After more than a year of silent anticipation (that’s a nice way of saying “no one really cared”) integration giant Tibco is launching its first stab at social with its product called Tibbr.

Yes, Tibbr.

While Tibbr may do a lot of what people might expect from a status-update focused tool, in my opinion it fails to do anything actually benefitting a company’s attempt to be more social. Well, at least in ways that can’t be done better by other products or for free with cloud-based tools.

For one, Tibbr is all about filters and categorization – placing labels and objectifying relationships. While there is value in this – for analysis and alerts etc. – how does this really allow me to better see how my customers are aggregating and talking about my brand or services?

And really, like with Chatter and other internally-focused tools, this is more about empowering employees than connecting with customers. Again, this is an important step towards companies being more social and breaking down silos – but we have seen it all before. Tibco seems to be afraid of issues like security instead of trying to change the way companies think of internal/external information flows.

Ultimately, Tibbr is not a true social platform – it is just a nice to have tool. Like Chatter or Yammer – there is nothing really here that I would say a company can build upon to reach out, listen and improve a customer’s experience in the social realm.

Maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe Tibco thinks internal collaboration is enough. I am just waiting for more companies to understand that in order to be customer-centric, the customer needs to really be at the center of everything – not on the fringes and locked out by cultural and technological firewalls.