisition price, I reckon Spotfire’s annual revenues would be less than $100 million. This is a clear statement of intent that Tibco wants to play in the BI/visualization market.
This acquisition is interesting because Tibco has long been known in the industry for their EAI products, middle ware and now for having key components in the SOA stack.It has also taken the lead in terms of providing Business process management (BPM) solutions.
On the other hand Spotfire has been carving a unique position and is considered to be more in the data visualization space, than the core BI space of analysis, reporting, dashboards etc. Spotfire chose a very niche area as in pharmaceuticals and the oil and gas industry, unlike most traditional BI players who focus on the financial services, telecom or the retail verticals.
While Tibco and Spotfire are in complementary businesses, how they will build synergy is yet to be seen. Maybe Tibco will combine their BPM software with data management/visualization and create a new product category. As of now, Spotfire will function as an independent business unit and retain its brand.
Clearly, these are telling signs that more such M&A can be expected in this space.
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