Bull Crossing

Knowledge is Bliss

Vivek Ranadive of TIBCO

Posted by g.e. on July 21, 2006

Vivek Ranadive is definitely the most interesting IT pioneer, made more interesting by the fact that his products typically form the backbone of trading systems at Investment Banks.

I remember reading The Economist‘s 2002 Survey on Real Time Economy and thinking w-o-w.

some snippets from that Survey:
In technology, especially, good ideas tend to pop up in several places when the time is right. But Mr Ranadivé was definitely one of the first to realise that there will be a growing need for integration: linking together disparate computer systems so information can flow more or less instantaneously. He also saw that this has to be done in a way that allows companies to change their business processes quickly.

To become real-time, companies must have an overarching “spreadsheet” that connects everything they do. But they also need good tools so they can easily change “macros”. And because users cannot keep track of all those rows and columns, they need an intuitive overview of the information they really care about.

Indian-born Mr Ranadivé was one of the first to think about this because he had seen the opposite in action—on a trading floor at Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, in the mid-1980s. The room looked like the warehouse of a disorganised computer store, Mr Ranadivé writes in his book “The Power of Now” (McGraw-Hill, 1999). In a business where every second counts, each desk was packed with as many as 18 separate monitors and several keyboards so that the trader could draw information from a range of 25 different, technologically incompatible news sources. He then had to aggregate all the information himself, often using nothing more high-tech than a pen and paper.

And elsewhere it notes:
Tibco’s Vivek Ranadivé, for his part, already has a rather precise vision of what he calls the “event-driven” firm (see table 6). If he is right, running a company will be rather like managing an IT system today: machines monitor the business, solve problems by themselves as far as possible and alert managers when something is amiss. Mr Ranadivé calls this “management by exception”, and to some extent already practises it at Tibco: most of the firm’s employees are equipped with a BlackBerry, a wireless device that can receive and send e-mail, so that they can be given warning of an “event” such as an unhappy customer.


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