QlikTech looks to 'consumerize' BI, will increase focus in India

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Sep 06, 2010

QlikViewQlikTech (NASDAQ: QLIK), makers of business analytics software - QlikView, is planning a significant expansion in India over the next few years.

The reason behind this massive expansion could be the ability of the company to accumulate $120 million in liquidity post the IPO, which was oversubscribed by more than seventeen times since it got listed on NASDAQ in July this year.

QlikTech has been present in the country since 2008 and currently has around 250 clients here, with offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and another expected in New Delhi by year-end. The company is also looking to double its headcount in the next eighteen months. Leslie Bonney, EVP (global field operations) for Qlik Technologies, also hinted that the company could start an R&D center in the country in the future.

“The reason why we have been so successful is that we address the ‘consumer enterprise’ - the need of the regular taskforce to get access to quick user-driven data. The idea behind QlikView is to hide the complexity behind business analytics but enable the user to make very complex searches in a very simple manner,” said Bonney, when asked about what differentiates QlikView from other BI solutions. “Unlike traditional BI companies, we don’t focus on any particular type of client. We are open for all types of customers - from the smallest to the largest.”

The company’s logic is that BI vendors -SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc., have failed to address the needs of today’s enterprises. 70% of traditional BI deployments fail, claims Bonney. The reason, he says, is that the technology has become very complex. This is what the company is looking to address through QlikView.

QlikView pulls information from all data sources in the system, whether from Excel or SAP DB, SQL, etc., thus making it agnostic of the data warehouse being used. Through its associated search technology, it then enables users to run their own queries, depending on which the solution throws up not only data relevant to the search, but also a list of data (not included by the user in the search) that the user might require or find relevant to his/her search, thus making for a more intuitive search.

Of course QlikView is not the only one looking to liberalize BI. SAP, last year, came out with something very similar in the form of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. Even Microsoft is coming out with a ’self-service’ BI solution, which frees users from the constraints of traditional BI solutions, with MS PowerPivot.

However, David Brierley, VP (international markets) of QlikTech, dismisses these products. “The game changer is not the in-memory architecture; it is our patented ‘associative search‘. What they (Microsoft and SAP) have done is taken their old BI, with its limitations, and ported it into an in-memory architecture, so it’s just faster. Their search functionality is still the same. Another thing is that QlikView can work on any data source which is not the case with other solutions,” he said.

It is interesting to see that the traditional view of BI seems to be changing with enterprises and workers wanting more freedom in the way they receive and interpret data. BI seems to be evolving from an IT tool to what it should be - a core solution for the business side.