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Tibco recently announced the acquisition of Mashery from Intel, and while the financial transaction will take a few weeks to complete, it is quite clear that there is good strategic fit, with ample growth opportunities for both parties. In the context of Tibco, this is a good move, strengthening its competitive positing as a middleware vendor targeting digital enterprise integration opportunities.

A good move in the best interest of both parties

APIs are the glue binding together different components of the digital supply chain and are central to the integration infrastructure required for enabling digital transformation. API management provides the requisite governance, performance management, and security framework to help ensure that API-centric digital transformation initiatives deliver positive business outcomes. With this acquisition, Tibco strengthens its credentials as a middleware vendor supporting digital business initiatives that call for a more agile API-centric approach to integration.

It can be argued that Mashery is better placed and expected to realize significant gains from this acquisition. It makes complete sense for Mashery, with its strong foundation in terms of integration infrastructure required for supporting digital business initiatives, to be a part of a major middleware vendor. This becomes clearer when considered and compared with the role of and scope for Mashery’s API management offering in the pre-acquisition Intel software and services business. Tibco has an extensive existing middleware customer base and geographical reach outside Americas, which augurs well for the future of Tibco-Mashery API management offering.

Moreover, Tibco will benefit from the inclusion and expansion of several key capabilities and Mashery’s strong competitive positioning in the ‘API management as-a-service’ market. In particular, Mashery will extend comprehensive API lifecycle management and greater ease of use for developers to the combined Tibco Mashery API management offering. This acquisition strengthens also Tibco’s ability to effectively meet the requirements of several key use cases, including microservices orchestration and management, enterprise API initiatives, and the extension of cloud, mobile, and B2B integration capabilities via APIs.

For existing customers, Tibco will continue to support its Tibco API Exchange product, and plans to combine TibcoAPI Exchange Gateway with Mashery API management to develop a unified Tibco- Mashery API management solution. However, there are some aspects that require due consideration and planning, including how to integrate, rationalize, and augment the capabilities of Tibco and Mashery API management offerings to develop an equally compelling proposition for both on-premise and cloud deployments. This is especially important, because it is difficult to ascertain whether “API management-as-a-service” will be the predominant consumption model.

The success of this acquisition will be determined by the extent to which Tibco is able to expand its customer base via product integration and rationalization, retain quality talent, and migrate existing customers to the combined API management offering without any major hiccups. The acquisition is expected to increase competition in the ever-evolving API management vendor landscape, and should be on the radar of all major middleware vendors with a significant API management play.


Further reading

2015 Trends to Watch: Integration and Middleware, IT0022-000217(November 2014)

Case Studies: Using APIs and API Management as Key Enablers to Digital Transformation, IT0022-000375 (July 2015)


Saurabh Sharma, Senior Analyst, Software – Infrastructure Solutions

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