Middleware and application infrastructure vendor Tibco has announced its intention to acquire Nimbus Partners, a UK-based business process management software and services vendor.
Nimbus’ Control product is an business-user focused BPM tool, designed to allow managers to redesign workflows using a graphical interface. This contrasts with Tibco’s more technical approach to BPM, which automates the flow of data between web services.
Tibco’s chief operating officer Murray Rode said in a statement that the acquisition "extends [our] range of business process improvement solutions and deepens our abilities in process discovery and governance, social collaboration, and analytics".
BPM analyst Neil Ward-Dutton says that Nimbus, a small company with around £10 million in revenue, typically sells Control to a business audience, while Tibco is highly IT-focused. "Tibco can help [Nimbus] with the IT selling angle; but it’s important to recognise, too, that Nimbus can potentially give Tibco a massive leg-up in terms of developing a more business-engaged field sales capability," he wrote on his blog.
Information Age spoke to Nimbus CEO Ian Gotts in October last year, as he prepared to relocate to Silicon Valley. Gotts insisted that he was "not chasing the money – we’re going there because of the clients". However, he also remarked that the investment available in the UK was "like pocket money" compared the money on offer in the the US.
According to a recent report from the Bloomberg news agency, Tibco was identified as a potential acquisition target by Hewlett-Packard before it decided to buy UK information management provider Autonomy. Citing "people with direct knowledge of the situation … who declined to be identified", Bloomberg reported that HP made an offer for the company but CEO Vivek Ranadive "held out for a higher bid".
A number of providers that sell BPM – in truth a broad spectrum of technology that ranges from application integration to document management – have been acquired recently. Canadian content management supplier OpenText acquired two of the largest remaining independent players, Global 360 and MetaStorm, earlier this year.