Joining nearly 1,400 other delegates at Qlik's Qonnections (partner) event in Dallas, Texas, I was struck by the volume of information the company provided, from strategic direction, through product announcement and go-to-market positioning. Qlik's message to its partners was clear: the opportunity for data is huge and Qlik is working hard to position its business to help both its partners – and itself – tap that opportunity.
Building a platform for future growth
Qlik made a brave choice last year by launching a dual-product strategy (QlikView and Qlik Sense). In the short term, this was perceived by some as confusing; today, I believe it is paying off. Why? Qlik Sense is a good fit for a market undergoing a significant transformation. It's not an overstatement to say that QlikView was ahead of the game five years ago; it was not, however, the technology solution to carry the company forward as BI becomes ever more consumerized. Qlik Sense is that product, and at Qonnections the announcement of Qlik Sense Enterprise 2.0, with its underlying QIX engine (Qlik indexing engine), heralds the next product strategy phase.
The QIX engine feels like a step in the right direction and the logical next step (away) from the dual-product strategy: i.e. a common engine which makes QlikView and Qlik Sense just Qlik. Among Qlik's strong fan base, the company and its products are well recognized; however, among its potential customer base, messaging around Qlik products could be seen as confusing. Rick Jackson, Qlik's CMO, delivered a strong message around brand, including "persona marketing," which is building an understanding of the different line-of-business use cases and therefore who is buying, then delivering marketing messages directly to them. Mr. Jackson said, "You're going to see us get much more aggressive in the marketplace." In a market that Qlik has helped create, it may have lost some of its head start and it clearly wants it back.
The other announcement that stood out deals with a major future growth market that I've written about before: data-as-a-service (DaaS). In June 2015, Qlik will be making its Qlik DataMarket syndicated data service available to its customers. Qlik DataMarket will provide Qlik users with a range of external data sources (at a monthly price), which Qlik expects to grow over time. In the words of one Qlik executive, BI users shouldn't care where the data comes from, "… it should just work." Ovum believes DaaS delivered directly to analytical tools is still a largely untapped market and one that offers major benefits to users (data consumed at the point of use). It's also a major win for those providing the service who can build long-running subscription revenue as users come to depend on data sources to meet regular analysis requirements (a fact not lost on Qlik, I'm sure).
Tom Pringle, Practice Leader, IT – Information Management