Recently a colleague said that TIBCO sponsors Formula 1. I was astonished because it seemed to me that there is no sense in advertising this type of products. I’m not surprised that this way of reaching customers is chosen by companies that make mass market products. But what about the corporation that sells high-tech products to businesses? There was a discussion between us, thesummary of which you will find below. Enjoy your reading!
What are my first association with F1 and TIBCO? TIBCO FTL® – extremely fast messaging with minimal delays expressed in nanoseconds. Unofficially, it is said to be an acronym for “Faster than Light”, although TIBCO doesn’t explain the abbreviation this way. Perhaps after the revelations of faster-than-light neutrinos that turned out to be false and resulted from a measurement error?1
Another connotation is the famous, fast and agile Supermarine Spitfire. And it can’t be associated with Spotfire, which TIBCO purchased in 2007. Since then, it sells its BI solutions under the name TIBCO Spotfire®.
The British training airplane BAE Hawk can be another association. The solution for monitoring and managing a distributed environment TIBCO offers is named TIBCO Hawk®.
That is enough for my associations. But how do they affect the choice of the solution in the company?
In my experience, choosing a solution as complex as an integration platform for a large company is a very complicated process. After gathering internal requirements clients often start with sending more or less formal RFI queries to the integrators. Usually at this stage a list of potential solutions proposed by the integrators or the customer himself is presented. Besides meeting the formal and financial requirements, at this point, it is the time for technical verification (Proof of Concept – PoC). It often happens this way: the customer asks the specialists in different technologies to perform a specific practical task for a short list of the products that have been rated the best at the stage of theoretical evaluation. Its accuracy, quality or speed of implementation are assessed. After this stage we already have a relevant winner. If the financial and formal issues are met the solution is chosen. This is simple J. Is there sense for advertising? Or maybe the quality and cost are more important?
When we are talking about finance, we must think about the costs of such an advertisement. Of course, the exact cost is not of public access, but on the Internet you can find how much advertising in Formula 1 can cost. For the purpose of our calculations let’s suppose it is 3 million USD. Let’s convert this amount into developers / testers man-days (MD). I won’t take the lowest rates offered by Indian companies (last seen $ 10 / day (sic!) for Java / .Net developer …). Let’s say it’s $ 150 /working day. A quick calculation shows that it gives 20000 MDs (!) – that is, for example almost 2 years work of a 50 person team. Isn’t it better to invest that money in quality and refinement of the products (there really is a lot of work – see 1st and 2nd posts on the blog)?
On the other hand, I have recently had to complement an assessment sheet of the integration solutions available on the market. A large trading company (revenue in 2016 of over 300 million PLN) is looking for an optimal solution to meet its requirements. TIBCO was not listed among the 10 rated products. So maybe this advertising, increasing brand awareness, makes sense? It is possible, though in this case, that the role of the integrator was to propose interesting solutions so that the customer would have a broader perspective.