Global business intelligence (BI) software development company Qlik has been a Boomi customer since 2011.
Initially used to build a single integration for executing about 15 processes a day, the Boomi Platform now runs all Qlik’s back-office data communications, which amount to more than 20,000 processes a day across roughly 40 integrations.
Until recently, Qlik users downloaded the software with a license and installed it on either their desktops or an on-premises server. That changed in 2019 as Qlik moved to an entirely cloud-based subscription model.
Qlik has the highest retention of licensed users of any BI vendor, including its more well-known competitor — Tableau. To stay competitive, it knew that the move to the cloud was a necessity.
“Moving to a cloud-based subscription model was overdue,” says Scott Wilson, senior technical lead at Qlik. “We were a little late to that party.”
Subscriptions: Necessary, But Not Easy
As Qlik moved to a subscription model with self-service and a free trial option, the company discovered what appeared simple in concept was, in practice, quite complicated. It would need to make a lot of changes to its back-office processes in order to successfully migrate to this new approach.
Those legacy processes involved Salesforce and NetSuite, plus Zuora, software that helps businesses launch and manage subscription services. Zuora’s applications automate recurring billing, collections, quoting, revenue recognition, and subscription metrics.
Qlik’s free trial option added yet another layer of complexity to the mix, requiring additional process changes.
“Instead of tracking licenses, we’re now provisioning tenants,” Wilson explains. “That means many of our legacy processes needed retooling.”
Find out how Boomi helped Qlik build more than integrations five times faster than previously possible. Read the case study.
Taming the Subscription Revenue Beast
In its on-premises days, Qlik’s sales process was pretty straightforward. Quotes were created in Salesforce, then passed to NetSuite via Boomi. From there, Boomi interacted with a licensing utility, and with that, the process was done.
But then Qlik moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and brought in Zuora for subscriptions, and its integration processes and data flows became harder to orchestrate.
Qlik used Zuora’s onboard connector to tie Zuora and Salesforce together, but that caused timing problems with the data that Boomi was also receiving from Salesforce and passing on to NetSuite. It also created a lot of manual work to ensure that in passing trial information to NetSuite, current customer data wasn’t either overwritten or duplicated.
To untangle these problems, Qlik built a web portal for users based on Amazon’s Simple Queue Service (SQS). The portal lets customers submit their information, then passes that information directly to Zuora. In addition, Boomi monitors the SQS queues for events: subscriptions, free trial requests, and trial fulfillment. This information is then stored in Boomi Master Data Hub.
Each time a potential customer initiates a trial, Boomi sends that customer’s information to Salesforce. From there, Salesforce can create leads, contacts, and so forth. Only when a trial customer converts to a purchase, either via Salesforce or Zuora, is their information passed to NetSuite. Boomi also runs scheduled processes to keep data in sync across the systems.
Data Mastering: The 2020 Vision
Qlik’s new goal for 2020 is to automate the mastering of customer and product data through Boomi. The company also wants to offer self-service subscriptions that allow users to provision their Qlik instance. Boomi will be integral to this process, detecting issues and managing alerts. It will also send tickets to ServiceNow, Qlik’s ITSM solution; ServiceNow will then push ticket notifications to Atlassian Jira, the company’s solution for bug tracking and agile project management.
This transformation is all so new that right now, metrics are hard to come by. But Qlik’s internal analytics group will soon have plenty to share. One of the most anticipated KPIs: the number of people taking free trials who convert into paying customers. In just the first three months alone, Qlik prospects generated some 37,000 free trials.