Business intelligence is one of those areas that has become even more important to the channel over the last couple of years as the SME opportunities have grown.
The challenge for most of those selling BI is to try and stand out from the crowd and that is an issue recognised by Qlik.
Toni Adams, Qlik’s head of global partners, was in the UK to inspire the company’s channel to greater things. Microscope met him in a Covent Garden hotel for a breakfast pep talk.
Qlik has three major regions, the Americas, EMEA and APAC, in each of which it has 15 partners regarded as the creme de la creme.
Adams, a veteran partner manager who ran the channels for both Symantec and VMware, brought over the idea of having a Partner Advisory Council. When he was at VMware 90% of its sales came through partners.
The Qlik channel does change region to region and the UK requires a different approach, according to Adams.
“In the UK the market is much more mature. Everyone is trying to work out how to differentiate themselves,” said Adams. He added, in so many words, that everyone in the BI services market feels as if they are in economy class and is working out how to get into business class.
The message about adding more value is as old as the hills and a message coming from every vendor to channel partners. Adams feels that the similar sounding messages come from an industry focused on the same targets.
“I’d say it’s a recognition of best practices,” said Adams, “the differentiator for Qlik is that we have a unique partner programme.”
There are three pillars on which this unique partner programme is built. Partners are classified on whether their business is based around license transactions, provided business intelligence services or in managing the transformation of companies to the cloud.
“Partners want an arrangement that is simple, predictable and profitable,” said Adams.
That is a message that has been heard many times before but it is Adams task to make sure it means something for UK partners.