On Qlik’s acquisition of Attunity. Q&A with Itamar Ankorion
Q1. Can you explain us the motivation of Qlik’s acquisition of Attunity?
Attunity is a leader in the data integration market, with decades of developing award-winning, comprehensive data integration and management solutions based on change data capture (CDC) technology. Its cross-platform data streaming capabilities enable enterprises to modernize and adopt agile, real-time, cloud-based architectures for insightful analytics. Attunity is key component of Qlik’s vision for the third generation of data and analytics, a modern and agile data integration strategy creates the foundation for an enterprise analytics strategy that drives insights, improves decision-making, accelerates data literacy and transforms organizations.
The Attunity acquisition builds on the recent 2018 addition of Data Catalyst (previously Podium Data), Together, Attunity’s data integration products, Data Catalyst and Qlik’s leading analytics and BI platform provide customers with a unified solution to enable modern data architectures and DataOps for Analytics strategy.
Q2. What’s different going forward for you?
The integration of Attunity into Qlik provides great growth opportunities for the business as well as the team. Personally, my role shifted to focus on the entire data integration business line across all functions to ensure we continue our momentum and market leadership. As SVP and managing director for enterprise data integration, I am helping to set the future vision including product offerings, go-to-market initiatives, partnerships and technology alliances. Now as part of Qlik, we have the opportunity to accelerate growth leveraging Qlik’s large market presence and partner network, so in my role I look for synergies we can leverage across our customer base, products, partners and go-to-market strategies.
We are already seeing the positive impact of the acquisition. Attunity posted double digit year-over-year growth in sales and revenue in Q2 2019, which included the company’s largest deals ever and the first joint Qlik/Attunity win. And other customer and partnership conversations have been equally positive from both the Qlik and Attunity side.
Q3. Making more data available does not necessarily bring benefits. What is your take on that?
Data is the most precious asset that allows leaders to take the right steps to grow and succeed. However, compiling data just for the sake of having it is useless without a game plan to make it work for the business. Enterprises needs are changing to require making data available in real-time, in different platforms and formats, and in an agile way to accommodate faster changes in business requirements. Data needs to be both accessible and leveraged effectively by the larger workforce through analysis tools so it can be understood and used effectively. From the moment raw data is captured to the last step of the analytical process, business users have to be able to trust that the data they have is governed and accurate. Proper data integration, cataloging and governance will provide executives with trust in analytical outcomes and the shared insights across the company.
Q4. What kinds of new types of analytics business intelligence are currently on demand?
We’re seeing a few trends in analytics and business intelligence.
First, the move to real-time analytics to achieve competitive advantage and customer engagement is increasing the need for data integration tools to feed analytics environments in an agile and real-time manner.
Second, we are seeing the emergence of AI and ML into analytics, which Qlik is addressing both in data integration with Attunity – making data available to support AI and ML, as well as by building new capabilities into Qlik Sense helping guide deeper explorations of hidden insigths in vast arrays of data and through partnerships with organizations like DataRobot. This trend is driven by two needs: the need to increase the data literacy of the business users as data is democratized into the organization; and the internal demand to start executing forward looking predictive analytics for strategy and opportunity identification.
Q5. What you can do together with Qlik that you could not do alone?
Attunity is at the forefront of data integration and DataOps, with many Fortune 1000 enterprises using Attunity as the foundation of their modern data architecture enabling modernization and analytics. Now as part of Qlik, customers can enjoy an end-to-end analytics and BI solution from data to insights with one platform if they choose.
Qlik Data Catalyst and Qlik Sense complement Attunity as the next steps of the larger analytics supply chain and data literacy strategy. After compiling, moving and integrating data enterprises have to catalog it, manage it and prepare it with governance to unlock the insights needed for business users to make the most adequate decisions. This is what we are now able to offer customers – a whole real-time, trustworthy infrastructure from collection to insight.
Q6. How do you help enterprises getting access and obtaining insights to data that is in silos?
Data silos must be eradicated. At Attunity, our solutions break these silos down to provide complete data source accessibility for all business users. Our products are vendor agnostic, which means we gather, integrate and replicate data from any source to any target. Whether its data lakes, data warehouses, Hadoop, cloud, streaming platforms or legacy technologies, we help our customers accelerate their data delivery and availability.
Moreover, our software portfolio automates data readiness for analytics and optimizes data management with intelligence. By leveraging CDC we can efficiently identify and capture changes in the metadata, reducing time and resource costs while enabling continuous data integration.
But data silos don’t come only from the technology side. Internal team collaboration is essential, and enterprises must embrace a data culture. We are enabling customers to adopt DataOps, a methodology that focuses both in modern architectures to advance data, and highlights the need for greater communication, integration and use of data between executives, business users and the IT/data teams to advance the speed and accuracy of their analytics and improve productivity.
Q7. What are the key challenges of building distributed architectures?
In short – complexity, performance and flexibility.
Working with data across distributed environments is fast becoming an imperative, driven by the growth in data sources from many locations and the adoption of multi-cloud/ hybrid data center strategies. These distributed architectures are inherently more complex, introducing challenges in dealing with diverse systems, global deployments, security risks and management.
Performance is yet another challenge, making remote data available in an efficient and scalable manner.
For example, we see that with customers bringing data for analytics from hundreds of different systems across many remote data centers and manufacturing facilities.
Finally, the distributed archiectures are also related to where data is going and the ability to avoid lock-in, making data available wherever needed. Here customers need flexibility to accommodate different cloud and data platforms, data services and formats.
Attunity uniquely addresses these capabilities to simplify the complexity, deliver high performance data integration, and enable agility and flexibility.
Q8. Data literacy. What is this?
We constantly hear that the amount of data collected is increasing at a gigantic rate; however, there are leaders that still struggle to understand what this means for their organization. Data literacy, simply put, is the ability to ability to read, work with, analyze, and communicate with data.
Data literacy is a much-needed skill as data is the new language of business. To make the best decisions based on the data available, executives need to know what data is appropriate to use, understand the biases and gaps in the avaialble data, and be able to effectively interpret data through visualizations to make truly effective decisions. Being data literate also means, recognizing when data is misleading or misrepresented and more so, being able to communicate what that data represents.
Employees at all levels need data literacy skills, but it is crucial that decision makers qualify as data literate, yet just 24% of business decision makers qualify according to a data literacy report by Qlik.
Qx Anything else you wish to add?
The data world is constantly changing, and organizations must transform and adapt to the data-driven world or they will lose their competitive advantage. New methodologies like DataOps are supporting this data-driven mentality and offer the necessary capabilities to manage new technologies, to improve collaboration inside the organization and break the data silos. By doing so, businesses improve their data literacy and make data the driving force of organizational success.
Itamar Ankorion, SVP and Managing Director of Enterprise Data Integration at Qlik
Itamar Ankorion, is the SVP and Managing Director, Enterprise Data Integration at Qlik. In his role, Itamar is responsible for leading Qlik’s Data Integration software business with – but not limited to – Attunity, which was acquired this past May. Overall, he oversees the strategy, product offering, go to market initiatives and technology alliances.
Itamar has more than 15 years of experience and holds a BA in Computer Science and Business Administration and an MBA from the Tel Aviv University.
Sponsored by Qlik.