Fast-Growing QlikTech Speeds Up Channel Efforts

In the crowded, widely fragmented business intelligence software industry, the last thing solution providers need is another vendor option. But QlikTech, which markets an in-memory BI tool, is a vendor alternative worth considering.

With an annual 70 percent-plus growth rate in recent years, QlikTech is among the fastest-growing companies in the BI arena, according to market researcher IDC. While the vendor does list some big corporations such as Pfizer and 3M among its customers, its real focus is on midmarket clients with sales of $100 million to $1.5 billion.

QlikTech describes its QlikView flagship product as a "next-generation" in-memory reporting and analysis system. The technology uses a patented associative data model architecture with a high-speed query engine, an analysis engine, built-in data integration capabilities and visualization capabilities for displaying interactive charts and lists. Unlike other multidimensional analysis tools, QlikView doesn't need prebuilt data models.

Rick Pitts, CEO of QlikTech North America, says all this makes QlikView superior to other BI software in performance, as well as in how easily channel partners can build and deploy solutions based on the product and link them to multiple data sources. "Resellers can quickly add value for their customers," Pitts says.

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In May, the company debuted QlikView 8 with expanded personalization and visualization capabilities, enhanced collaborative analysis features and simplified deployment tools.

QlikTech's roots are in Sweden where the QlikView technology was developed in the mid-1990s, but its headquarters today is in Radnor, Pa. Pitts, who manages QlikTech's U.S. operations, came to the company in January 2005 from SAP America, where he was vice president for small and midsize business channel sales for SAP's All-in-One applications.

QlikTech competes with a gamut of BI software vendors, from well-known suppliers like Business Objects and Cognos, to IBM, Microsoft and Oracle that offer BI tools within their product lines.

QlikTech already has several hundred resellers, nearly 200 OEM partners and about 100 deployment partners. Altogether, the channel accounts for about 35 percent of the company's sales. While Pitts expects direct sales to continue growing 80 percent annually, he'd like to see the company's direct/indirect sales split at 50-50 by the end of next year.

Melbourne, Fla.-based Mactive, which develops advertising media management apps, built QlikView into its software several years ago at clients' request for better reporting capabilities.

"The ultimate goal is to provide analysis capabilities to newspapers so they can see what's happening inside their business," says Bill Everitt, product management vice president at Mactive, which was acquired by Atex in January. While Mactive provides primary support for customers, QlikTech lends its expertise to the customer that wants to run QlikView in a clustered environment, Everitt says.

In January, the vendor launched QlikTech Qonnect, a global partner program that helps resellers develop and promote their QlikTech-based solutions. Qonnect provides channel partners with training, tech support and product certification services. Channel partners are rewarded according to their commitment, defined by sales volumes, marketing efforts and the number of QlikView trained and certified sales and support staffers.

Eighty percent of the company's revenue is from license sales and only 20 percent is from services; Pitts doesn't see that changing. He also doesn't see QlikView selling out to another company. "We believe we can be a large, independent software company in our own right."