I have read a couple of press releases, reviewed and created my own opinion on the acquisition as below.
I must say that Barry from Qlikfix did a great job in providing substance and analyzing the situation as he see it and I do agree on most points.
My humble thoughts:
My own opinion was that Qlik was not undervalued in the short term, long term yes, but not short term. My own analysis of their financials over many years has the same outcome as Barry's. My major concern around Qlik cost structure is even though they are a market leader their R&D investment is below par. They missed the boat on SSBI but came to the party in spectacular fashion with Qlik Sense, so although late... its great! Nokia has proven that you don't get away with too many of those..... Their increased development on the data sciences side of the technology and release roadmap really gives me the confidence I need to look past their current R&D spend level. Their sales and marketing spend is huge but they are changing the channel's perception of BI as well as educating their customers so this is a must if they are to be properly valued long term.
Yesterday after receiving the news I was wondering whether the timing is right for this? I have a couple of thought that I won't share as yet...
Other thoughts around Thoma Bravo was that there is a trend in their investment portfolio and I have not as yet investigated the actual growth of the companies under their funds although I do agree with Barry that they are certainly the better option out there.
The reason I appreciate Qlik as a company is that they have build on the strength of what makes them unique and this is their core QIX technology. They have build on this sensibly and not tried to be the end-all for everybody but allowed their ecosystem partners to specialize in areas where they are weak such as static reporting, source connections, geographical and context intelligence where we are seeing them acquiring now. The recent acquisitions is textbook for a technology company.
The bigger question for us is what effect this will have on the partner channel partner companies, that make companies like Qlik successful through competing and implementing value to our customers with their technology? We have seen technology companies cannibalize their channel business through directly competing with their channel instead of supporting the channel. I still believe that a channel represents a relationship with a customer. The customer does not purchase technology, they purchase the expectation of value, that is created through professional people, relationships, services and enabled by technology.
Hopefully this type investor sees the value of the channel and will continue to drive their investment in the channel.
Have a great weekend