TIBCO heralds dawn of civilisation 3.0

Being a CEO and delivering tech keynotes is difficult.

First of all you have to welcome everyone, thank your sponsors and then crack a few jokes about not drinking too much at the after party etc.

That’s the easy part.

Then you have to create an inspirational thought provoking speech when all you really have to draw upon is the history of data integration, cloud, mobile technology and/or database architectures and such like.

Key areas “inspirational hot buttons” to reference are the invention of the motor car manufacturing process by Henry Ford, the Wright brother’s first flight or the introduction of the wooden spoon etc.

If you are very creative you might also throw in some link points to classic literature, popular music (and if you are really creative) you could even throw in a few references to news items from the current week.

TIBCO chairman and CEO Vivek Ranadivé fell back on some of these tried and tested tactics at this week’s TUCON user conference in Las Vegas, but he also threw in a new perhaps more original gambit with his notion of civilisation 3.0 today.

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TIBCO’s civilisation 3.0

Civilisation 1.0 – this was the first age of man in the pre 20th Century era where most of the contributors to society (apart from Kings and prophets) were individuals – this could be anyone from a butcher to a baker to a carpenter, anyone at all.

Civilisation 2.0 – this second age occurred throughout the 20th Century where industrialisation and the rise of the corporation happened.

Civilisation 3.0 – this age is now and this is a period when we are focused on providing services i.e.. the world’s biggest book store (Amazon) has no shops or bookstores, the world’s biggest taxi company (Uber) doesn’t have any taxis (people pool cars into the service in the USA and the service only owns the drivers) and what might be the world’s most omnipresent mobile company Qualcomm, (which creates IP for mobile handset chips) doesn’t have factories.

In this third age, we start to see the influence again of individuals through social channels suggests Ranadivé.

If there is a civilisation 4.0 on the horizon, this is when a digital sixth sense starts to be developed where we see the co-existence of the physical space with the digital space — personalised healthcare through intelligent devices is part of this concept and is already starting to arrive.

So with this kind of intro, your appetite is hopefully whetted for some big data product sell.

After all, the notions here described all rely upon data capture and analysis at the right time in the right place and this, in essence, is what TIBCO does.

Ranadivé is famed for saying:

“If you have just a little bit of the right information a couple of seconds or minutes in advance, it’s more valuable than all of the information in the world six months after the fact. At TIBCO, our mission is that if you get the right information in the right place at the right time you can make the world a better place.”

Lovely stuff, very cute sir.

We’re pretty sure that helps sell more copies of your management book. OK sorry that’s unnecessarily snide, Ranadivé is something of a philanthropist and quite a modest self-effacing chap who started with a plane ticket from India and $50 in his pocket.

What the TIBCO dream comes down to is the following statement:

Big data, that is not “operationalized” big data (i.e. actionable in real time) is worthless big data.

The Computer Weekly Developer Network has already covered some of TIBCO’s main product news for this event and CTO Matt Quinn has explained that they put the news out early so that people could really plan their session time and learn about Spotfire 6 at the show.

“Most the major changes were last year, when we re-wrote the back end. This was more about accessibility. So it was all about changing consumption models and getting the product to mobile and cloud,” said Quinn.

The Spotfire business intelligence analytics software is part of the whole two second data engine i.e. firms should be able to find patterns in historical data and implement data analysis rules based upon that information… and then look forward to live data and that which is in process to start making real time decisions.

Who uses this stuff?

In terms of application usage, scenarios including fraud, upselling, cross-selling and loyalty apps all love this type of thing… retail is an understandably strong vertical, but healthcare and financial and others are also relevant.

“Use the word ‘immersive’ please to describe this year’s event,” said the PR person who asked to be quoted on that point. “What we have tried to do is create more hands on time for data engineers rather than making this a huge old networking session (although it is that too a bit) and in fact all education sessions have sold out,” said the attractive young PR lady.

What TIBCO is talking about this week is real i.e. the still-in-development Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is part of a “digital sixth sense” – this is a five pound device that can detect 15 diseases or ailments better than a team of doctors.

Big data will give us this new civilisation 3.0 (or 4.0) reality if it hasn’t already.

Before we get there we will have to learn more about data integration and the mechanics of actually handling big data (such as data upload) before we can start to bring real time strategic decision making to bear on every aspect of our life and create a new digital world – and those sessions are exactly what TIBCO is offering users this week.

Are we on the cusp of creating a brave new world in the shape of TIBCO’s data dream, or is the firm just a bit slick and marketing its back end tools and software?

My money is on digitally enhanced big data in everything from my cornflakes to my own earlobes – see you on the other side in civilisation 4.0 soon.