TIBCO acquires DataSynapse


Well, well, well. TIBCO announced an interesting move yesterday. It has acquired DataSynapse in a cash transaction valuing DataSynapse at $28M.

TIBCO calims that this will strengthen and compliment its distributed and cloud computing initiatives. We work for a lot of high-tech vendors and you get to know a lot of people and I have to say that the DataSynapse crowd are/were amongst the best. Not just good human beings but incredibly bright and innovative engineers.

The problem DataSynapse had was the tsunami that hit their customer base in the shape of the world-wide financial crisis. Almost overnight their remaining prospect base stopped spending while they took stock and a significant proportion of their existing customers either ceased to exist or were bought, merged or forcebly reversed into other willing and/or unwilling banks. They went from being a rising star and surely a market leader in the nascent cloud computing and data centre automation markets, to a company that struggled to make its voice heard with all of the associated human implications that occur when a company backed by venture capital struggles to make its voice heard in a stagnant market.

That said the last time I checked in with them things had stabilised and they were on the up and I’m not surprised because the customer list they have is to die for, their products work as described and once their customers deployed their software they saw real tangible return amounting to many millions of dollars of benefit within months.

So why TIBCO?

Well I can see the financial services link up between the two companies. And I can see that having a financial services Grid Computing offer for TIBCO might be attractive. But cloud computing? I’m not sure that even the greatest DataSynapse fan (and I’d probably include myself in that classification) would say that DataSynapse was pulling up trees and bossing the cloud computing market segments in which it competes. So the question is – will TIBCO’s additional market power be enough to push DataSynapse’s cloud computing offer to the fore? Actually I guess the real question is – will any of that happen before SAP buys TIBCO? – if rumours are to be believed.

So my advice to TIBCO, as if TIBCO needs my advice, would be don’t smother the DataSynapse crew – they are a super-bright team, so give them some space and some funding and give them access to your market reach and reap the benefits.

Danny Goodall

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