Making enterprise software addictive

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QlikTech claims to be the fastest growing BI company by growing
revenues by over 80% last year. It now has 4,300 customers in 60
countries and adds 10 new customers every day.

Most interestingly, it claims 90% of its revenues are from
software licence sales. Professional services and maintenance
revenues are considered ‘pull-through’ by analysts like
me. Licence revenue growth is the strongest indicator of future
market share gains and shareholder value. The proportion of
revenues from BI licences of many other BI vendors is currently
around 30%. Hence my interest to find out what QlikTech is doing

Anthony is also an MBA with Distinction from Harvard, which
reveals some pretty impressive brain power. The brightest and best
in the hi-tech industry normally end up in product development.
This leads to a ‘we build a better product’, rather
than ‘we give customers what they want’ focus for most
hi-tech companies. “What would happen if the reverse was
true?” I asked. Maybe Anthony could provide some answers.

QlikTech believes that many BI vendors want to sell BI platforms
rather than solutions. They are caught in the big BI squeeze
between the enterprise stack vendors like SAP, Oracle, and
Microsoft, and the innovative BI upstarts like QlikTech, Spotfire,
and Tableau. It was suggested that BI vendors try to do everything
(analytic applications, tools, data warehousing, data quality etc
etc) to fend off the enterprise stack vendors, but end up doing
none of these things particularly well. QlikTech’s approach is

Point 1: make customer trial easy. Hence you can download their
software free from their web site for a 15 day free trial.

Point 2: solve customer problems. QlikTech identifies a customer
operational business problem and provides a relatively low cost
point solution to solve it. QlikTech believes that other BI vendors
try to sell a BI platform no matter what the business problem is.
Cheap and cheerful point solutions are not on their agenda. But
they are on QlikTech’s—and give them a strategic account
entry point and lots of mid-market customers.

Point 3: make it fun and addictive. BI vendors focus their
proposition on ‘left brain’ attributes. Logical,
rational, economic criteria. QlikTech also likes to engage
‘right brain’ attributes and build emotional customer
attachments to the QlikTech brand. Hence QlikTech’s marketing is
bright, brash, colourful and engaging. For an example visit and search for ‘QlikTech Addict’. This
is an amusing, 3 minute video of a real (but anonymous) QlikView
customer who shares his surreal experiences of using the QlikView

What suppliers should learn from QlikTech: make products easy to
buy, take away user problems with low cost solutions, and make
using your products fun and addictive. The take-away for customers?
Search out innovative and engaging vendors who seek to deliver
customer benefits. They may just make IT a great place to work in
once again.