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November 3, 2014

Tibco takes on Oracle, Qlik and Tableau in Big Data war

Vendor claims: Tableau’s portfolio lacks breadth, while Oracle’s is too old.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Tibco has criticised business intelligence rivals including Tableau, Qlik and Oracle claiming their portfolios lack breadth and the latest functionality.

Brian Gentile, SVP and general manager of Tibco Analytics, told CBR that Tableau’s BI portfolio is too narrow, while Oracle’s is old.

The claims come after Tibco was recently taken private by Vista Equity Partners for $4.3bn as its products, including the flagship Spotfire data discovery tool, face declining revenue and competition.

"While Tableau is good at a certain set of analysis and visualisation tasks, there is a lack of breadth," Gentile said.

"If you think about Spotfire, Tableau is a fraction of Spotfire, meaning that it doesn’t cover the functionality that Spotfire does, and then you add Jaspersoft this is valuable for customers."

Tibco acquired Jaspersoft, which is best known for its open source ETL and reporting software as well as embedded BI software, earlier this year, which it hopes to interoperate with Spotfire.

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"They [customers] want to have a fewer set of relationships that could provide them with a broader set of functionality. They don’t want to have 10 vendors; they don’t want to have Qlik, Tableau, Cognos or MicroStrategy."

Bradley Shimmin, service director for business technology and software and Current Analysis, told CBR: "The numbers you see from Qlik and Tableau would seem to indicate otherwise.

"My perception in talking to all of these vendors is that there is still plenty of room for specialisation in the marketplace."

He said: "That said given the nature of many data projects inside an organisation where so many different sources and so many different types of data are being combined to drive business insight, having a broader solution, or at least having a solution that has one provider and one architecture can be very helpful and can shorten time to deployment and ease for the long-term management of that project.

Dan Vesset, Programme VP of IDC’s Business Analytics research, also told CBR while Spotfire is a "very intuitive" product, Tibco has failed to market it effectively.

"Tibco was not growing as fast as Tableau and Qlik, and usually that’s what happens if you have a smaller company that’s focused on a narrower portfolio. They tend to grow faster because that’s the sole focus of the whole company in marketing, sales and R&D," he said.

Spotfire’s Gentile also took aim at Oracle, arguing that while it may provide a broader set of tools, "they’re quite ageing".

"I mean some of the tools that Oracle has are more than 30 years old," he said. "When you have older tools, it’s harder to keep up for those tools to solve modern problems.

Current Analysis’ Shimmin’s said: "It is a problem. When you are smaller, more nimbler and younger, you are able to innovate more rapidly and to attack opportunities more readily, such as the current trend towards story telling solutions within visualisation and discovery, so you see Qlik and Tableau very quickly bringing that functionality to the market with some interesting solutions."

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