tibbr 3.0 launches, is this something?

First, the disclaimers: TIBCO is not a present or past client (well, I cannot disclose whether they were a Gartner client, so I am talking about my bitnez now), nor did I get anything for posting this. Since I was somewhat critical of their early foray into Social X, they decided to reach out to me last week and give me a preview of the new release (3.0 – what happened to 2.0? did I miss that one?) launched today.

What follow are my impressions.

There is something to like about what TIBCO is building in tibbr: An infrastructure to provide a business a new way of working (no relation to Jive’s New Way to Business) leveraging the social channels and the traditional channels in one.  There are indeed some built-in integration that come with it (MOSS – Microsoft Sharepoint is the most vivid example), but for the most part they stuck to what they do better: provide “the plumbing” for any application to leverage.  The early attempt (since I missed 2.0 I can only comment on version 1.0) was a lot like a “me too” version of Chatter and did not offer lots that was different.

This new version is a tad more interesting.

TIBCO managed to create more than an activity stream, although that is the way it is displayed.

They found a way to integrate Video, Voice, and virtually any application to the stream effortlessly (or almost effortlessly).  You want to have a conversation, even a conference call, as part of the collaboration stream? You got it.  Want to do a video-conference as part of the same collaboration project? Included in the product.  Do you want to make documents stored in your other collaboration platforms (e.g. Sharepoint) part of the collaboration – yet retain all their rights and priorities? Yep, there.  Virtually anything you want to do, anything you do as part of your job can now be programmed to be part of the Activity stream.  It certainly is more interesting.  There are a few connotations here that must be noted:

  1. This is what Chattter says they can do – but it is done in a broader scale (if Salesforce can effectively deliver on DB.com as promised, they would be close to doing this; IBM has a similar vision, but no product yet).
  2. There are certain components in here that I have seen elsewhere before. Tony Nemelka, a frequent contributor to this blog, is the CEO for Teleplace – a virtual-world collaboration platform.  A lot of the integration work Teleplace has done, for some time now, with Sharepoint makes me think of what tibbr is doing.
  3. Probably the most notable element here: this is a platform destined to adapt to the way people work.  It does not require people to change their method of work, nor does it require a different interface to be learned (in theory; in practice TIBCO wants to make tibbr “the social inbox” – not sure I am behind this idea, but it is certainly interesting.  Speaking of similarities, the work Harmon.ie is doing is similar to this concept of the Social Inbox – but delivered via email, not as a platform to allow an organization to place it anywhere they want).

As I said, I was quite harsh (maybe not so much in my blog post as I was in conversations) about the value that tibbr could bring to the table.  I did left an open question as to where it was going and whether it would be better as it got there.

Is this there? No, not yet – but this is definitely something on the way there.  This is something indeed – almost like I was writing just yesterday, when talking about what Social Business needs to do.  A collaborative platform that is open to all, with secure tokens, rights, and privileges, accessible from anywhere for anything  by anyone.  If this is what businesses end up using tibbr for, then this is really something on the way there.

Have you seen it? Read about it? What do you think?  Would love to hear your comments…

(UPDATE: missing screenshots and one more feature can be found here)

5 thoughts on “tibbr 3.0 launches, is this something?”

  1. Tibbr 2.0 was released on April 5th without much “show”

    Today and for decades to come, the silver bullet is in integration, and Tibco seized that opportunity – and seized it well. Not many, if any, out there who are equally equipped

    Btw don’t forget the official web-launch in 5.5 hours from now

    1. Martjin,

      Thanks for the read and comment. I am going to take a more cautious wait and see attitude with it, been burned before by going all-in with early product releases that were either never adopted or fizzled before they made it.

      I like the concept, but I need to see it in real life and how the businesses use it to match the vision. I am thinking 9-15 months from now, maybe sooner considering the speed of “social”, we can resume this conversation with facts.

      Thanks

  2. @estaban – I was harsh first time out as well. In fact it was pretty underwhelming. 9 months on and this is way different.

    There’s a stack of stuff you might have missed and more they told me under embargo but in essence this is as Martijn describes. I respect his opinion as he’s an integration specialist and we’ve talked a lot about this. Also – I did have a small hand in some of the product stuff around tibbr so have a bit of a soft spot for it. Even so, it’s a while since I saw something that excites me as much as this does, boring old integration or not.

    the one thing I thin is missing in your analysis is that other vendors do bits and pieces of this but only tibbr has managed to box off the whole. It also works well on all 4 major mobile platforms which SF does not.

    For me the key is disruptive without disruption and allowing users choice plus the ability to straddle most of the major enterprise systems out there.

    1. Dennis,

      I think we are in agreement, without saying it the same way. I indicated throughout the other vendors that do just a portion of each part that tibbr does. I think it is interesting that they managed to put it all together into one.

      I don’t see this as a competitive situation with SF, so I won’t single them out, or even with the big 4 – I see this as an interesting first step towards “something” – what that something is, remains to be said.

      I like what I saw, and as I said – want to see where it goes. Not ready to crown them yet – but they are a contender.

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