Peter McQuade, VP-Alliances and Partner Sales, QlikTech, on why the company isn't a traditional BI vendor.
CW: QlikTech claims to be a leader in business discovery which is user-driven business intelligence. Isn't it BI and analytics repackaged, or is there more to it?
Business discovery is a highly interactive way of working with data--as opposed to the old method of working with static data in a BI solution. It can be placed under the umbrella of analytics. It's a result of the evolution in analytics. With the amount of information expected to double by 2015, data has never been more strategic than it is now. But the information supply chain needs to transfer data across various sources as information that's readable and meaningful, and which is seamless and easy to handle. This information was historically controlled by the IT department. But their role has changed from being gatekeepers to enablers. Users outside IT departments are clearly driving self-service analytics to a greater degree than before. Visualization or spread-sheets might look pretty, but if one cannot use the data to discover new things, then it's not useful. QlikTech pioneered the self-service BI category which provides agility by allowing users to explore information freely rather than being confined to a predefined set of questions.
CW: Plenty of data flows through enterprises. With every other big vendor pitching a big data story, how different is your vision?
Big data is a significant trend in the BI space. It's not just the amount of data, but also the data philosophy and data type. Telcos and Internet providers transport data around the world, but to reach businesses and homes, one needs to overcome infrastructure challenges. Sometimes, there is a loss of revenue from the supplier's side and utility from the customer's. We want to provide last mile service where businesses can get their hands around such issues. Most of them [vendors] address the back-end problems while trying to assemble large amounts of data. That's where we branch off. We see ourselves play the last mile in the big data chain.
CW: QlikTech has been featured in Gartner's BI and analytics magic quadrant for three consecutive years. But, how much of the market share have you snatched from SAP (BO/Sybase), SAS, and IBM (Cognos)?
Our market share is growing consistently. It's pace is dependent on which part of the globe we function in. One of the great reference points is that when we talk to people from these companies we know that big companies respect and consider us to a serious competitor. While launching new products and training initiatives we always look at the partner dimension. For any tech company there is general partner conflict, but at QlikView this conflict is comparatively less. This has helped us retain and add more partners over the years.
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