Orchestral Manoeuvres

In December 2018 it was announced that TIBCO, the data integration vendor, was buying Orchestra Networks, the MDM vendor that was originally French but now has over half of its business in the USA. This seems to me a potentially good move for both parties. For Orchestra it gives an exit for its founders, who set the company up way back in 2000. The deeper pockets of TIBCO potentially allow the software to grow faster than as a stand-alone company, provided that TIBCO execute the acquisition well, of which more anon. TIBCO in theory already had some MDM capability from a much earlier acquisition of Velosel in 2005, but in practice they had not integrated this very well into their sales and marketing channels, and their offering had largely disappeared from the market. As Informatica have shown, data integration is a natural companion for MDM, along with data quality, and so TIBCO can bring to the market a richer offering that now covers both data integration and master data management. Orchestra Networks has built up an excellent product (EBX) that regularly comes top of The Information Difference Landscape in terms of technology, and obtains unusually high customer satisfaction scores in our annual survey.

How well this pans out will depend how well TIBCO deal with the acquisition. The technologies are naturally complementary, but as well as plugging the tools together technically it will be important to integrate MDM into the TIBCO sales and marketing channel. Sales staff are often resistant to change, and revert to selling what they understand when they have targets to hit, so there will need to be some education of the sales force about what Orchestra can do for TIBCO. Informatica have done a very good job with their Siperian acquisition in particular (less so with Heiler so far), and MDM is often the lead in many of their larger platform sales these days. TIBCO need to learn from this and similarly put Orchestra’s technology at the heart of their customer offering. It will be important to retain key Orchestra staff, both engineering and consulting. TIBCO also need to lay out a migration path for their existing MDM customers. With these caveats, this seems to me to be an astute purchase and one with the potential to work well for both parties.

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