At TIBCO NOW Chicago, Innovation Goes Beyond Technology

At TIBCO NOW Chicago, Innovation Goes Beyond Technology
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Coming home from TIBCO NOW, I’m always filled with a renewed sense of purpose and energy. I’m fortunate in my role to be able to meet regularly with our customers and partners, but it’s often in small groups or one on one. TIBCO Now brings them together— and we are all made better by being together. While it’s thrilling to hear from our customers how TIBCO technology has transformed their organizations, it’s even more thrilling when they’re sharing those stories with each other, whether from the stage or over a beer at the receptions and welcome party.

But there was something special about this one. The theme for our three TIBCO NOW events this year is “Innovation Everywhere”. I’ll be frank—when I first saw the theme, it sounded like marketing babble to me. I mean, of course we want to see innovation everywhere—in every industry, every country, every organization. But “everywhere” is not just referring to location—it’s referring to people, processes, and an organizational mindset that turns the everyday business into continuously innovating organization. 

It’s Not Just Innovation Everywhere—It’s Innovation Everyone

Who leads your innovation initiatives? Is it a “Center of Excellence”? The folks in your C-suite? Your IT department?

The right answer is that everyone should be leading innovation in your organization, from the top down. This was demonstrated clearly by Goya Foods’ Head of Information Technology Suvajit Basu. Goya is celebrating 80 years as a family owned business, serving authentic food from around the world to the tables of immigrants from those nations and customers who simply love great food. It may have all started with a can of beans, but Goya’s commitment to quality and the “gran familia” of their community has led them to adopt cutting edge processes largely implemented by their global workforce.

One bad bean can spoil the whole can. To avoid this, Goya has implemented inline factory components that use sensors and computer vision to check every single bean that crosses their conveyor belt, efficiently and quickly throwing out the bad ones using a puff of air. The data reflecting the quality control of their products are fed into TIBCO Spotfire to get a real-time view of the line and understand what’s happening at every stage of production.

But this doesn’t happen in a central plant near headquarters – it happens where their producers are – out at the factories. That data is fed back to those factories to help them plan for next season, improve their processes, and produce higher quality food. 

While there is a central IT organization, their main role is to only support the divisions. This allows the subject matter experts in the divisions, who are closer to the product, to leverage their first-hand knowledge to drive the real innovative decisions that will improve their processes and provide the best possible product to keep their customers coming back. 

TIBCO—Now More Than Ever—Is Your Best Digital Transformation Partner

One strong image burned into my brain is the “honeycomb” of TIBCO products working together to drive our partners’ and customers’ digital strategies that appeared during many  presentations. Like snowflakes, no two are the same. A one-size-fits-all solution in IT is most likely to fit none, and that’s something our Product and Technology team seems to have taken to heart.

TIBCO’s journey to the cloud could have simply ended by shoehorning our most popular products into a cloud hosted environment. We’ve seen that with a few competitors and it seems to work well for them. But our product leaders have gone all-in with the concept of “cloud native” applications—tightly organized software that can run in just about any environment without complex configuration, leveraging API-first strategies for both enhanced flexibility and improved accessibility.

What this means is that we can run our best products wherever it makes the most sense for your organization to fit your specific needs. We’ve been talking about this for quite a while, and our engineers have been diligently working to turn it into a reality. To see the fruits of their efforts so elegantly demonstrated on stage, in our demo pods, and from listening to customers who have completely transformed their organizations because it is nothing less than thrilling.

The folks at TIBCO sign my paychecks, so you’d expect me to be effusive for our products, but my amazement with what our product and engineering teams have created goes way beyond my employment status. Every year that I’ve worked for this company, I have seen them put out incredible technology that helps drive success for our customers. What impresses me most, however, is that TIBCO recognizes that technology is only part of the equation—the people and processes built around technology are the real drivers of innovation. Our continued commitment to making our customers—the people—more successful makes me insanely proud to be part of this team.