As Waleed El-Ramly, chief product officer of ZE, explains, “To stay on top, you have to be innovative, and build new products and features all the time.” ZE clients were looking for self-service BI, and when ZE examined the build vs. partner equation, the answer was clear. “We knew it would take more developers, a long time to market, and a change in focus. So, we started to look at the market for something clients wanted.”
El-Ramly says that because ZE has an insatiable desire to grow, empowering clients with the best total solution was a top priority. “We want to be in more markets, in different industries, and deeper within client operations. If we can’t deliver what the client is looking for, then we’re going to lose market share.”
ZE had several requirements. “Our clients are focused on how Fast Data comes into our system and when it is available to downstream systems. Also, we have customers that range from one or two users to very large, globally positioned organizations. When we choose a partner, especially in the BI space, we need to know they can scale the same way—and not just in terms of the software, architecture, and technology, but also in terms of support, pricing, capability, and growth.”
The ZE team started to look at solutions that had already penetrated the market. They had known of TIBCO for a long time, but ZE customers provided the introduction. “Our customers drove us to TIBCO, but it had to also be a natural partnership, the same culture and desire to integrate and meet customer needs, and we saw that with TIBCO,” says El-Ramly.
When ZE investigated how the technologies would integrate and perform, “TIBCO-ZEMA integration was seamless, very easy,” says El-Ramly. “The TIBCO partnership has been great. They’re very responsive, very respectful, and they see that the value is equal.”
By focusing on integrating instead of building, ZE maintained focus on its core competencies. “We improved our product, expanded our capabilities, and saved time by integrating Spotfire self-service BI analytics platform into our ZEMA dashboard,” says El-Ramly.
With TIBCO Spotfire data analytics, ZE has increased its market share. “We have a bigger client-base, and clients are happier with what we’re delivering. They’re increasing ROI,” says El-Ramly. “There are higher excitement levels. We don’t have insight into everybody using our product because we’re delivering a flexible data analytics platform that empowers them to help themselves. However, we know BI is already a large footprint in the organization, and we feed it. Usership of our data has easily doubled in corporations that use BI.”
Integration with TIBCO has also helped naturally enhance sales opportunities. Says El-Ramly, “We know our close rate is better. The value to the client is much more tangible. They see a wider scope to our offering and a higher ROI because they get faster analysis, faster decision-making, and greater productivity.”
El-Ramly says that ZE’s more holistic solution increases customer satisfaction. “With more components and capacity, you reach users you’ve never seen before. With a wider solution, you have a wider client-base. You have more users and higher satisfaction. Customers are saying that data analytics that used to take days to build now takes just hours. Things they built before could only serve one person, now they can build something in hours that actually propagates across the organization.”
A more differentiated offering has increased ZE’s competitiveness. “When we’re at the table making proposals, the conversation goes in different directions now,” says El-Ramly. “Before we were focused on data management and integration. Now, when BI comes up, it invites more people to the table, and you gain more influence.”
Because BI is a large and growing force inside most organizations, ZE has the potential to serve more customers in more markets and meet its growth goals. “BI gives us the capacity to do more with a customer without necessarily being involved. As long as our data is integrated with these tools, we are the fuel,” says El-Ramly. “This partnership with TIBCO is going to help us do that. We’re going to continue to grow our own product, make it better, and integration easier—and we’re going to look at better ways to feed downstream systems such as TIBCO. There is so much more to come for us.”