By Cassandra Balentine
Business intelligence (BI) tools are increasingly important for nearly all businesses and industries. Qlik provides a product portfolio of visual analytics solutions, which are designed to meet the evolving needs of reporting and self-service visualization tools that enable guided, embedded, and custom analytics. Approximately 35,000 customers rely on Qlik solutions to glean meaningful insight out of information gathered from a variety of sources.
The company, headquartered in Randor, PA, operates offices worldwide and has more than 1,700 partners.
This Spring, Qlik hosted its tenth annual Qonnections Global Partner Summit, which took place in Dallas, TX from April 26 to 29, 2015. The event attracted 1,360 partners from more than 65 countries, and was supported by 24 sponsors.
Throughout the event, attendees were encouraged to participate in more than 140 track sessions and 34 hours of hands-on training.
Les Bonney, COO, Qlik, said in his general session keynote address, “the company has come a long way in ten years, but it has more in front of it than behind it.”
At the event, the company unveiled an updated partner strategy, developed to scale, grow, and enhance its existing partnerships.
One key evolution is Qlik’s technical support portal for partners, which now offers self-service functions, personalization, chat, and federated search capabilities.
Taking a new direction on its partner architecture, the company simplifies its previous seven-category classification into a five category program, including technology, OEM, master reseller, systems integrator, and solutions provider partners.
Additional partner announcements offers an Expertise Program, and an enhanced incentive model that includes simplified rules of engagement, improved reseller margins, one simple bonus margin, the new Qlik DataMarket program, and enhanced education discounts.
The importance of education was honed in on, as Kevin Hanagan, global VP, Education Services, Qlik, took the stage. In his address, Hanagan stated that, “people need to be in charge of their own education.” He walked attendees through the new Qlik Continuous Classroom, which features several enablement tools meant to drive value. Components include video learning modules, live Webinar/coaching, peer-to-peer collaboration, and virtual laboratories.
Investing in a Brand
Taking the stage to discuss Qlik’s partner marketing strategy, Rick Jackson, CMO, Qlik, admitted the company has a branding issue, clarifying that the company should be referred to as simply Qlik, rather QlikTech or QlikView.
The company plans to rectify branding with help from its partners. It introduced the mToolbook+, which is designed to offer partners a set of comprehensive resources and sales tools.
Additionally, Jackson outlined Qlik’s 2015 go-to-market strategy, which involves expanding its footprint within the enterprise to become the industry standard for visual analytics. Partner enablement tools include digital platforms, lead management, lead nurture, and customer communications.
The company also made several product announcements, including a preview of Qlik Sense Enterprise 2.0, the newest release of its platform-based approach to BI. It offers a variety of uses, including self-service data visualization, reporting and dashboards, as well as guided and embedded analytics. These functions are based on the company’s patented QIX Associative Indexing Engine.
Qlik also introduced a modern application platform to support the development and creation of customer and guided analytics applications, including Web mash ups. The Qlik Analytics Platform allows developers to build data-driven applications to power and differentiate their organizations with the help of Qlik technology.
Finally, the company announced its Qlik Cloud offering, which includes several services. Part of the solution is the result of its recent DataMarket acquisition. Qlik DataMarket is a data-as-a-service offering available via the Qlik Cloud.
As businesses continue to move in the direction of data-driven solutions, Qlik DataMarket adds context by offering normalized data sources that users can pull in for added insight, such as weather. Qlik DataMarket allows users to combine both external and internal data through a library of third-party data available directly in Qlik Sense.
In addition, the Qlik Cloud brings Qlik Sense Cloud for free sharing and Qlik Sense Charts for sharing visualizations on public sites.
The energy and enthusiasm offered by Qlik partners, employees, and users at the tenth annual Qonnections event shed light into the company’s philosophy for innovation. As the importance of data grows every day, Qlik is in a position to help businesses of all industries and sizes come out on top. SW
Jul2015, Software Magazine