Global CIO: Can Tibco Deliver The 2-Second Advantage? - InformationWeek

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Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
5/13/2010
08:22 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: Can Tibco Deliver The 2-Second Advantage?

Tibco says its new event-driven middleware can dramatically enhance customer engagements and marks the beginning of Enterprise 3.0. (Part 2 of 2-part series.)

A telco in China's viciously competitive mobile-communications market is adding 1,000,000 new customers a month, but is also losing 600,000 per month. Can the churn be stopped?

A large bank in Asia is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on IT projects designed to boost hit rates in customer-recruitment campaigns from 0.7% to 1.0%. Can that money be better spent?

Interpol screens millions of passports at border crossings each day and says that's where criminals or terrorists are most vulnerable. How can it carry out all those searches effectively and rapidly?

A major U.S. retailer wants to be able to adapt merchandising and sales programs throughout the day based on real trends rather than guesswork. What's the solution?

Railroads with more-demanding customers, airlines with diminishing tolerance for on-time performance, utilities striving to anticipate and optimize demand—all of these companies across all of those industries have been grappling with the challenges of being able to move as nimbly as their customers via approaches that anticipate customer behavior rather than react to it.

Predictive analytics is clearly becoming a favorite in this highly advanced field, as a range of companies including SAS, IBM, SAP, Oracle, and others are trying to turn, as IBM says, insight into foresight. And without question, this broad field of advanced analytics has shown not only huge potential but also some demonstrable achievements.

But Tibco is taking a different approach, choosing instead to attack the problem at the software-infrastructure level by decoupling data from databases and creating a new type of high-speed architecture designed to get the right information to the right place at the right time and in the right context. It's an approach that Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadive' calls "the 2-second advantage." (For more on the strategy beind Tibco's new plan, please see the first part of this series, Global CIO: Calling Oracle And IBM Outdated, Tibco Launches Enterprise 3.0.)

My excellent colleague Alex Wolfe, not given to hyperbole in his evaluation of IT vendors, told me earlier this week that he considers Tibco to be "the most important but least-known" enterprise software company in the market today. But if Tibco and Ranadive' keep racking up success stories like the one below, that "least-known" element in Alex's description could start to fade away.

In an interview earlier this week, Ranadive' outlined some of Tibco's customer-success stories, and you can see a video excerpt from this interview here.

"So for example a telco in Asia—one of the most competitive telco businesses in the world—they tried the old Enterprise 2.0 approach where they gathered all the data, and they analyzed it. Now they were adding a million new customers every month, but they were also losing 600,000 a month," Ranadive said.

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"So they tried the old approach and gathered mounds of data six months after, they did all the data mining and they did all the analysis . . . . And it turns out that if you lose six calls in a 24-hour period, then there's a very high likelihood that you're gonna switch [to another service]. So the 2-second advantage gives [that telco] the advantage where after the fifth dropped call, you offer them something—you offer them some free SMS messages if they top up their pre-paid card in that 24-hour period. Problem solved, and the churn goes down. So that's the 2-second advantage there."

And a bank in Asia saw its credit-card revenue jump 20% in the first month after implementing Tibco solutions that allowed the bank to refocus its efforts from transactions to interactions:

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