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Tibco Consolidates Data On Products

Acquisition of Velosel lets vendor compete in market for product-information management
Product-information management has a new contender. Entering the ring against heavyweights such as Oracle and IBM is Tibco Software, which is using its acquisition of Velosel, unveiled last week, to pick a fight in a new market.

Five-year-old Velosel was a competitor of Trigo Corp., which IBM acquired a year ago to move into product-information management. The idea is the same as customer-information management: create a master model of product data and let many software systems reference it as the single source of truth.

The number of IT systems containing data on a product multiplies as different departments get involved--manufacturing, shipping, marketing, and distribution. Product-information systems pull that data together, after sifting out unneeded information.

The Velosel engineering team will go to work integrating its product line, designed for manufacturers of consumer goods, with Tibco middleware. Such a move would allow a product-information system to retrieve data from many applications through connectors and adapters, Velosel founder Neeraj Gokhale says. Tibco will move the Velosel product line, dubbed Collaborative Information Manager and available now, toward a general-purpose, master-data management format that will allow it to be adapted to customer-information management or any other specialized data-management focus. An enhanced version will be released by the end of the year.

By having a single source of information, a consumer-goods company is less likely to ship the wrong product to a customer, Gokhale says, a common mistake that amounts to a $40 billion-a-year problem in the industry.