It's business as usual for Tibco (NASDAQ:TIBX) -- and business is good.

That's how the enterprise software company's management describes the just-finished third quarter, and I'm inclined to agree. Sales declined 7.3% year-over-year to $150.3 million, but the bottom line stayed strong with 50% growth in earnings to $0.09 per share. And Tibco is seeing a brisk flow of new orders, particularly from a financial sector that finally dares to invest in IT infrastructure again.

Tibco's business intelligence software competes with big boys like IBM (NYSE:IBM), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), and SAP AG (NYSE:SAP), but is different from those competitors in one key respect: The other guys base everything on traditional databases, while Tibco gets its very name from the "information bus" structure of its data-gathering programs.

And CEO Vivek Ranadive believes that his chosen method of data organization will be the Next Big Thing in enterprise computing. "We are well-positioned to benefit from the accelerating shift away from database-centric architectures designed to handle transactions and towards bus-based architectures designed to handle events," he said. "We think that there's a real shift to this Enterprise 3.0 that I keep talking about. And when we talk about events and cloud, people are very responsive to that."

He's certainly getting some traction today. Last quarter, Tibco signed 85 new contracts worth over $100,000 each, 17 million-dollar deals, and one that was larger than $5 million. And besides that all-new business, Tibco also signed larger contracts with existing customers like video game giant Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY), and even erstwhile enterprise computing rival Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Mr. Ranadive keeps telling us that Tibco isn't for sale, but given the acquisition hunger we've seen in the tech sector this year, I still keep expecting Oracle or IBM to place a surprise buyout bid. It's just easier to buy Tibco than to reinvent the wheel that's taken the company this far.

Tibco is small, obscure, and relatively lightly followed and has rewarded shareholders with an 81% gain year-to-date. Is it too late to join this bandwagon? I don't think so, but feel free to discuss in the comments below.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.