Tibco is coming out with a Twitter-like service that has an emphasis on subjects more than on following people.
In Tibco's view, the enterprise is not just about the people anymore, but the subject and contextual information that relates to a person's job. The value is in decoupling the subject matter from the person so the right information can be found quickly and easily.
The service is called tibbr, which Tibco describes as a workplace communications tool. It's in keeping with Tibco's focus on real-time technologies. In June, the company announced Tibco Silver, a cloud-based platform for developing applications in the enterprise, and tibbr is built on that platform.
tibbr is definitely different compared to a service like Salesforce Chatter, which aggregates commentary on different subjects to give context and knowledge about a particular topic.
Instead, tibbr is about finding information about the most granular of topics.
We find this approach a bit cold, perhaps even taking some of the soul out of what real-time social technologies have historically provided. But this may be precisely the point. Corporations may be places filled with people but it is the work and the efficiency that drive performance. Companies are flooded with information, most of it junk. The demand is not for more talk but for ways to be notified about information when it becomes available.
We are reminded of Attensa, which finds connections and aggregates data on different topics. Individuals are notified when a reference to the data is discovered.
tibbr is agnostic about the actual user. The subject may represent an individual, an application or a business process. This seems like search or discovery in many regards, driven by a subscription mechanism, like a feed.
The focus on subject matter in tibbr makes conversation almost secondary by eliminating what it calls "static and unwanted information clutter." The intention is to eliminate duplicate information and reply-all email strings.
tibbr is definitely an intriguing service that represents how real-time technologies are taking different forms in the enterprise settings. It will be available in the first quarter of 2010.