Day 3 of Qonnections and there’s no slowing down yet!

We’ve crammed in as many sessions as we could and have picked out some of the key messages from today to share with you. We are proud to be a part of this global data revolution.

Corporate Social Responsibility

We had our eyes truly opened to the possibilities of using our skills for good. Jake Porway, Founder of DataKind gave a fantastic session this morning. Jake works with a network of volunteers to use big data to tackle social problems. His organisation connects skilled data professionals, community representatives and other stakeholders to help charities and NGOs benefit from the power of analytics. They are literally saving and improving lives by harnessing the power of Qlik! We were inspired by Jake’s work and plan to volunteer some of Vanilla’s skills to support his amazing initiative.

An example of where DataKind’s work is doing good can be found here, where BI is being used to forecast and plan water demand in California when every drop counts. Click here to read more.

On a lighter note, we were both stunned and amused by The LA Swimmer- 43123 Pools I have not visited and never will. Take a look by clicking here.

United Nations Data Revolution

Qlik and the United Nations have partnered to bring the power of data analytics to humanitarian missions around the world. Problems in one country reverberate in another, Qlik and the UN are working collaboratively across sectors and industries to address how to realise new approaches to finance, investment, trade and technology. Leverage joint resources they are uncovering solutions. We found it exciting to see the vision for not just how data can be leveraged but for how they can make that date available to citizens across the world for their own understanding and to make a global impact, for good.


We attended a fascinating session on the Qlik GeoAnalytics platform which drew an important distinction between merely mapping data and instead, applying calculations and rules to allow critical business decisions to be made using geospatial input.  We would love to work with our customers to provide solutions for their business challenges using this power technology.

Augmented Intelligence

Finally, a glimpse of the future!  A highlight of the day was being given a preview of the prototype Qlik Conversational Bot.  This is really a test-bed for a host of new natural language and augmented intelligence features that Qlik are working on.  Using a text messaging interface, we could see the Bot understand business questions posed in human language and provide amazing answers, updates and analytics.  It was also able to remember the context of its ‘conversations’ and even interact with several users in a multi-way chat.  We were stunned and very slightly afraid!

One more day to go, get in touch for more info!

The latest version of Qlik Sense, Cloud focus and an App with groundbreaking Offline capabilities!

We’re just 48 hours into Qonnections 2017 and we’re already blown away by the latest developments, new offerings and partnership program for Vanilla Solutions. Here are some of the highlights so far!

The latest version of Qlik Sense

Anthony Deighton walked us through the updates to Qlik Sense. Available for deployment in June, the platform is set to run seamlessly both in the cloud and on-premise. Offering connectivity to hundreds of data sources, including enterprise, web and big data sources. In many cases, complex scripting is no longer needed as the platform comes with a host of new data transformation tools built directly into the Qlik Analytic Platform.

Hybrid Cloud Analytics 

The team at Qlik set out their roadmap to seamlessly connect on-premise deployments of Qlik Sense Enterprise, with cloud-based services, creating an environment for supporting customers’ evolving needs and choices. To achieve this, Qlik is making investments in its core infrastructure to support the customers’ ability to choose where the data resides, where the analysis happens, and where and with what device users want to access it.  Businesses are no longer confined to an either/or choice regarding on-premise or Cloud BI; they can have both at the same time!

Qlik Sense Mobile

Qlik is also rolling out Qlik Sense Mobile, a new, native iOS app. It harnesses the full power of Associative Different even when offline, with the Qlik Indexing Engine (QIX) running locally. Qlik Sense mobile will complement our portfolio of truly mobile and offline-enabled business applications, including Novacura Flow. This is a game changer, a full version of Sense quite literally at your fingertips even when you have no connectivity!

Big Data Capabilities

Qlik’s big data capabilities have been enhanced to include On Demand App Generation templates built directly into Qlik Sense, enabling users to navigate big data sources using associative search to discover areas for detailed analysis. On Demand App Generation empowers the user to automatically generate a purpose-built analysis app every time they select a slice of a very large data source. Now, self-service users can get up and running with big data easier and faster.

Advanced Analytics Integration, GeoAnalytics.

New advanced predictive analytics integration capability allows for direct data exchange between the QIX engine and third-party calculation engines. Qlik has released integrations using this interface for R and Python. This allows for advanced calculations from external tools to be visualised within Qlik Sense, in real-time as the user explores. With this capability, users can combine the power of Qlik’s Associative Model with advanced analytics to better support use cases such as fraud detection, sales forecasting, and inventory management.

Get in touch with Andy to find out more!

Protein logo

Client in Profile: Steve Bagwell, Protexin

Name: Steve Bagwell

Title: IT Manager

Company: Probiotics International (Protexin)

VS: How did you find out about Vanilla Solutions?

SB: I’d heard about Vanilla on a number of occasions and as I was looking for some help I accessed the Vanilla website and viewed some case studies and news articles. I liked what other customers had to say so I made the call, and I’m so glad I did!

VS: We’re glad you did too! How long have we been working together and how did our relationship develop?

SB: Vanilla first came on site with us early in 2016 and the relationship began with Vanilla assisting with the lead-up to go-live. Vanilla showed us a deep understanding of IFS early on and you continually help us to get the best possible solutions out of it.

VS: So what’s the main appeal of working with Vanilla?

