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Qlik CEO: We will remain agnostic

Mike Capone assures customers that Qlik will remain agnostic following its acquisition of Talend and that its data analytics and integration tools will continue to work with rival platforms

Qlik will remain agnostic following its acquisition of Talend and will continue to allow enterprises to use its data integration and analytics tools with those of rivals, according to the company’s CEO Mike Capone.

Earlier this month, Qlik completed its acquisition of Talend, marrying its data integration, analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities with the latter’s strengths in data transformation, quality and governance, pitting itself against the likes of Informatica.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Capone said it was the largest acquisition the company had made since it bought Attunity for $560m in 2019. Both Qlik and Talend are backed by Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm.

“A large number of customers are going to warm up to the fact that they’ll be able to get data integration, data quality and data governance capabilities from one vendor,” Capone told Computer Weekly on a recent visit to Singapore.

“We will remain completely agnostic – we plan for our customers to use Qlik data integration or Qlik analytics with Informatica and we’re fine with that as we understand that large enterprises very often have heterogeneous environments.

“But we think over time, we can prove that our end-to-end value proposition of an integrated solution is going to be stronger, but that’s going to be earned from our customers and we’re not going to mandate that.”

Qlik will also continue to be “composable and open with other platforms”, just like how its Attunity data integration technology works with other data analytics tools, Capone said, adding: “And we’re seeing more customers use both, but that’s because we’re earning that and not forcing them.”

Capone is confident that Qlik has what it takes to successfully bring Talend into its fold, having “built up really good muscle around having an integration team, so we have a very experienced group of people who’ve done this before”.

We will remain completely agnostic – we plan for our customers to use Qlik data integration or Qlik analytics with Informatica and we're fine with that as we understand that large enterprises very often have heterogeneous environments
Mike Capone, Qlik

“One of the lessons we’ve learned is you need to move quickly,” he said. “These things don’t age very well, and I see a lot of companies that let things run side by side for a while before they integrate later, but it didn’t work.”

Qlik has put in place a detailed integration plan that includes product and go-to-market integration efforts in a bid to create value for customers quickly while minimising uncertainty about the future.

“We’ll reach out to all our customers very quickly to make sure they understand that their investment is protected, and that we’ll continue to support Talend products,” Capone said.

Since the acquisition of its closest rival Tableau by Salesforce, Qlik has touted itself as the only independent data integration and analytics player in the market.

Alluding to rivals Microsoft and Salesforce, Capone said: “We wake up every morning thinking about data integration and nothing else – no video games, no CRM [customer relationship management]. We just do what we do, and we are independent, so we’re not trying to link our analytics to any other platform products.

“And the fact that we are great partners with Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services – and even Microsoft Azure – as well as Snowflake and Databricks is very appealing to CIOs because most of them have hybrid strategies, and nobody wants to be locked into one platform.”

While digesting its Talend acquisition is a priority now, Qlik remains open to acquiring companies in adjacent areas like data security and machine learning operations, Capone said, adding that the Big Squid acquisition in 2021, for example, had brought automated machine learning capabilities to Qlik’s analytics platform.

“Imagine being able to train models inside of your analytics platform, which is very powerful compared to taking data out and giving it to data scientists and running some Python code on it,” Capone said.

Qlik filed for an initial public offering in late 2021 when the markets were very receptive to technology listings, but it paused the move following the slump in tech stocks in 2022.

“I consider us fortunate that we didn’t go out like some companies did,” Capone said, adding that Qlik has benefited from staying private. “We’re not in a rush to do anything and now, we are taking a wait and see approach but, in the meantime, we will keep building our business.”

That includes doubling down on its cloud business, which is growing exponentially, setting up new cloud regions, including in Singapore, as well as investing in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Qlik’s fastest growing market.

“In many ways, APAC is a bit ahead in terms of some of the things they’re doing, for example in IoT [intenet of things], where you put sensors on things like trees and grass,” Capone said.

Read more about data management and analytics in APAC

  • Informatica CEO Amit Walia talks up the company’s role as the ‘Switzerland of data’, helping organisations to manage data across different platforms as it transitions into a cloud-first supplier of data management tools.
  • Regional insurer Sompo Asia takes agile approach to democratise access to data analytics by creating virtual databases and visualising the insights through Tableau.
  • Globe Telecom has moved its on-premise data warehouse to Snowflake to address scalability challenges and improve customer experience.
  • Databricks has been expanding its footprint across the APAC region amid growing interest among traditional enterprises and digital native companies in the data lakehouse architecture.

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