Tibco scoops up analytics vendor Jaspersoft for $185 million

Jaspersoft's BI tools will complement Tibco's Spotfire cloud analytics service

Tibco has acquired Jaspersoft for US$185 million in a deal that will give it a widely used embedded BI (business-intelligence) suite to sell alongside its existing Spotfire analytics product.

Jaspersoft uses a commercial open-source business model, offering a community edition of its software under the GPL (general public license) at no charge, while offering more fully featured commercial editions as well as support services.

The commercial open-source strategy will continue under Tibco's ownership, and Jaspersoft's employees will join the company, according to Monday's announcement.

Jaspersoft customers include both end-user companies and independent software vendors, who use its products to plug analytics and reporting capabilities into enterprise applications.

The Jaspersoft portfolio will complement Spotfire, which provides iterative data-discovery tools, according to Tibco.

"We believe that the combination of our companies' offerings will allow us to cover the whole of the market opportunity for analytics while providing tremendous value to the combined set of customers and prospects," Tibco Chief Operating Officer Murray Rode said in a statement.

Related: Tibco former CMO and head of social business shares why CMOs need to adapt their skills to their corporate environment

Tibco made a wise move in acquiring Jaspersoft, according to one observer.

"Spotfire is an analytics-only product," Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Boris Evelson said via email on Monday. "It a) does not do pixel-perfect reporting (like customer statements, invoices, bills, etc)." Nor does Spotfire have an ETL (extract, transform and load) component, although Tibco has other products, such as its enterprise service bus, that perform data integration, he added. ETL prepares data for analysis and use in BI.

Jaspersoft is also integrated with Amazon's Redshift cloud data warehousing service, "so Tibco gets an instance presence in that big data in the cloud market segment," Evelson added.

"With the acquisition, TIBCO is better suited to address the reality that there are different analytic requirements within and across organizations that require different functionality and deployment options," IDC analyst Brian McDonough said in an email.

"For example, business analysts need more advanced data discovery capabilities compared to the average knowledge worker, who can be served well through access to dashboards, embedded analytics and reports," he added. "And as maturity levels change in the organization and individuals outgrow spreadsheets for their analytics needs, they can turn to visual analytics, dashboard and report development, and then move into data discovery, event analytics and more advanced decision management."

Jaspersoft recently rolled out a new version of the software that focused on ease-of-use improvements.

There have been some 16 million downloads of Jaspersoft's software, according to a statement. The company has 2,000 commercial customers.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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