Rupert Murdoch said: “The world is changing fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” This is certainly true in the technology space - big companies can innovate, if they stay small.
In the world of enterprise software, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and TIBCO are big, and they don't act small. In fact, over the last decade, they have acquired their way to an ever more complex portfolio of products - they act even bigger than they actually are. Moreover, these big product stacks are designed for traditional computing - computing that looks at what happened in the past, not what's happening in real-time.
Recently, these big vendors became aware of event processing. What’s the natural thing to do? Buy some technology and slap it on the stack! Even Progress Software, who acquired CEP pioneer Apama, lost its focus to chase the big stack companies (for example, this week they acquired a small business process management technology (Savvion) as the centerpiece of yet-another-stack-strategy).
These stacks are to event processing as the record industry is to iTunes - a different industry for a different era. Customers don't want big stacks; they want tools that solve their problems.
The truth lies in the results, as measured by customers and the specific business value they achieve. In the past year, the endorsements have gone to small, focused event processing companies, not the big stack vendors. Consider the last 12 months of customer endorsements:
In the past year, TIBCO (quoting the TIBCO CEO) claims to have won the following customers: A “western states utility”, a “major Asian bank”, and a “major Indian mobile company.”
By contrast, in the past year, StreamBase customers aren't anonymous; they are serious corporations. They are enterprise-wide endorsements. They manage quadrillions of dollars of business every year. And they furnish technical details. The partial list of public endorsements include: CME Group, RBC, BNY ConvergEx, City Index, CMC Markets (who switched from a stack vendor (Progress Apama)), Curex, PhaseCapital, BlueCrest and Kairos. And these are public endorsements in one of the most secretive industries there is: the capital markets.
Credible customer stories don't lie, and they show that in CEP, small is beating big. Watch for this trend to continue as the nimble, pure-play players continue their astounding growth and Hollywood endorsements, and run circles around their less nimble competitors pushing big stacks of software designed for yesterday's applications.
...to be continued...