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Summary:

TIBCO has acquired Jaspersoft in a move that could signal further consolidation in the business intelligence space. Vendors such as Tableau and Microsoft dominate in terms mindshare and capabilities, leaving other big players playing catch up by opening their wallets.

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photo: Thinkstock / Sergey Nivens

Enterprise software vendor TIBCO has acquired Jaspersoft, an open source business intelligence company, for approximately $185 million. It’s not an earth-shaking deal, but it could be a sign of things to come in an analytics software market full of companies and products that have a hard time standing out from the crowd.

Jaspersoft will beef up TIBCO’s analytics business that until now was comprised of the TIBCO Spotfire software. TIBCO is excited by Jaspersoft’s traction among software-as-a-service companies that embed Jaspersoft’s analytics tools into their applications, as well as its open source business model, if statements in a press release announcing the deal are indicative of its rationale. Jaspersoft’s integration with numerous NoSQL data stores and Hadoop also offer TIBCO a big data capability that Spotfire has lacked.

However the products complement each other, though, a harsher view of the deal is that both companies are struggling to make a name for themselves in a very crowded market. Tableau owns most of the mindshare today and is growing like crazy. Then there are large, multi-faceted companies such as Microsoft that own the whole analytics story from database up through applications. Startups such as Platfora, ClearStory and SiSense are raising lots of money, promising the moon and attracting some big-name users.

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A recent report from Gigaom Research (subscription required) examining the space shows Jaspersoft lagging in terms of mindshare among emerging companies (6 percent compared with Tableau’s 50 percent), while TIBCO doesn’t appear on the list of established companies.

As the whole analytics software space continues to evolve — largely as a result of demands around big data, user experience, real-time performance (and data streams) and an emphasis on predictive capabilities over plain reports – more acquisitions will likely follow. Larger companies such as SAP, IBM, TIBCO and MicroStrategy aren’t about to lose out on a market predicted to be worth at least $50 billion in the next few years, but they’ll need to spend to buy up the new features that customers are going to want.

  1. No Endeca in the Data Discovery Research?

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  2. Hard to say that Endeca have mindshare post being acquired by the Big O….

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  3. I will have to keep an eye on how this plays out as JasperReports (and associated tools e.g. iReports) are used by many Java based projects and products. For example – http://docs.spring.io/spring/docs/3.0.0.M3/reference/html/ch17s07.html

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  4. BIRT ?

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  5. Fredrik Tunvall Thursday, May 1, 2014

    The big problem with this article is that it talks about data discovery and business intelligence interchangeably. They are not the same.

    “TIBCO has acquired Jaspersoft in a move that could signal further consolidation in the business intelligence space. Vendors such as Tableau and Microsoft dominate in terms mindshare and capabilities, leaving other big players playing catch up by opening their wallets”. – Tableau does not dominate the BI market in capabilities. Tableau does visual data discovery extremely well, but that is a subset of a BI implementation – not a full-fledged BI platform. Same goes for Qlik and Spotfire for that matter. Great products for what they are, but not meeting all BI needs (at least not yet).

    “However the products complement each other, though, a harsher view of the deal is that both companies are struggling to make a name for themselves in a very crowded market. Tableau owns most of the mindshare today” – No enterprise I ever spoken to standardize BI on Tableau – it augments, not replaces, enterprise BI.

    “Startups such as Platfora, ClearStory and SiSense are raising lots of money, promising the moon and attracting some big-name users”. – these are not imminent competitors to any big BI vendor (Tableau included) in any shape or form. Maybe for Big Data analytics, but not BI. Platfora won’t even support SQL.

    “Larger companies such as SAP, IBM, TIBCO and MicroStrategy aren’t about to lose out on a market predicted to be worth at least $50 billion in the next few years, but they’ll need to spend to buy up the new features that customers are going to want.” – Tibco has Spotfire (which is what users apparently want), while SAP (Lumira), IBM (Watson Analytics), and MSTR (Analytics Desktop) are spending their money on R&D, not acquisitions.

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    1. Derrick Harris Thursday, May 1, 2014

      It’s possible the requirements will evolve going forward, no? The next-gen stuff is very early on and Tableau is growing like crazy, so there’s plenty of time to change expectations around UX, data sources, big data, etc.

      Eventually, larger vendors might realize it’s better to buy than try to build. That seems to be the case more often than not.

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      1. Fredrik Tunvall Thursday, May 1, 2014

        Tableau is growing like crazy, and rightfully so, it is a great product. But I do not see robust reporting, monitoring, alerting, data governance, data quality, SQL querying, advanced analytics, version control, query and model reusability, BI application development, and so forth going anywhere any time soon – and as long as Tableau,and its data discovery peers do not deliver in those areas they will continue to augment BI implementations.

        Going forward, I think the more likely target for BI vendors will be self-service data preparation vendors, such as Paxata, Trifacta, Datameer, etc. because that is the difficult thing to figure out, not data visualization.

        But I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see. :)

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  6. As Fredrik points out, Microstrategy will spend on R&D not acquisitions. That is their way. With $400 million dollars in the bank and 1300 engineers it is highly unlikely they would make a significant acquisition.

    Tibco has mismanaged their Spotfire property and watched Tanleau run away with the market. BI and Analytics never seemed like a good fit. Neither does this one.

    The next big thing of the next ten years will be IoT. The action will be with tools that decide and analyze that traffic. Code generators for Analytics will prevail. I don’t see another vendor better positioned for this than Microstrategy. IBM will continue to promote parlor tricks with Watson, but they lack the platform and the desire to make sense out any kind of data in real time.

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