SB: Vanilla is an agile business with 20+ full-time consultants and you’re really responsive. Your team of consultants are easy people to work with, they fit straight in and they’re all accessible. We’ve worked with a number of the team and developed a really strong working relationships with them where they are happy for us to email directly and always respond as soon as they can. The Vanilla business model aligned really well with our own, sometimes we find that bigger businesses aren’t very flexible or respond too slowly.

VS: What have been some of the key IFS Projects we’ve worked on with you?

 SB: Our web orders was one of the initial projects. Protexin sells via Tesco and Amazon online and we wanted to connect those orders up to our IFS system. We required someone who really knew their stuff and Vanilla supplied the right people for the job. The project required Vanilla’s team to configure the Connectivity part of IFS in order to get an order through, process it and receive using a standard IFS connection.   This was really a key project for us. You’ve also assisted with our data migration which was really quite complex, and you’ve helped us to figure out the set up for Crystal reports. We’ve had a large amount of help from your development team who hold a fantastic skillset. You’re currently working on a new area of development with regards to our Lab information management system and you offer us a support package to compliment our vendor support, where we can ask you questions and you’ll do whatever we require, mostly remotely, but on-site if needed.

VS: I understand that you’re also benefitting from some of our products and services to compliment your IFS solution.

SB: Yes, we have recently installed NovaCura Flow and it’s changed our entire approach – it’s truly limitless. Flow now runs all of our production and some of our warehousing, with a view to it running all of our warehousing in the near future. Your team got our team set up with Flow instantly, and the knowledge share empowered our business. We’re also working closely with your BI department and we’ve had a large amount QlikView development. Your team have helped us to visualise our data much more effectively.

 VS: How would you describe Vanilla?

 SB: Vanilla have an incisive sense of business needs. They are cost effective, diligent, industry experts. All of the team are accommodating and flexible, the consulting team spend time preparing in order to understand the business and become attuned to it. They don’t raise unrealistic expectations and offer very effective program management.

VS: Thanks for your time Steve.

SB: Always a pleasure.

About Protexin:

Protexin is dedicated to producing innovative research-based products of the highest quality for animals and humans. Their belief is that nature is an ideal source of effective healthcare solutions and that applied research and understanding can harness these solutions to the benefit of both humans and animals. The natural healthcare and probiotic supplements they manufacture are extensively researched for safety and efficacy. They work closely with leading universities, hospitals and research centres around the world on a range of ongoing research programmes. Protexin manufacture in their own purpose built, state-of-the-art facility in Somerset, UK. This allows them to be completely in control of their product quality. All products are subject to the highest, accredited standards of production and quality control and they hold the following quality certifications; cGMP (MHRA), ISO 9001:2008, BETA NOPS, each of which involves regular audits to ensure standards are maintained.

About Us:

Established in 2009, Vanilla Solutions help clients to get the best possible return on their investment through consulting, training, support and products. With a turnover in excess of £2.5million, Vanilla Solutions continues to offer fundamental, independent services to users of IFS Applications. Whether an organisation is embarking on a new implementation, a business transformation program, or simply need some ongoing support, Vanilla have the extensive industry experience needed to extract the best value from investment in IFS Applications. Positioning themselves as part of the project team they provide clients with expert advice and the resources they require to make their chosen business systems work for them. Their consultants and technical staff are all employed in-house and sourced from a wide range of industries to bring a hugely diverse set of skills. This is evident by their broad customer base, ranging from large Aerospace & Defence clients to small manufacturing and service companies.  Vanilla Solutions also provide complementary solutions that enhance the functionality of their clients IFS investments and other software solutions they might use including Novacura Flow and Qlik.

For more information, contact:

Abigail Ridgway

Head of Sales & Marketing

Vanilla Solutions


ALE makes Qlik Sense their Global BI Solution

Vanilla Solutions are pleased to announce that ALE, one of the world’s leading international heavy transport and lifting contractors, have selected Qlik Sense as their Global BI solution.


“With the help of Vanilla Solutions, we evaluated both QlikView and Qlik Sense to ensure we selected the correct product to meet our reporting requirements in the medium to long term.  Vanilla replicated some of our reports in both products and we took the decision to deploy Qlik Sense into the business.  Once implemented, we very quickly we were able to migrate our customer survey reporting from Excel to Qlik Sense.  This is now live, analysing our customer satisfaction survey results and providing us with a quicker and greater insight into customer feedback”- Jeremy Fothergill, Global Business Systems Manager for ALE

Qlik Sense is a next-generation visual analytics platform that empowers everyone to see the whole story that lives within their data. It supports a full spectrum of BI use cases, including self-service visualisation, guided analytics apps and dashboards, embedded analytics, and reporting, all within a governed framework that offers enterprise scalability and trust for IT. Qlik Sense is built on the QIX Associative Data Indexing engine, the second generation of Qlik’s proven and patented engine technology. Qlik’s Associative Model allows the business to probe all the possible associations that exist in their data, across all their data sources, to see the whole story instead of just the partial views offered by query-based or hierarchical tools. Qlik Sense takes analytics to a new level of power and flexibility, so that everyone is more informed and capable of acting and reacting faster.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with ALE, initially providing two proof of concept applications and now developing the first of many Qlik Sense applications.  Our aim now is to help the ALE internal team upskill so that they can continue their development themselves and start to realise the power of the Qlik Sense.  This self-service ability is one of the key benefits of Qlik and one of the reasons we are partners, as we believe in empowering our customers to become self-sufficient users of their applications”- Jason Belcher, Director of Vanilla Solutions

Click here to find out more about Qlik Sense or contact us today