QlikTech — the vendor of QlikView — contacted me to tell their memory-centric BI story. A Swedish company with >$23 million in estimated license revenue last year and a 100%ish growth rate, they claim to be the leader in that space, pulling ahead of Applix. But for now, I’ll call them “a” leader, and say that their story sounds like a hybrid between those of Applix (TM1 product) and SAP (BI Accelerator).
Frankly, at this point I only understand the pitch at a high level: The product is column-oriented, memory-centric, with full relational flexibility. Any column or calculation can be a measure, without the pre-determination of MOLAP or some ROLAP. And it has a more-or-less complete-sounding set of BI tools (reporting, OLAP, dashboards, ETL, etc.) They boast a patent, but I haven’t figured out yet what it really says. (On first reading it seems impossibly broad, along the lines of: “We take data and encode it in a presumably compact form for faster lookup later.”)
As for the company, it’s a Swedish outfit that had only 5 customers as recently as 1999. Their sales focus to date has been mid-market, or departments of large enterprises. (And their proudest corporate standardization win to date is the famously decentralized 3M.) This is both because that’s where the toughest competition isn’t, and because in-memory solutions were fundamentally limited in database size before the advent of 64-bit chips.
They expect this quarter to be the first one that the US is their largest region, perhaps not coincidentally while Europeans take long vacations.
And for unintended comic relief, they hammer on the performance claim that you can run the system with a lot of data on a laptop, apparently oblivious to the recent stream of high-profile laptop disappearances and associated privacy fiascos.