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Dialing Down Complexity: TIBCO Makes Integrations Simpler for Developers

At the recent TIBCO Next conference, I sat down with Matt Ellis, Senior Director of Product Management and Strategy, to discuss how TIBCO is evolving its connected intelligence platform.

A core theme is enhancing the developer experience by meeting users where they are, rather than forcing the adoption of proprietary tooling.

Reassuring Customers with a Cloud-Agnostic Approach

Many organizations feel pressured to adopt cloud-native technologies. But Ellis stressed, TIBCO is taking a cloud-agnostic approach – “providing the same beautiful experience on any cloud.”

TIBCO recognizes many customers have made major investments in its on-premise technologies and aren’t ready to rip and replace them. So a key focus is delivering more value from existing systems while gradually migrating components at each customer’s pace.

As Ellis put it, “We’re not abandoning our current technology stack. We’re taking it along for the ride and bringing it into a cloud-native environment via the control plane.” This evolutionary path aims to give enterprises the confidence to continue leveraging TIBCO within hybrid environments.

Empowering Developers with Familiar Tools

Another core theme is elevating developers as equal stakeholders alongside operators. For instance, TIBCO is embracing Microsoft Visual Studio Code as a unified IDE given its popularity among developers. “Doing things in a more developer-friendly, not just ops-friendly way” is central to the company’s renewed focus, Ellis said. TIBCO aims to support developers’ existing workflows rather than dictating proprietary alternatives.

According to Ellis, this developer-centric ethos extends to TIBCO’s Cloud platform evolution. While the centralized control plane streamlines ops management, developers retain access via CLI and APIs to deploy apps to any Kubernetes cluster flexibly.

Optimizing Cloud Costs through Shared Insights

With hybrid and multi-cloud adoption growing, Ellis revealed TIBCO plans to help customers optimize infrastructure spending through benchmarking insights. By aggregating cost metrics across Azure, AWS, and GCP, TIBCO hopes to identify opportunities to run certain workloads more efficiently.

While it is still in the early days, the goal is to provide actionable intelligence to reduce waste – such as highlighting if a particular cloud’s managed file storage is driving overhead for a customer’s use cases. Partnerships with the major cloud providers will help construct relevant apples-to-apples cost comparisons.

Get Back to Real-Time Data Foundations

According to Ellis, TIBCO lost its way for a period by chasing too many disparate initiatives. Under new CEO Tom Krause, the company is narrowing focus on its real-time data roots. This translates to doubling down on core technologies like EMS and Flogo, rather than continually releasing new products.

Ellis admitted TIBCO made the mistake of assuming customers were keeping pace and ready for the next thing when many still needed deeper investment in existing solutions. A renewed focus on hardening and enhancing core real-time offerings aims to address that concern while enabling customers to use the solutions they are familiar and comfortable with.

But It’s Not Just About Technology

While TIBCO is stressing developer experience and real-time data capabilities, Ellis emphasized technology alone isn’t the answer. Responding to my question about integrating real-time intelligence, he noted: “Figure out what the problem is you're trying to solve first. Then choose the tools you're comfortable using. The technology should fall in place.”

Ellis believes TIBCO’s strengthened platform should help, but putting problem understanding first is critical – rather than getting enamored with technical capabilities for their own sake.

So for developers looking to leverage real-time data, TIBCO’s prescription is evolving familiar tools like VS Code extensions and CLI access to its streamlined cloud platform. Combined with TIBCO’s renewed investment in customer success with core foundational technologies, this developer-centric formula aims to unlock real-time intelligence payoffs through pragmatic means.

Navigating the Data and Tool Explosion

With exponential growth in data sources, pipelines, and tools, Ellis acknowledges enterprise architects face overwhelming complexity today. “Developers have so many options, it’s challenging to determine which technologies to choose,” he noted.

TIBCO aims to cut through the confusion in two ways. First, by interoperating with popular developer ecosystems like VS Code rather than imposing entirely new systems. And second, by streamlining and strengthening core data interconnectivity and analytics engines like EMS, Flogo, and Pulsar.

According to Ellis, TIBCO’s analytics fabric helps organizations stitch together data while avoiding vendor and tool sprawl. Purpose-built for harnessing real-time signals across systems, TIBCO’s hope is its unified control plane reduces the burden of cobbling discrete technologies. But perhaps the biggest value TIBCO provides is knowledge.

With thousands of data integration deployments behind it, few rivals can match the company’s real-world experience. Ellis emphasized that TIBCO’s seasoned professional services team helps customers navigate complexity by bringing proven architectural blueprints to the table.

The Path Forward

Stepping back, TIBCO is at an interesting inflection point. It recognizes the need to embrace cloud-native development models that developers prefer. But also realizes many customers still rely heavily on its traditional offerings. Walking this tightrope won't be easy. However, early moves to blend familiar developer tools with streamlined management plane abstractions appear promising.

The company's roots in real-time data integration provide strong foundations to build upon. Ultimately, TIBCO's success will hinge on customer outcomes. If the company's seasoned field experts can distill complexity and help enterprises capitalize on real-time data smarter and faster, TIBCO could see a resurgence. But it will need to keep listening closely to developers and meeting them where they are.

The potential is certainly there. Now it's about execution.


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