Tibco has introduced a cloud-based version of its Silver Spotfire business intelligence software. And in a radical departure, the company is making its trial version free for a whole year. "Most companies who offer a trial version only make it available for 30 days, 45 if you're lucky," said Tim Wormus. Tibco's product marketing manager for web products, "We want to make it clear to business exactly how it can help them build their processes."

Wormus claimed that Spotfire offered more than just business intelligence but had a strong social element too, integrating with business blogs, as well as enabling users to create and share reports, dashboards, and charts. "We've made it as easy as possible to use," said Wormus. "Anyone who's used Excel can use this," he said.The appeal of the cloud product will really be to SMEs, he said. "Historically, we've aimed at large enterprises, this will bring our products to a new set of customers – that doesn't preclude enterprises using it," he added.

Wormus said that the company had not yet decided on the pricing structure but said that it would be pretty nominal. "We don't want to get people using it for a year, finding it useful and then price it out of their reach," he said.