Looking ahead to the next stage of enterprise application integration, Tibco Software Inc. is readying new technology that enables companies to not only get business process information in real time but to predict future trends based on unstructured data.
Tibco on Friday will announce at its Strategic Directions conference in Phoenix a handful of new and upgraded products that enable processes to be more predictive, able to take into account unstructured, ad hoc information and processes that cannot be easily modeled.
New to the Tibco portfolio of products is EM Insight. The new software, due in Q4 for the Hewlett-Packard Open platform and in the first quarter of 2004 for additional platforms, allows events to flow through an enterprise at different levels. Tibco said the package will help business-event planners understand what is going on at the system-management level. And at the same time, EM Insight enables system managers to understand what is happening at the business level and to plan for those events.
"[System managers can] have business processes talk to the system-management platform [so that] business processes are aware of capacity issues," said Tommy Joseph, Tibcos chief technology officer, in Palo Alto, Calif. "If network loading is high, business processes might do something differently."
At the same time, Tibco is upgrading two existing software offerings. BusinessWorks is being upgraded to Version 5.0, and BusinessFactor will advance to Version 4.2.
Integration software at heart, BusinessWorks currently includes a graphical user interface for creating and defining integration scenarios; an engine that automates task sequences; and a Web-based interface for monitoring applications, resources and business processes. The 5.0 upgrade provides a lifecycle capability for business processes with the functionality to model processes, assemble components for integration and workflow, analyze how a process is behaving. and make changes back into that process.
The upgraded BusinessWorks platform also enables business analysts to model processes in familiar environments and with the click of a button convert the business view into an IT view for implementation.
For future iterations of BusinessWorks, Tibco is developing a capability that will enable users to manage processes in a more modular way by allowing, for example, one five-step process to call on another five-step process.
Tibcos BusinessFactor business activity-monitoring software provides a dashboard for analyzing business operations in the context of business objectives, past performance and current conditions. BusinessFactor 4.5 lets users see changes to processes as they happen and puts events into a conceptual framework so users can sift through data to get a sense of why an event occurred.
Enhancements include tighter integration with the Tibco infrastructure and an embedded component of the BusinessWorks platform that lets users more easily aggregate and filter events contextually.
Tibco also will announce a new version of its messaging product, Tibco Enterprise for JMS [Java Messaging Service]. A core piece of the Tibco backbone with native support for .Net and J2EE, Enterprise for JMS is upgraded to provide more support for different versions of Web-services standards.
Scheduled for release the first half of next year, Tibcos Enterprise Event Management software will help companies become more predictive, according to Tibcos Joseph. Designed to help capture seemingly meaningless events and put them into context, EEM watches for different event patterns. When it discovers an anomaly—a rise in order volume or customer service, a quality problem online—EEM uses the information to kick off business processes and get people involved sooner.
"Even the best real-time is reactive in nature," said Joseph. "Weve shortened the time [users] can react, but information is still reactive. What people want to do next is anticipate—moving from real time and reactive to proactive. So we are making new investments to [have business processes be] more predictive in nature."
In the future, Tibco plans either to develop or acquire additional technology to move closer to a predictive environment, Joseph said.
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