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TIBCO: Addressing data complexity in a multicloud world

Cloud computing is gaining wider acceptance. In Malaysia, prohibitive regulator attitudes are slowly melting away and making the idea of computing resources on tap, more feasible than before. And as the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) increases, organisations are discovering the promise of multicloud, infinitely appealing.

Now according to Wikipedia, multicloud offers the promise of freedom and flexibility because “an enterprise may concurrently use separate cloud providers for infrastructure and software, or use multiple infrastructure providers.”  In summary, enterprises can acquire services from more than one cloud provider.

Industry observers and experts even see multicloud as where true innovation will lie, because businesses would be able to mix and match cloud providers’ offerings to the workload that they have.

Yes, choice and convenience are the order of the day for businesses that ultimately also want cost efficiency and the best-of-breed cloud service for the many different use cases which they have.

But integration at the layer which will make all this magic happen, is complicated, to say the least.

Analytics at the edge? Even messier

Since 2018, businesses have begun building out not just more dispersed data centres, but also decentralising their IT functions and placing more workloads on the edge.

Diginomica reports that data becomes much more important because of workloads on the edge like analytics, and it “is much more practical, economical and just plain sensible to carry out processing where data is created, out on the many edges of a company’s network.”

So, two things are happening here – businesses use more than one cloud provider for many various types of work, and they also have more data going to and from the edge.

So, at the layer that enables all of these to happen, what does this layer look like?

On top of all this, these cloud-based services have to exchange information with each other to be able to create a single point of critical business data reference for operational and business management systems… the complexity is exacerbated because some very big organisations can have up to tens of thousands of SaaS apps.

An InfoWorld article by David Linthicum pointed out that multicloud architectures require more thinking around security and governance; it becomes more complicated now given the number of providers involved and their distribution.

Then there is the matter of all the moving parts to consider; this may give rise to resiliency issues.

Master data management (MDM)

Any MDM solution worth its salt, together with data integration, can facilitate computing in multiple systems architectures, platforms and applications.

Recognising this, TIBCO a leader in integration, had acquired Orchestra Network to be able to offer more data about the data, via a solution called TIBCO EBX.

Orchestra Networks’ co-founder Christophe Barriolade had said, “The cloud is basically the new ‘mess’ if you don’t control the shared data. For when you put your system in the cloud, you need to make sure the shared data really aligns with what defines your business.

Data about the data, or metadata, was described as connective tissue that can help unravel the mess. With metadata to add context, a tangled mess can become a single train of coherent thought, or in this case of multiclouds, a single stream of coherent information.

On top of this, business operations that use the same set of business data to execute and act upon, will fulfil compliance to regulations.

Data always changes, but metadata collected over time, will yield interesting insights.  TIBCO EBX is a platform to manage the metadata and it extends the capabilities of the TIBCO Connected Intelligence platform with shared data assets that can be trusted.

TIBCO EBX scored highest in five out of the six use cases in the Gartner Critical Capabilities evaluation.

Solution stack

TIBCO claims to have the full solution stack to reduce the data complexity despite the use of different cloud products, environments (containers, virtual, bare metal etc) and a wide range of data sources.

When Spanish design house, Desigual, turned towards TIBCO to enable this for them, they had an extremely complex technical environment in which new systems and platforms were constantly being added to fulfil business needs. h

TIBCO’s cloud integration or iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service), allowed them to leverage the latest technology and keep their view of every customer they have based on a single version of truth.

According to Forrester Wave, TIBCO Cloud Integration received the highest possible score.

Also, in 2018, TIBCO is responsible for 2-percent of sales in four main European markets, with the RFID-based Smart Fitting Room application and assisted shopping programme that creates many more upselling opportunities for Desigual staff.

The fashion house’s digital platforms are now able to handle larger volumes of customer requests by responding quicker with the information they need to make decisions.

On top of that, they are doing all this across more geographic locations and via more digital channel capabilities.