Since being founded in 1993 Softcat have grown to be one of the largest IT infrastructure providers in the UK and a FTSE 250 listed company. They have over 1,000 staff across 6 offices in the UK, serving over 12,000 customers. Softcat provide organisations with workplace, datacentre, networking and security solutions combined with all the services required to design, deliver and support these, on premise or in the cloud.
As a rapidly growing business, Softcat needed a business insight (BI) system that was resilient, scalable and simple-to-use at scale. Recognising that the existing system was not suitable to support the future plans of the Softcat business, and required allocated resource to extract information in a usable format, Softcat decided to look for an alternative that would provide real value to the business.
Softcat were looking for a system which would display the data in a visually attractive way and present high levels of customisation over which data could be displayed at any given time. Softcat wanted a more intuitive user experience and, with business and employee growth continuing, something with high reliability that could scale to meet future requirements.
Softcat approached Qlik because of their reputation within the industry. After consultation with Qlik staff, they suggested that Softcat use Qlikview®, a product designed with guided analytics, designed to provide deep insights through a flexible, business-ready solution. Several of the Softcat technical staff and key data users were involved in selecting Qlik to provide Softcat with a solution. Softcat believed that the high level of customisation and business-driven analysis paths would be a perfect match to the Softcat business needs, as Alastair Wynn, Sales Operations Director at Softcat, explains: “The move to Qlik was a very positive change for the business; replacing a previously archaic data platform, with an attractive tool to make the most of the data we store. The tool has brought our data to life, and allows our users to access useful information anytime, from anywhere.”
Softcat now have a system in place which is producing real business benefits. The data is now presented in an attractive way that provides information quickly, and is geared towards helping staff find sales opportunities. The system shows the data in a way which enables Softcat’s staff to build a strategy incorporating measurable sales goals, and is utilised as an effective sales tool, not simply a way of displaying numbers.
Qlik have provided Softcat’s staff with a quick reference dashboard which is customised for each member of the sales team, providing easy access to all key information relating to an account, accessible in a variety of ways and easily filtered.
“Qlik has transformed the way in which our sales team interact with data”, concludes Alastair Wynn. “As a result of the upgrade, decisions can be made faster, and our sales team are more focussed than ever before as a result of the information made available to them.”
The Qlik system is also saving Softcat time and money by delivering Monthly Service Reports to the Softcat delivery managers. A task that before was taking 3-4 hours to complete now takes, on average, 30 minutes.
Paul Way, Head of EMEA Channels at Qlik, adds: “We are delighted to have been supporting Softcat’s leadership in the industry by providing them a solution that not only shows a real and positive improvement in their processes by utilizing their data to make quicker business decision at a lower cost to their business. With Qlik’s platform approach we are able to solve both today’s issues and continue to grow the solution supporting Softcat’s ongoing accelerated growth in the UK market.”
The solution is used by over 600 sales staff at Softcat, plus training and service delivery staff. The system is stable and reliable, and with three years’ growth, has been proven as a scalable platform which is meeting the needs of a growing IT provider.