Saturday, June 28, 2008

Recent Buyouts - Tibco/SPlus, Progress/Iona

Progress (aka Computer Associates Lite (hi Louie!)) just bought out Iona, the makers of Orbix. Like most companies, we have pockets of legacy apps that use Orbix, and most companies that I know (including ours) are on a mission to replace Orbix.

A strategy that Computer Associates used to pursue (maybe they still do) was to buy legacy products that were entrenched in the mainframe-based systems that big companies used, and then to extract exorbitant license and maintenance fees from the existing customers. I am sure that Progress will not go with that kind of strategy, but it will be interesting to see what they do with Orbix.

The more interesting acquisition is Tibco's purchase of SPlus. Despite what the various pundits of the CEP world say, I still think that analytics are an integral part of the CEP stack. SPlus is used by a good part of the Quant world today. So, it is with a bit of alarm that I view the acquisition of the SPlus line by a single CEP vendor, especially since some of the CEP vendors already (or are planning to) have hooks into SPlus.

I consider a "CEP-ish" product like Tibco Business Events to be in a different category than a pure CEP-play like Coral8 and Aleri. I think of Business Events as being a more workflow-oriented product, something that you would NOT use to pump Level2 quotes through and create algo apps with. There are certainly synergies between Business Events and SPlus, and the acquisition makes perfect sense from a business standpoint. However, my concern is what it means for people who are using it with other CEP engines.

Hopefully, Tibco will treat SPlus like it treats Spotfire .... kind of like an independent entity.

(Thanks to Paul for correcting me about the Tibco product names ... I originally called Business Events by another name ...)

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.


Louie Lovas said...

Hi Marc,
We're doing our best to live up to your new namesake for Progress Corp :)

Iona's legacy is clearly based on Corba, but their investment in SOA complements Progress' quite well.

Our acquisition strategy is to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Progress is first and foremost a software technology company, a term I don't think anyone would apply to CA.

Anyway, all in good fun. Made me laugh out loud.

Sean said...


Why wouldn't you look at BE to build an algo application around instead of a pure play CEP?

Can you give some more insight into your rational. I hear from our internal tech team at our bank that BE does "state" better than anyone.

Me being a naive front office guy don't quite understand anything but the $.