I never saw before when one man moved from one company to another, then 46+ people will almost immediately comment on it. But this is what happened during last few days, when Donald Farmer, the Principal Program Manager for Microsoft BI Platform for 10 years, left Microsoft for Qliktech. Less than one year ago, Donald compared Qlikview and PowerPivot and while he was respectful to Qlikview, his comparison favored PowerPivot and Microsoft BI stack. I can think/guess about multiple reasons why (and I quote him: “I look forward to telling you more about this role and what promises to be a thrilling new direction for me with the most exciting company I have seen in years”) he did it, for example:

  • Microsoft does not have a DV Product (and one can guess that Donald wants to be the “face” of the product),
  • Qliktech had a successful IPO and secondary offering (money talks, especially when 700-strong company has $2B market capitalization and growing),
  • lack of confidence in Microsoft BI Vision (one can guess that Donald has a different “vision”),
  • SharePoint is a virus (SharePoint created a billion dollar industry, which one can consider wasted),
  • Qlikview making a DV Developer much more productive (a cool 30 to 50 times more productive) than Microsoft’s toolset (Microsoft even did not migrate the BIDS 2008 to Visual Studio 2010!),
  • and many others (Donald said that for him it is mostly user empowerment and user inspiration by Qlikview – sounds like he was underinspired with Microsoft BI stack so is it just a move from Microsoft rather then move  to Qliktech? – I guess I need a better explanation),

but Donald did explain it in his next blog post: “QlikView stands out for me, because it not only enables and empowers users; QlikView users are also inspired. This is, in a way, beyond our control. BI vendors and analysts cannot prescribe inspiration“. I have to be honest – and I repeat it again – I wish a better explanation… For  example, one my friend made a “ridiculous guess” that Microsoft sent Donald inside Qliktech to figure out if it does make sense to buy Qliktech and when (I think it is too late for that, but at least it is an interesting thought: good/evil  buyer/VC/investor will do a “due diligence” first, preferably internal and “technical due diligence” too) to buy it and who should stay and who should go.

I actually know other people recently moved to Qliktech (e.g. from Spotfire), but I have a question for Donald about his new title: “QlikView Product Advocate”. According to http://dictionary.reference.com/ the Advocate is a person who defends, supports and promotes a cause. I will argue that Qlikview does not need any of that (no need to defend it for sure, Qlikview has plenty of Supporters and Promoters); instead Qlikview needs a strong strategist and visionary

(and Donald is the best at it) who can lead and convince Qliktech to add new functionality in order to stay ahead of competition with at least Tableau, Spotfire and Microsoft included. One of many examples will be an ability to read … Microsoft’s SSAS multidimensional cubes, like Tableau 6.0 and Omniscope 2.6 have now.

Almost unrelated – I updated this page:  https://apandre.wordpress.com/market/competitors/qliktech/

Permalink: https://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/farmer_goes_2_qlikview/