Qualtrics is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company and the provider of some of the world’s leading business insights platforms. Enterprises, academic institutions and government agencies use Qualtrics to collect, analyse and act on customer, market and employee insights, all from a single platform.
It started in 2002 by brothers Ryan and Jared Smith, with a few friends, in their ‘parent’s basement’. In a video presentation – because his flight from the US had been severely delayed – Ryan Smith said that “We liked to do everything differently since we started – it has worked perfectly … We wanted everyone to be able to be a researcher and our software has democratised data.”
It started APAC expansion in October 2014 employing three staff, which has now grown to more than 50. It now has more than 450 local customers and has also opened offices in Melbourne and Canberra and established a local data centre to support its growing Australian client base and comply with Australia’s data sovereignty requirements.
“We started with the Academic market first – and more than 1.6 million in 1800 universities have learned to use Qualtrics software. The logical extension was that they took it to the 8500 corporations.
Smith was clear – Qualtrics as a platform (software as a service) is easy to use, powerful and has enabled enterprises and government departments to insource analysis instead of costlier outsourcing. “We times are tight you cannot afford bad decisions.”
Susan Calvert, Executive Director, Office of International Engagement, Department of Premier & Cabinet, New South Wales Government officially opened the office and highlighted the broad use of the Qualtrics actionable insights platform by all levels of government. She was standing in for NSW Government. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, who was unavoidably diverted on government business.
Bill McMurray, Qualtrics Managing Director Asia Pacific and Japan, is a seasoned IT veteran with a career spanning over thirty years starting with IBM and most recently Managing Director for CA Technologies in Australia and New Zealand.
He recounted the journey over the past eighteen months starting with three and growing to more than 50 staff – he is looking for 20 more! Asked what Qualtrics had done right to sustain such growth, he said, “Its critical with software as a service that you give value or clients simply don’t renew. We are now the dominant vendor in the market with a turnover bigger than all our competitors combined.”
Qualtrics already works with some of the top brands in most industries in Australia, including 80 per cent of universities, over 30 market research agencies, three of the four top banks and some of the largest government agencies.
He was clear about the relationship between employee engagement and customer engagement, “You need a closed loop system to develop actionable insights – one does not work without the other, and it is not just about the data.”