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EXCLUSIVE: EOH, Qlik enter marriage of convenience

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JSE-listed IT services company EOH and US-based software company Qlik have made a compromise in their problematic contract.

This after ITWeb last month reported EOH and Qlik had cancelled their relationship.

A spokesperson at the JSE-listed company at the time said: “QlikTech, EOH and Deixis (the company through which the QlikTech partnership is executed in Southern Africa) have cancelled their contractual relationship due to commercial differences.”

The spokesperson added that Qlik and EOH were engaged in negotiations to reach a settlement to allow both parties to move forward in an amicable manner while still conducting business with each other.

Qlik (formerly known as QlikTech) is a software company founded in 1993 in Lund, Sweden, and is now based in Pennsylvania. Its main products are QlikView and QlikSense software for business intelligence and data visualisation.

Non-exclusivity

In a change of events this week, EOH and Qlik issued a joint statement, in which the companies indicated they will stick around together for the sake of their customers.

“Qlik and EOH are pleased to announce they have entered into a new non-exclusive arrangement that protects the interests and investments of their loyal customers and supports Qlik’s market strategy to expand its reach to better serve client needs,” the statement says.

The spokesperson explains that as the master reseller for Qlik, EOH represented Qlik in this region, and all other customers and partners worked through EOH to procure their licences and support.

“This was the exclusive arrangement,” the spokesperson says. “In the non-exclusive go-forward scenario, customers will have the choice to continue to procure licences and support from EOH, or to procure directly or indirectly from Qlik.

“Due to the changing nature of the technology landscape in South Africa, the terms of the exclusive agreement became the matter of discussion. This resulted in a financial consequence for both parties that required resolution.”

Going forward, the joint statement says, EOH will continue to support its existing customers, as well as expand its customer base as a Qlik solution partner.

“EOH has committed to support this strategy and, following an orderly transition, to serve the South African market along with other Qlik solution partners. The South African marketplace and, most critically, all Qlik customers will benefit from this new approach. Both parties reiterate their commitment to users of Qlik’s products and services in the territory and will continue to work together to ensure their customers continue to benefit from their committed partnership.”

The companies started formally doing business together in early 2015, having entered discussions in 2014.

At the time, it was mutually agreed that EOH would represent Qlik in Africa as the US-based firm does not have a local office.

EOH, through its iOCO operating division, provides end-to-end solutions in a systems integrator capacity, the spokesperson notes.

EOH recently renamed its ICT services business to iOCO, describing the unit as a key milestone in the company’s reorganisation process.

According to the spokesperson, the Qlik technology forms part of the data and analytics offerings to EOH’s customer base comprising 2 500 customers at the enterprise and large company level.

EOH provides data advisory services, data literacy consulting, software licences, implementation and support thereof.

“EOH and QlikTech have committed to ensuring the previous good relationship be restored to mutually ensure EOH and Qlik customers continue to get the good level of service they have been used to.”

Microsoft problems

Earlier this year, EOH had a contract problem with software giant Microsoft. In February, Microsoft terminated its contract with the IT services company after an anonymous whistle-blower filed a complaint with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission about alleged malfeasance to do with a R120 million contract with the SA Department of Defence.

This led EOH to request law firm ENSAfrica to conduct an investigation into EOH contracts to identify any wrongdoing or criminal conduct in the acquisition, award or execution of contracts.

The report found evidence of a number of governance failings and wrongdoing at EOH. It also identified suspicious transactions of R1.2 billion and these are being investigated by ENSafrica.

EOH Mthombo, the subsidiary that was largely implicated in the suspicious payments, will be closed within two years.

However, the spokesperson says the Qlik business within EOH is not included in the current forensic investigation and is not material to the group’s financials.

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