TIBCO boosts Business Intelligence capability with Jaspersoft acquisition

medium_3752376204Data-integration provider TIBCO has just acquired Jaspersoft, an open-source Business Intelligence firm, in a deal worth around $185 million. It’s not the most earth-shattering deal by any stretch of the imagination, but it could be an indication of things to come in what’s fast becoming a crowded analytics software space.

TIBCO will use Jaspersoft’s business intelligence expertise to beef up its own Spotfire analytics software. The company’s excited by both Jaspersoft’s open-source business model and its traction among enterprises that embed its data analytics software into their apps, according to statements in a canned press release. TIBCO already has a cloud-based BI service, called Spotfire Cloud, but Jaspersoft’s comparable tool amounts to “a perfect complement,” Tibco chief technology officer Matt Quinn said in the statement. Jaspersoft’s software can also be integrated with NoSQL data stores and Hadoop, giving TIBCO Big Data capabilities that Spotfire doesn’t have. Indeed, analyst firm Gartner has highlighted fast customer adoption soon after Jaspersoft’s utility BI tool became available on the Amazon Web Services marketplace.

Perhaps more important is the open-source play Jaspersoft brings to TIBCO. Jaspersoft has a thriving little community which could serve as an on-ramp to paying customers. TIBCO also gets its hands full with more than 2,000 of Jaspersoft’s commercial clients, which include British Telecom, Puma, Sierra Club, Sungard, Time Warner Cable, and the U.S. Marine Corps.

If we were to look more objectively at the deal, we could point out that neither TIBCO nor Jaspersoft has made much of a name for themselves in a crowded analytics space. According to Wikibon’s most recent Big Data Vendor Revenue and Market Forecast, a big chunk of the market is owned by giants like IBM, HP and Dell that cover the whole Big Data story from database to apps. There’s also tough competition in the way of startups like Platfora, which is attracting big investments and big-name clients.

The analytics space continues to evolve, and as it does we’re going to see yet more acquisitions as customers demand more Big Data and real-time performance capabilities. Tech giants like IBM, SAP and Teredata are desperate to take a chunk of a market that Wikibon says will be worth some $50 billion by 2017. But in order to do so, these companies are going to need to spend big to make sure they have the kinds of features their users will demand.

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