Notes about Spotfire 6 Cloud pricing

2 months ago TIBCO (Symbol TIBX on NASDAQ) anounced Spotfire 6 at TUCON 2013 user conference. This as well a follow-up release  (around 12/7/13) of Spotfire Cloud supposed to be good for TIBX prices. Instead since then TIBX lost more then 8%, while NASDAQ as whole grew more then 5%:


For example, at TUCON 2013 TIBCO's CEO re-declared "5 primary forces for 21st century"(IMHO all 5 "drivers" sounds to me like obsolete IBM-ish Sales pitches) - I guess to underscore the relevance of TIBCO's strategy and products to 21st century:

  1. Explosion of data (sounds like Sun rises in the East);

  2. Rise of mobility (any kid with smartphone will say the same);

  3. Emergence of Platforms (not sure if this a good pitch, at least it was not clear from TIBCO's presentation);

  4. Emergence of Asian Economies (what else you expect? This is the side effect of the greedy offshoring for more then decade);

  5. Math trumping Science  (Mr. Ranadive and various other TUCON speakers kept repeating this mantra, showing that they think that statistics and "math" are the same thing and they do not know how valuable science can be. I personally think that recycling this pitch is dangerous for TIBCO sales and I suggest to replace this statement with something more appealing and more mature).

Somehow TUCON 2013 propaganda and introduction of new and more capable version 6 of Spotfire and Spotfire Cloud did not help TIBCO's stock. For example In trading on Thursday, 12/12/13 the shares of TIBCO Software, Inc. (NASD: TIBX) crossed below their 200 day moving average of $22.86, changing hands as low as $22.39 per share while Market Capitalization was oscillating around $3.9B, basically the same as the capitalization of 3 times smaller (in terms of employees) competitor Tableau Software.

As I said above, just a few days before this low TIBX price, on 12/7/13, as promised on TUCON 2013, TIBCO launched Spotfire Cloud and published licensing and pricing for it.

Most disappointing news is that in reality TIBCO withdrew itself from the competition for mindshare with Tableau Public (more then 100 millions of users, more then 40000 active publishers and Visualization Authors with Tableau Public Profile), because TIBCO no longer offers free annual evaluations. In addition, new Spotfire Cloud Personal service ($300/year, 100GB storage, 1 business author seat) became less useful under new license since its Desktop Client has limited connectivity to local data and can upload only local DXP files.

The 2nd Cloud option called Spotfire Cloud Work Group ($2000/year, 250GB storage, 1 business author/1 analyst/5 consumer seats) and gives to one author almost complete TIBCO Spotfire Analyst with ability to read 17 different types of local files (dxp, stdf, sbdf, sfs, xls, xlsx, xlsm, xlsb, csv, txt, mdb, mde, accdb, accde, sas7bdat,udl, log, shp), connectivity to standard Data Sources (ODBC, OleDb, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server Compact Data Provider 4.0, .NET Data Provider for Teradata, ADS Composite Information Server Connection, Microsoft SQL Server (including Analysis Services), Teradata and TIBCO Spotfire Maps. It also enables author  to do predictive analytics, forecasting, and local R language scripting).

This 2nd Spotfire's Cloud option does not reduce Spotfire chances to compete with Tableau Online, which costs 4 times less ($500/year). However (thanks to 2 Blog Visitors - both with name Steve - for help), you cannot use Tableau online without licensed version of Tableau Desktop ($1999 perpetual non-expiring desktop license with 1st year maintenance included and each following year 20% $400 per year maintenance) and Online License (additional $500/year for access to the same site, but extra storage will not be added to that site!) for each consumer. Let's compare Spotfire Workgroup Edition and Tableau Online cumulative cost for 1, 2, 3 and 4 years for 1 developer/analyst and 5 consumer seats :


Cumulative cost for 1, 2, 3 and 4 years of usage/subscription, 1 developer/analyst and 5 consumer seats:


Spotfire Cloud Work Group, 250GB storage

Tableau Online (with Desktop), 100GB storage

Cost Difference (negative if Spotfire cheaper)

















UPDATE: You may need to consider some other properties, like available storage and number of users who can consume/review visualizations, published in cloud. In sample above:

  • Spotfire giving to Work Group total 250GB storage, while Tableau giving total 100GB to the site.

  • Spotfire costs less than Tableau Online for similar configuration (almost twice less!)

