These changes are especially significant for channel partners, and coincide with an intensification of TIBCO’s channel strategy also announced at the event.
Following the announcement of changes to their Connect portfolio of products on the first day of their TIBCO NOW2021 Conference, TIBCO Software has come out with the new product announcements around the remaining two components of their portfolio: Predict and Unify. The Predict announcements add new features to the existing product portfolio that reduce time to data-driven insights through even greater use of analytics and data science capabilities. These include product updates to TIBCO Spotfire, TIBCO WebFOCUS, TIBCO Data Science, and TIBCO Streaming. On the Unify side, TIBCO announced its new DQ [data quality] product family for creating, managing and providing data quality assurance for an organization’s data fabric. The Unify announcements also included enhancements to TIBCO Data Virtualization and TIBCO EBX.
“The theme of the conference this year is Limitless, with all of the products hooking into the changing nature of work,” said Mark Palmer, TIBCO’s SVP of Engineering for Analytics, who is responsible for both the Predict and Unify pillars, and also drives M&As from a business acquisition perspective. “The pandemic is an object lesson in that, but the whole process has been going on for some time, and involves more automaton, AI, and decentralized work support. TIBCO’s slant has always been solving hard problems. We are emphasizing this year the democratization of data and citizen analysts – data that’s mission critical rather than just RPA [Robotic Process Automation] use.”
The big news around TIBCO Spotfire is the further extension of developer ability to customize the analytics engine with the TIBCO Spotfire Mods framework.
“We actually announced the framework late last year, and have been holding modathon hackathons,” Palmer said. “Genware was the 2021 Modathon Champion. They modified Spotfire with multiple charts overlaid on top. We have now announced Spotfire Data Science Mods, which extends the Mods framework and makes Spotfire the first truly moddable BI platform for data science at scale.
Spotfire is also being integrated with TIBCO ModelOps – something that is not yet complete, but which TIBCO says is coming soon – to let citizen data scientists quickly and easily augment decision-making with no-code management of AI/ML models.
“What’s new this year is extending the concept of mods to data science and AI,” Palmer said. “That’s a big one, which really empowers the partners to do special things.”
Palmer emphasized that the other changes revolve around increasing the agility of the data fabric.
“In changing workstyle theme, what we have done with the data fabric tools inside of the portfolio is also important,” he said. “The agile data fabric involves citizen access rising and data automation. It’s all about citizen access to data, and is a complement to our analytics story. The Connect portfolio is adhering to the same ideas.”
Accordingly, TIBCO WebFOCUS has been enhanced with new cloud-native deployment capabilities that add containerized deployment options and a managed cloud offering to support enterprise-wide scaling. TIBCO Data Science adds a range of cloud data sources, along with TIBCO Data Virtualization integration, Spotfire interoperability, AutoML augmentations, native Spark pipelines, and improvements in collaborative teams’ user experience.
TIBCO Streaming is being improved with new real-time analytics, including patent-pending Dynamic Learning, available soon, which allows users to continuously learn and readjust predictions based on streaming data in real time. Streaming data connects to any streaming data, including no-code integration with TIBCO Cloud Messaging and TIBCO Data Virtualization.
“These citizen user interfaces, including low code and no code for enterprise software, let people not just find data but change it to the way they want it,” Palmer said. “The new tooling is cloud based, and drag and drop, and allows new predictive models and streaming data. This dramatically extended the types of data that we connect to.”
Similarly, the Unify enhancements also focus on empowering business to assemble an agile data fabric, unrestricted by siloed data, on any cloud platform.
“Our recent innovations include smart matching for master data management, automated data quality that intuitively corrects errors before they impact decision-making, and processing streaming data as part of the next-generation of real-time digital business,” Palmer said.
TIBCO DQ becomes the new data quality product family, significantly enhancing current capabilities available throughout the entire TIBCO data fabric, with built-in artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate quality detection, monitoring, and anomaly resolution.
Other enhancements to the portfolio also include TIBCO EBX productivity innovations, to improve master data management. These include low-code scripting and a streamlined configuration, smart match and merge of data processes, and extended integration with new development APIs. A new data processing engine for rapid processing of large volumes of data has also been added.
TIBCO Data Virtualization upgrades make virtualized data more easily accessible in the cloud and on-premises. With one-click search of the virtualized data catalog, any business user can discover and access data in seconds. A new TIBCO Data Virtualization workbench now empowers citizen data engineers to prepare and transform data with an agile, web-based, low-code user experience, enabling faster, smarter decisions.
What’s significant about this shift from a partner point of view?
“Deploying AI models that are fit to purpose for the business through this new decentralized fabric is where our partner network is really kicking in,” Palmer said. “Most companies don’t have the desire or resources to invest in a ton of new resources. We depend on partners for this, as well as open source.” This is why TIBCO’s partner keynote announced that TIBCO’s channel would be both expanded and better enabled in the year ahead.