Tibco Software Inc. (TIBX), a U.S. software maker expanding in social-networking services for businesses, said it’s “very positive” companies will adopt internal tools similar to Facebook and Twitter to streamline work.
Tibco has gained 1 million users for its Tibbr workplace application, which lets employees interact with colleagues and share information in microblogs from fixed or mobile terminals. Palo Alto, California-based Tibco charges $12 a month per user, giving discounts to large clients such as department-store chain Macy’s Inc. (M) Customers of the social-enterprise platform, introduced in January 2011, include the World Economic Forum.
“Employers and employees are re-imaging the way in which they communicate,” Ram Menon, Tibco’s president of social computing, said today in an interview in Milan before speaking at an industry conference. “Companies think social enterprise is hot, and they’re investing on it.”
Increasing demand for employee productivity and shorter time spans in processes such as supply chains is fueling the development of social-enterprise software, whose layouts resemble the social networks of Facebook (FB) Inc. and Twitter Inc. (TWTR) The market for the software for corporate customers is forecast to reach $6.4 billion by 2016, according to Forrester Research.
“Social enterprise is replacing phone calls, e-mails, face-to-face meetings and hard-copy documents” as companies need to combine all those means of communicating, Menon said. “For companies, the value of their network is not just in the technology behind it but in the content posted on it.”
Tibco, whose main business is producing claims- and trade-processing software, posted a 22 percent jump revenue in its first quarter through March 4 to $225.7 million, while net income increased 29 percent to $20.6 million.
About 85 corporate customers use Tibbr, 60 percent of which are new clients to Tibco, Menon said. Tibco added geo-location functions to the application to allow businesses in industries such as retail and airports to create data hubs around important sites.
Tibbr allows a “very solid” approach to security, enabling people to exchange private and strategic information, Menon said. The platform supports a range of mobile operating systems and can offer services both through cloud computing or on premises, addressing regulatory demands by some countries that want data to be stored “on their own soil,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Remondini in Milan at email@example.com