Overall, Spotfire giving more for your $$$ and as such can be a front-runner in Cloud Data Visualization race, considering that Qlikview does not have any comparable cloud options (yet) and Qliktech relying on its partners (I doubt it can be competitive) to offer Qlikview-based services in the cloud. Gere is the same table as above but as IMage (to make sure all web browsers can see it):


3rd Spotfire's Cloud option called Spotfire Cloud Enterprise, it has customizable seating options and storage, more advanced visualization, security and scalability and connects to 40+ additional data sources. It requires an annoying negotiations with TIBCO sales, which may result to even larger pricing. Existence of 3rd Spotfire Cloud option decreases the value of its 2nd Cloud Option, because it saying to customer that Spotfire Cloud Work Group is not best and does not include many features. Opposite to that is Tableau's Cloud approach: you will get everything (with one exception: Multidimensional (cube) data sources are not supported by Tableau Online) with Tableau Online, which is only the option.

Update 12/20/13:  TIBCO announced results for last quarter, ending 11/30/13 with Quarterly revenue $315.5M (only 6.4% growth compare with the same Quarter of 2012) and $1070M Revenue for 12 months ended 11/30/13 (only 4.4% growth compare with the same period of 2012). Wall Street people do not like it today and TIBX lost today 10% of its value, with Share Price ending $22 and Market Capitalization went down to less then $3.6B. At the same time Tableau's Share Price went up $1 to $66 and Market Capitalization of Tableau Software (symbol DATA) went above $3.9B). As always I think it is relevant to compare the number of job openings today: Spotfire - 28, Tableau - 176, Qliktech - 71


  1. Thanks Andrei. Thought provoking post as usual.
    But I am not sure I agree with your comment " This 2nd Spotfire’s cloud option reduces Spotfire chances to compete with Tableau Online, which costs 4 times less ($500/year)." Spotfire Workgroup does have 5 consumer licences, that are somewhat close to a Tableau Server online licence. So as I see it, the costs are fairly similar.
    Rather than pricing, I think the core problem with Spotfire 6 Cloud is

    1) Spotfire Enterprise cloud's entry point price is way too high. I have been advised by Spotfire that it requires a $30K outlay.
    2) Disappointingly, Spotfire Workgroup is a scaled back version of the full Spotfire product. For example, it doesn't have "information links" that allow users to analyse large volumes of data (via on demand tables). I also understand that Workgroup doesn't include the mobility features from the "extended results" acquisition" .

    I don't understand why Spotfire, just doesn't provide the full Enterprise cloud offering via a per user pricing model, starting at 1 licence, like Tableau does with Tableau Server Online.
    So I tend to agree, Spotfire has dropped the ball with its new cloud offerings. At the present time, I do tend to think, Tableau Server Online would be the more attractive option for most users.
    Cheers, Steve

  2. Andrei Pandre17/12/13 17:55

    Steve: I suggest you try Tableau Online (it is free) and compare

  3. Hi Andrei
    I might be missing something (it often happens :). But doesn't Tableau Server Online require the development to be done in Tableau Desktop professional (@ an initial cost of $1999)? So the total cost to render reports to 5 secure users via Tableau Server Online would be 5 X $500 per year + $1999? (i.e $4,499 in the first year). After the first year the maintenance cost of this set up would be about $1k per year.

    Spotfire Work Group costs $2000 per year and provides 5 consumer seats, 1 analyst seat, and 1 business Author seat.

    So as I see it Tableau Online definitely isn't cheaper on per user basis. In fact- I I would argue, based on these figures it is twice the cost of Spotfire in the first year of use.

    Pricing links- https://tableau.secure.force.com/webstore


  4. I just took a look at Tableau Online and there's a gotcha that isn't readily advertised. Tableau Online doesn't work unless you already have a desktop license at $1999 / user. You can't build any reports with the $500 user/year subscription.
    Devil's in the details. Spotfire Cloud Work Group seems comparable at $2,000 / year for a first year.

  5. I dug a little deeper into Spotfire Cloud Personal, and for $300 user/year, I can author and share reports which seems reasonably comparable to Tableau Online at $500 user/year. Still one catch, I can't build reports with Tableau Online without purchasing a the desktop software.

  6. Andrei Pandre1/1/14 09:23

    Hi Steve:
    thanks for your note - I updated the blogpost above accordingly. It looks like Spotfire Workgroup is cheaper (almost twice cheaper) then Tableau Online and giving to a group of 6 (1 analyst/developer and 5 consumers) more storage (more then twice of storage)...