Qlik Plans to Acquire Talend. Is it a Data Management Double-Dip?
Qlik, which specializes in analytics and low latent data integration solutions, recently announced its intention to acquire Talend, a data integration and data governance vendor. The acquisition is projected to be completed in approximately six months, pending regulatory approvals and the results of a consultation with the relevant works council.
Talend has been a proponent of the data fabric concept, which provides a single framework to connect all enterprise data sources, regardless of where they’re physically located. The company has strategic alliances with the three major public cloud providers (Google, Amazon, and Microsoft), as well as cloud stalwarts like Snowflake and Cloudera.
Talend’s data integration capabilities would significantly expand those of Qlik’s — across clouds — to accelerate time to action for a bevy of use cases.
“As the move to the cloud is maturing, customers are looking for a more complete solution for data and application integration, transformation, quality, and governance,” said Dan Potter, Qlik vice president of product marketing for data integration. “This is motivating customers to move towards a single stack provider and away from spending time integrating their integration stack.”
Adding Talend’s product and services portfolio to Qlik’s would help Qlik customers remain in its ecosystem for a variety of tasks, from initial data ingestion to analytics-driven action.
Qlik and Talend have lengthy, respected histories in data management. Gartner has positioned Talend in a number of Magic Quadrants over the years. In 2022, the company was deemed a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Solutions and Data Integration Tools. Qlik, which was founded in 1993, has earned several such accolades for business analytics. It was a leader in the IDC MarketScape: U.S. Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms 2022 Vendor Assessment. Qlik’s also been a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence platforms for the past 12 years.
Qlik and Talend are both owned by Thoma Bravo, a nationwide private growth and equity firm. This fact, in addition to the complementary nature of their capabilities, may have contributed to the proposed acquisition. “We are excited about this proposal to have two of our leading portfolio companies join forces to accelerate the vision of making a difference in the world through data,” commented Thoma Bravo Managing Partner Seth Boro.
Acquiring Talend’s platform, technologies, and intellectual property could help Qlik in numerous ways. Talend’s architecture would enable Qlik to improve the data engineering necessary for the business analytics and Artificial Intelligence offerings (including conversational AI) for which Qlik is known. Talend’s cross-cloud capabilities could not only expand the sources and data types organizations utilize, but also do so seamlessly with embedded data governance, data privacy, and data engineering.
The benefits of this approach could simplify the inherent complications of functioning in a hybrid and multicloud environment by streamlining processing within a single technology stack. According to Potter, “The potential of combining Qlik and Talend would help enterprises dealing with complex data environments drive more business value through their data.”
Front and Backend Processing
As an enterprise-grade data management solution, Talend helps organizations solidify all aspects of data preparation. This includes facets of transformation, data modeling, metadata management, lifecycle management, and more. These capabilities could significantly expand the utility of Qlik’s data management tooling so that the company solidifies its name beyond BI and analytics.
For example, Talend’s data cataloging functionality could broaden Qlik’s current data catalog offering to encompass aspects of fine-grained access controls, security, and data quality. Underpinning Qlik with these facets of Talend’s tooling has the potential to make the former’s back-end processing as widely used as its frontend dashboards, visualizations, and BI components are. Qlik’s share of the data management market has the potential to enlarge accordingly.
Comprehensive Data Management, Again
According to Qlik CEO Mike Capone, “Bringing together Qlik and Talend would be a game-changer. Both companies have differentiated their offerings to help customers drive more business value from data. Together, we would continue to embody the culture, expertise, and partnership that customers value, and operate at the scale needed to lead and innovate in an ever-evolving technology landscape.”
But Qlik already has a significant data management offering, built largely through the previous acquisition of companies like Podium Data, Attunity, and Blendr.io in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. These deals provided Qlik with solutions for data preparation, data quality, data catalog, change data capture, integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) and more, all of which have a great deal of overlap with the Talend portfolio. So, assuming the deal closes, the question is whether the Talend assets will replace those already in place, or if they will somehow be merged into them for a best-of-all-worlds offering.
We also have to wonder, if Qlik and Talend were not both Thoma Bravo portfolio companies, would this deal even be happening? Is this more about concentrating talent (no pun intended) and books of business than about combining complimentary capabilities? Well, the data integration/pipeline space has a lot of vendors and some consolidation is in order, no matter how the M&A activity may be justified or rationalized. And as Qlik continues to build out an end-to-end platform for data, covering everything from ingestion to management to analytics and machine learning, this enlargement of its franchise makes sense, at least at a macro level.