QlikView is a vendor of business intelligence (BI) that has grown significantly in the last three years, largely through marketing and selling to business people and midsize companies. This strategy is a key differentiator of its approach. While most BI technology providers try to sell BI into IT projects and have been consolidating through acquisitions, QlikView decided to focus on the business needs of marketing, sales, customer service and other business departments that wanted their own analytic capabilities, including rapid aggregation of data, generation of metrics and presenting and sharing information across lines of business.
A key component that enables QlikView to meet these demands is that its core server utilizes in-memory, 64-bit computing to speed analytics and more importantly the aggregation of data. While there has been a lot of discussion recently on this technology, QlikView has been capitalizing on it for years. Another concern of business is to get more value from existing investments into applications like SAP and databases, as I have commented (See: "Quick Ways to Your SAP Data with QlikTech"), and its QlikView 9 release facilitates this. These are two reasons why our firm recommends consideration of QlikView among analytics and BI providers to our clients and the market. In the last year it has added to its capabilities some exciting advances in meeting the needs of busy professionals who conduct business while on the move and at home.
QlikView has been releasing advances in mobility more rapidly than others vendors that I have seen and part of a key trend that I have written about already (See: "Apple iPhone and New 3Gs is a Healthy Dose of Apple for Business"). Supporting mobile technologies is a key item on the wish lists of business users, as our recent benchmark index research on BI and performance management found; while only 13 percent of organizations have deployed such capabilities, 30 percent are planning to or are in the process of deployment, and 27 percent more hope to deploy mobile support. QlikView has had native support for Apple iPhone and recently released similar support for the new Apple iPad, but it has done more than port existing technology from the Web or other mobile devices. Instead QlikView has used native technology of the iPad such as its GPS-enabled capabilities to provide geographically aware capabilities that automatically adjust analysis to match the surrounding area of the user's current location. This is really cool. Also QlikView has added native iPad functionality within its tool with multitouch analytics called Coverflow; this adds context rapidly and provides intuitive navigation across analytics and information using a simple method to select attributes of the data and quickly sort and filter views. It uses the iPad's "accelerometer" for automatically sensing the device orientation to rapidly shift and view from any direction. This simplifies analysis and is one of the items that also makes using the iPhone a great mobile experience.
I am hoping to get an iPad to test this myself instead of just reviewing it on QlikView. This iPad support is available today from Apple's iPad App Store, and because it is built on the same technology base, it supports many languages from across the world. QlikView provides this capability as part of its current licensing so that a business person only needs one license to run the software from a Web browser on Microsoft Windows or native applications on the iPhone and iPad. This advance builds on QlikView's already robust support of mobile technology, which includes other new technologies like Android phones including HTC Hero and Magic, the Samsung Galaxy, the Motorola Droid and the Sony Ericsson X10. QlikView also supports Java Mobile-based phones like the BlackBerry Bold and Storm and the Nokia S60.
On another front, QlikView also has made its technology available in cloud computing form to make it simple for organizations to begin using its products. This new mobile enablement builds on QlikView's capabilities to rapidly assemble data from spreadsheets, databases and applications from Oracle and SAP. QlikView as I have pointed out has smart integration with direct access to SAP R/3 and SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW). It has secured many new customers seeking better access to data inside of SAP including Air Products, AMCOR, FiberMark, Heidelberg, Lifetime Brands, Northwest Pipe and Oklahoma Gas and Electric. The customer success in using data under applications from SAP has really helped QlikView advance further its value for business and also IT for mobile access to information from SAP. QlikView was showing this set of technology advancements of mobile BI access with support of integration to SAP at its event this week during SAP SAPPHIRE annual conference in Orlando this week.Others in the industry say customers are not asking for such mobility support, but they are focused on IT organizations concerned with maintaining existing BI deployments and have not actively engaged the business side to help them use analytics and information in a more efficient and flexible manner. QlikView has seized this opportunity to help business reach its full potential and become what we call Innovative in our Maturity Index criteria of people, processes, information and technology. Our benchmark research has only found 15 percent of organizations at the Innovative level of maturity in BI and performance management, which includes access to and use of BI through mobile technologies. Though mobile support of BI has been available for a while, 39 percent of our research participants said their organizations have low levels of adequacy in providing it.
Mobility of BI should help QlikView build its business. The company recently filed for its initial public offering (IPO) as a way to gain access to more capital for growing faster. QlikView still has plenty of competition from IBM, Oracle and SAP, which have acquired footholds in the BI market, and from others that have been advancing the use of BI and mobility such as Actuate (See: "Actuate Goes Apple and Creates Information Platform for Cloud Computing")and MicroStrategy (See: "MicroStrategy Brings Future Vision and Reality of Business Intelligence to Customers").that I am waiting for its technology to be available on the Apple iTunes Store. Roambi and SAP also have BI support for Apple iPhone and also the iPAD and are on the iTunes store for download. Many technology suppliers will demonstrate capabilities or support through accessing in Safari but by far the best capabilities come from native support of the Apple platform. Despite this, the agility of QlikView and its focus on business buyers continue to differentiate it and spur its growth in the BI market.
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Mark Smith - CEO & EVP Research