TIBCO acquired Nimbus at the end of August and there was the inevitable post-M&A activity. Now for those cynics who have been through this before, they will tell you that M&A stands for Murder and Attrition.
So what has it really been like? That’s what every one asks me.
Firstly TIBCO acquired a company with a stable product, strong revenues, fiercely loyal customers, and a clear vision for growth. So it was not a distressed technology purchase that could be neatly slotted into a product portfolio. TIBCO recognized that Nimbus’ value proposition could take TIBCO to the business audience in clients. Remember, TIBCO had been insanely successful with the IT audience and had grown revenue to over $800m. But they have ambitions to provide the software that enable businesses to achieve operational excellence. That means addressing both business and IT audiences.
Secondly, the core of the Nimbus executive team have elected to stay and drive Nimbus as a standalone business unit within TIBCO. We are all excited about the potential that TIBCO gives Nimbus, in effect supercharging growth. How? By raising Nimbus’ credibility, by enabling engagement with the IT organization, and by opening up access to TIBCO’s existing client base.
So there has been some integration of back office functions which has resulted in a few, but inevitable, job losses. It has been sad to see colleagues leave who have been with Nimbus for 5-10 years, but TIBCO has been very generous and the people leave with very marketable skills and fond memories.
The most critical business development activity has been the programme of educating TIBCOs existing field force of account managers and professional services teams. Which is where it has got emotional. We had great concerns that few of them would “get it” as they are very good at addressing IT departmental needs, but have been very pleasantly surprised. Not only do they understand the proposition but are happy to work with us to open up new opportunities in their clients. Inevitably there will be squabbling over account control, but a sensible commission plan (i.e. money) sorts that out.
So what has the reaction been? In a word – emotional. Here’s the reaction from one of the TIBCO ‘s top Solution Consultants having watched Nimbus Control in action at a client:
” I fell in love, don’t tell my wife, I have been working with Claes for a week now capturing a business process requirements at a new customer. Everyone in the company, no matter what the solution can capture detailed information on pain points, opportunities, risks and value for every step in a business process, then when done, you get a spreadsheet that you can sort on the captured data like in risk (high, Medium, Low), Opportunity (high, Medium, Low). This can be used to decide what the best opportunity is for a phased implementation. Nimbus is also ideal for providing technical implementation teams requirements.”
Another comment from one of the senior TIBCO team;
“Nimbus approach is exclusively at business level and much more superior. I recommend everyone at TIBCO sales should sit through a Nimbus discovery session at a customer site. I wish I had done a recording of discovery session at Nimbus. It was a beautiful thing to watch.”
Maybe Nimbus is the Apple of process management software, when terms like “fell in love” and “beautiful to watch” are associated with it? Certainly our clients are passionate about what it does for them. And therefore the critical part of TIBCO’s acquisition strategy for Nimbus is giving us the space to continue to do what we do. Which is exactly what they are doing.
That means the investment in R&D will continue, the exemplary support for customer will continue, and the Nimbus brand will continue.
Which is why we are so excited to be part of the TIBCO family. Now I am getting all emotional.