TIBCO's tibbr 4 and Enterprise Social Graph API

Salesforce Chatter, Jive Software, Saba People Cloud, Microsoft Yammer, etc. are getting some company. TIBCO's tibbr is only 18 months old but already used by a million people in 104 countries, 56 percent of them on smartphones. Users can mark their affinities (likes), post updates, and handle files in TIBCO’s social offering. With tibbr, users can follow anything and support everything, while corporate IT departments control issues such as security, entitlements, scale, etc.

At the TUCON 2012 conference, TIBCO positioned tibbr as an "enterprise social bus," similar to how TIBCO’s original IT success was based on a traditional enterprise service bus (ESB). In other words, TIBCO’s heritage with managing events and messaging is essential to this success, because tibbr is about following not only people, but also physical devices/items, business processes, files, and applications. In the consumer world, we follow friends; in the enterprise world we report to people, manage other people, and listen to changes in the work environment to act on them accordingly.

Earlier this year, TIBCO launched tibbr GEO, which has physical geolocations pushing pertinent information to people who are nearby, based on their profile. The main idea: instead of users checking into a location (e.g., warehouse, machine center, airport gate, retail store, etc.), the location checks into you via contextual insights and offers.

Ram Menon, president of social computing at TIBCO, was joined briefly on the stage by Hervé Coureil, CIO of Schneider Electric, and Jay Grant, Secretary General of InterPort Police, to talk about how they are using tibbr for social networking within and across organizations (for example, Secretary General Grant discussed some past ineffective practices, including how live CNN coverage was considered a source of shared information). Menon then announced tibbr 4, to be released within a few weeks, with a number of new features as follows:

  • Social Profile—presenting a more complete view of an employee to his/her colleagues (think: LinkedIn profile). People, Department, Files, Apps, and Subjects all make the Enterprise Social Graph of connections, affinities, and actions

  • Peer Influence Index—the impact that an employee has on the persons and things with which he/she interacts (think: Klout-like score; Saba People Cloud has a similar metric called pQ [People Quotient])

  • tibbr Insights—social analytics, showing a summary of what’s happening in someone’s social network, including both activities and requests waiting for action, with work-related filters (e.g., per order, per unit, per group, etc.)

Last but not least, tibbr 4 also provides a social graph application programming interface (API) allowing the social graph being collected within tibbr to be accessed from other applications. Moreover, these apps can provide add-on functionality to tibbr within an Apps Marketplace, whereby tibbr users can add them to their own tibbr environment. TIBCO showcased some new partners that are offering applications right now for tibbr, such as the following:

  • Box for cloud content storage and sharing

  • Wayin, presented by Scott McNeally (formerly of Sun Microsystems) for in-depth surveys and sentiment analysis so as to discern a confirmed intent (rather than the inferred intent that we currently get from social networks like Facebook)

  • Badgeville for engagement through gamification and incentives

  • Whodini, whose search reveals coworkers who are relevant to the work one needs to get done. The Whodini Score gives context for how engaged each coworker is with each term in their profile.

  • ManyWorlds’ Synxi machine learning-based discovery apps, whereby tibbr users receive recommendations of knowledge and expertise that are relevant to their current context and personalized based on the system’s experience with each user

  • BrightIdea for crowdsourcing innovation management (ideation)

  • Teamly for social talent management in terms of goal setting, and performance evaluation (somewhat similar to salesforce.com’s Work.com, what was formerly Rypple)

  • FileBoard for collaborative screen-sharing

It will be interesting to watch whether TIBCO will develop instant manager (IM), unified communications (UC), video conferencing, and like capabilities in-house, via acquisitions, or via Apps Marketplace add-ons.

TEC blog post (Sept 2012): New Version of TIBCO’s Enterprise Social Platform: tibbr 4
TEC article (Aug 2012): Saba Software: Figuring Out Social Talent Management
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