Infrastructure software maker to expand its offerings to make it easier for enterprises to create mobile apps that connect to their systems

Tibco to release mobile app development software

Few IT infrastructure providers make headlines when they release products. Middleware just isn’t exciting.

But Tibco Software Inc. hopes to change that in a few months when goes into the mobile application development business. Company officials told customers in Toronto on Wednesday that Tibco Silver Mobile will help organizations more easily create mobile applications for their staff or partners.

“This is designed to solve a very specific problem that we see within the enterprise,” CTO Matthew Quinn said in an interview.

“Enterprise applications are typically desktop applications that don’t come across that well when made into a mobile application,” said Quin (pictured). In addition few mobile business applications made for public apps stores have the security most enterprises need.

“What Silver Mobile does is essentially create an app container and it allows the enterprise to push applications to it, while giving the enterprise full control over the container. At any time it can remove access to the application, change the policies.”

Silver Mobile will be a standalone product that doesn’t have to connect to a Tibco infrastructure. No price was given for the upcoming product.

It’s one of four initiatives the company is planning for this year, officials told customers. One of them is a refinement of its Tibbr enterprise social media platform to include the ability to create and internal app store to push applications – like those created by Silver Mobile – to staff. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is also honing its emerging cloud offer to enable what Quinn calls “software as a service” — the ability to automatically configure a cloud environment through policies — and expanding Tibco’s big data analysis offerings.

Quinn and Canadian-born chief operating officer Murray Rode were in Toronto as part of tour of four North American cities to meet customers, potential customers and do a bit of marketing.

Tibco [Nasdaq: TIBX] began in 1997 as a company with a messaging product for financial services firms with heavy transactions but has since spread into business process management, analytics, software governance, master data control and other related infrastructure areas.

Competitors include IBM Corp., Software AG, SAP AG, Oracle Corp.

Canadian customers include banks, municipalities and retail chains.

In an interview, Rode acknowledged that infrastructure products in general aren’t big news grabbers, and the fact that Tibco is smaller than some of its rivals doesn’t help, even though revenues for its last fiscal year came close to US$1 billion.

“But,” he added, “for enterprise software buyers the Tibco brand is pretty well-known.” He wants it to be better known here.

Until the past year Canada was a small market for the company, he said, but there has been “dramatic growth” recently. “We see Canada as a very interesting market,” he said, “one we feel we’ve underpenetrated until relatively recently.”

The company has 20 sales and technical support staff in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, plus about 15 offering professional services, and plans to add more.

“We think there’s huge potential for the business in Canada,” he said, in industries such as financial services, retail and energy distributors.

“Right now the sky’s the limit. We’ve barely scratched the surface.”

Tibco largely sells direct, although it does have some system integrators here including CGI Group Inc.

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