Enterprise software firm Tibco is rolling out its take on micro-blogging to staff next week and will follow up next year with a commercial service aimed at businesses wanting to put Twitter-like status updates to business use.
Tibco's Tibbr puts a spin on the idea with a messaging network that can be deployed on the web or on premises and where subscribers follow topics rather than people, according to the firm's executive vice president Ram Menon.
"It's a workplace communications tool that allows information to find you," Menon said. "Unlike other social applications that focus on the concept of following people, Tibbr takes a new approach - following subjects. On some social apps, when I follow people I get to know what they're doing for their holidays and what they're having for their dinner and maybe I'm not interested in that. This filters out the static and information clutter. Twitter is a great product but Twitter is for play and Tibbr is for work."
Tibbr can be integrated with other enterprise software programs and processes and access settings created depending on user. Menon sees applications such as using short messages to confirm an invoice has been approved.
Tibco made its name building fast middleware to connect disparate systems, of course, and Menon also fancies that the company will be able to provide a more resilient service than Twitter with its regular appearances of the so-called "fail whale" when the service is compromised by sheer weight of traffic.
Given the stratospheric success of Twitter as a consumer phenomenon it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before the concept followed blogs, wikis, social networks and other modern phenomena into the enterprise. Of course, Tibco is not alone in seeing an opportunity here. Salesforce.com recently announced Chatter.