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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.
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.