Monday, September 22, 2008

Complex Event Processing goes mainstream with a boost from TIBCO's latest solution

We often hear a lot about how IT helps business with their "outcomes," and then we're shown a flow chart diagram with a lot of arrows and boxes ... that ultimately points to business "agility" in flashing lights.

Sometimes the dots connect, and sometimes there's a required leap of faith that IT spending X will translate into business benefits Y.

But a new box on the flow chart these days, Complex Event Processing (CEP), really does close the loop between what IT does and what businesses want to do. CEP actually builds on what business intelligence (BI), services oriented architecture (SOA), cloud computing, business process modeling (BPM), and a few other assorted acronyms, provide.

CEP is a great way for all the myriad old and new investments in IT to be more fully leveraged to accommodate the business needs of automating processes, managing complexity, reducing risk, and capturing excellence for repeated use.

Based on its proven heritage in financial services, CEP has a lot of value to offer many other kinds of companies as they seek to extract "business outcomes" from the IT departments' raft of services. That's why I think CEP's value should be directed at CEOs, line of business managers, COOs, CSOs, and CMOs -- not just the database administrators and other mandarins of IT.

That's because modern IT has elevated many aspects of data resources into services that support "events." So the place to mine for patterns of efficiency or waste -- to uncover excellence or risk -- is in the interactions of the complex events. And once you done that, not only can you capture those good and bad events, you can execute on them to reduce the risks or to capture and excellence and instantiate it as repeatable processes.

And its in this ability to execute within the domain of CEP that TIBCO Software has introduced today TIBCO BusinessEvents 3.0. The latest version of this CEP harness solution builds on the esoteric CEP capabilities that program traders have used and makes them more mainstream, said TIBCO. [Disclosure: TIBCO is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Making CEP mainstream through BusinessEvents 3.0 has required some enhancements, including:
  • Decision Manager, a new business user Interface that helps business users write rules and queries that into tap the power of CEP in their domain of expertise.
  • Events Stream Processing, a BusinessEvents query language that allows SQL-like queries to target event streams in real-time, which also allows immediate action to be taken on patterns of interest.
  • Distributed BusinessEvents, a distributed cache and rules engine that provides massive scaling of events monitoring, as much as twice the magnitude of events monitoring previously possible.
TIBCO claims that its CEP software comprises over 40 percent of the market share, more than twice the closest competitor. And that's in the context of 52 percent year over year CEP solutions growth, according to a recent IDC Study.

I think that CEP offers the ability to extract real and appreciated business value from a long history of IT improvements. If companies like BI, and they do, then CEP takes off where BI leaves off, and the combination of strong capabilities in BI and CEP is exactly what enterprises need now to provide innovation and efficiency in complex and distributed undertakings.

And TIBCO's products are pointing up how now to take the insights of CEP into the realm of near real-time responses and ability to identify and repeat effective patterns of business behaviors. Dare I say, "agility"?

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