Hans van der Mejl is working as the Director for Partner Channel & Alliances for TimeXtender in the Netherlands. This is his take-aways from this years Qonnections 2017.
For eight years now I’ve attended Qonnections and even organized parts of it, BUT this year felt very different and special for me. For after moving on from Qlik and joining the TimeXtender team, I was finally getting to see what it would be like to arrive as one of the Technology Partners and Platinum Sponsors - and I have to say, it was an amazing experience. Qonnections was so very, very different from the other side of the table.
What made it so great was the level of interaction with everyone, from partners and customers to Qlik employees. There was no reason to complain about the number of people in the booth. A lot of the time, crowds were standing three deep to watch demos, while fresh ideas and business opportunities were springing up all around us. The demos continued right through to Wednesday, long after the expo area was being dismantled. Even though the booth was already half torn down and the event was over, many people still approached us for a conversation or one more demonstration.
So the experience was great and the key take-aways from attendees are especially worth mentioning:
1. The need for a robust foundation underneath the Qlik environment
A remark made by many of the Qonnections participants was that a Qlik implementation most often includes the use of a layer of (QVD) files that help build the models. Although this is a fast way of doing things, many comments were along the lines of, “It’s great to start small that way but when things get serious, you need something else”.
If buy-in from IT in your BI initiatives alongside security and governance is important for you, there is a need for a robust foundational layer that still allows agility. This function was well recognized in the TimeXtender product during the expo demos.
2. A need to be compliant
A second topic brought up by many Qonnections attendees was the need for compliance. Within Europe, and also within countries that deal with Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brings the need for thorough documentation of your applications, along with the ability to trace what happens with data. We have shown many attendees the use of the auto-documentation, data lineage and impact analysis features of TimeXtender. Each one helps to achieve better control of data and its usage.
3. A need to future proof BI architecture
Qlik presented a very clear roadmap as it demonstrated early versions of some compelling technologies. However, customers still want to “future proof” their investments and are working in an increasingly diverse environment, with many tools in the mix, not least the ones from Microsoft. Discovery Hub® seems to be an attractive option for them and the crowds at the TimeXtender booth spoke volumes.
4. The growing importance of the cloud
As Qlik was announcing its new cloud capabilities during the event, TimeXtender also released a new version of its software which now fully supports all scenarios, from on-premise to full cloud, with hybrid options in between. Although the combination of Qlik and TimeXtender has already proved itself to be good, users are now being offered full flexibility of how and where to store their data. All options remain safe, agile and accessible and from the positive reactions of partners and customers alike, it was clear that they approved of this combination of total freedom and flexibility.
Focus on being mindful in business
If you attended Qonnections this year, maybe you noticed our ‘Mindful Recharge’ section, where one, two or five-minute sound files allowed you to take a mindful break in the middle of a crowded conference room? Or perhaps you saw our hourglasses placed around the booth, which we use for a moment of silence before each meeting?
Why did we prioritice this at Qonnections this year?
"We believe that you can find the right decisions in silence. Because of this, we spend time on weekly Monday Recharge sessions. These teach us techniques that help us become more connected and focused on the tasks at hand within our busy workplace.
And guess what? We invite you all to try some techniques for yourself. Why not sign up for our weekly Monday Recharge sessions by Jaime Andrea Mathis?" - Anne Krog Iversen, Chief DNA & Culture Officer