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Going from zero to over $4 billion in under a year is good going for a start-up, though to be fair Cloud Software Group (CS Group) can hardly be called a start-up. Instead it is the newly formed holding company of two major enterprise tech names – TIBCO and Citrix. Both were held by Major US equity management businesses – TIBCO by Vista and Citrix by Evergreen. Last year however, the pair came together under Vista Equity with the objective of building a new conglomerate to hold not only both vendors, but also key divisions of both spun out as separate businesses.
So TIBCO and Citrix are now joined by Spotfire, JasperSoft and IBI operations from TIBCO, and NetScalar, XenServer and ShareFile from Citrix, as independent businesses. In practice, they are really semi-independent business unites within CS Group, with each having its own General Manager, product management, engineering, support, and product marketing operations. They also own the P&L across the business unit. In addition, CS Group also provides cross-functional teams that cut horizontally across all of the business units.
When first announced last year the most common thought was that the TIBCO and Citrix merger could be a precursor to the melding of the two companies, but that is not the case. While they are technologically complementary there is currently no joint sales model, though they do share common ground in the form of the markets that they serve. Both companies deliver mission critical workloads to major enterprises around the world, and that is really where they meet, at the customer. If there is something there that makes sense, some adjacencies with technologies, a one-off development may well happen.
Both companies have long and deep relationships with some of the largest global enterprises, CS Group’s position on the product and services roadmap out into the future is that those customers now ‘own’ the product and services development roadmap. One of the few elements under tight group control is its call for all customers to switch to a subscription payment model as and when it makes sense for them. There could still be some resistance to this from some customers but seems an inevitable move that should be made.
Evidence of that re-focusing can be seen in the latest developments out of the TIBCO Business Unit, where the strong user requirement was identified as a ‘single pane of glass’ centralised management system, which will be introduced shortly. One of the first advantages to show itself with its arrival is the kick it will give to the company’s contribution to the development of Edge Computing.
The company readily acknowledges that it has had most of the component parts needed to provide edge computing services for several years, mainly as parts of other applications and tools, but has never tried to bring them together as a coherent whole. One of the reasons customers have wanted the new single-pane management environment is the growing need to manage business processes and services across the rapidly growing and dispersed infrastructure the edge can now deliver, and the growing diversity of applications and data that need to be managed.