Integration vendor Tibco Software Inc has outlined the roadmap for the integration and development of its UK-based workflow and process management acquisition, Staffware.
Now called the Tibco BPM Group, the company said the integration makes it easier for enterprises to unlock the value from existing systems through real-time information exchange and automation and management of enterprise business processes.
Tibco outlined a roadmap for the acquired business process management products, which will involve it making Staffware’s Process Suite its principal offering ideal for standalone BPM. This is the core product in the Staffware portfolio, and it has become Tibco’s principal BPM offering over and above its own BPM product, BusinessWorks, which it has been claimed by the competition has never gained a strong foothold.
On the announcement of the Staffware acquisition, rival BPM player Metastorm’s CEO Bob Farrell said of Tibco’s BusinessWorks: We haven’t seen Tibco as a competitor in BPM until now and we don’t expect that to change in the future.
Tibco’s CEO Vivek Ranadive in a ComputerWire interview at the time denied any sluggishness in sales of its own BPM product, however, saying he had been blown away by how much BPM we were selling.
However much BusinessWorks software the company was selling, it has now formally made the Staffware Process Suite its BPM offering of choice, which is perhaps not surprising given that it has just paid $217m to get its hands on the software.
As for integration, Tibco said customers will need to wait until the fourth quarter this year before Staffware’s Process Suite will interoperate with Tibco’s own real-time business integration platform via new standards-based connectivity.
Tibco also said it will add enhanced .NET support to Process Suite version 3.0, as well as additional database and systems management integration, a new look process definer and a Linux version.
The software will also get business activity monitoring and enterprise portal capabilities, and in addition will offer enhanced design and administration functionality, Tibco said. But these particular enhancements will not be available until the first quarter 2005, according to the company.
However, Tibco has not abandoned development of its own Business Works software. It said in the fourth quarter it will launch new BusinessWorks capabilities for integration-driven projects. It will also launch BusinessWorks Manual Activities Plug-in supporting exception processing and long lived application-specific integration processes, and Tibco FormBuilder supporting the design, deployment and management of real-time contextual forms and business interfaces.
Tibco announced its intention to buy Staffware in June this year. While the deal made sense in that it gives Tibco a much stronger foothold in Europe, to make the deal pay off the company needs to sell Staffware software not only to new and existing Staffware customers but to existing Tibco customers too, where the software competes with offerings from the likes of Savvion, Fuego, HandySoft, Intalio, Vitria, and Pegasystems.
Tibco said the integration of Staffware with its own real-time integration platform will prove a compelling proposition. The market will decide whether this argument stands up to scrutiny when the first fruits of integration roll off the Tibco production line in the fourth quarter.
Tibco was at pains to stress that it will continue to support all existing customers, a key message these days as highlighted by the apparent anxiety of PeopleSoft customers who have been worried about the potential effects of a possible PeopleSoft takeover by Oracle.