Creating calm amidst the chaos, since 1999.
It’s the height of the dot-com boom and most tech companies are focused on the wrong things – they value investors over clients, profit over long-term relationships and winning pitches over delivering on promises. Our founder, Greg Evans, feels there’s a better way to do business. When the bubble bursts, he decides to start a company dedicated to the needs of its clients… Q:chi is born.
A visionary at a company called Network Associates explains that channel partner marketing management and MDF spend is often siloed into emails and Excel spreadsheets, leading to significant auditing challenges. She tasks Q:chi with creating an online solution that will transform how they manage their marketing budgets.
Having hired a team of developers, Q:chi begins building a cloud-based solution – quite the challenge when ‘cloud software’ doesn’t really exist yet. The first version of our channel marketing performance management system is deployed with Network Associates. We’re still working with them today, but you’ll know them as McAfee.
Having established our system in Europe, the Middle East and Africa we extend it to the Americas. Q:chi reaches Asia Pacific by the end of 2003.
Q:chi is now operating as an IBM partner, an independent software vendor and process consultancy. We’re also creating bespoke software for a number of big clients, including solutions for procurement automation, marketing budget spend control, approval workflows and ERP integration challenges.
During this time, we spot a gap in the market – a common set of problems that aren’t being addressed by big-name software vendors. We decide to start a self-funded journey, distilling our consultancy and software engineering expertise into a single modular platform.
We launch Q:be so that all marketers can find complete budget harmony. It has a smart dashboard, budget planning and spend control, approval workflows and integration with Salesforce.com and SAP. Within three months, we’ve landed our first global corporate client – we still work with them today.
We decide to integrate our many channel partner marketing solutions into the Q:be platform. The ‘Partners Q:be’ stores all partner information in one place and enables partners to create their own MDF requests.
We introduce our advanced planning feature, Planning Snapshots. We also create an advanced reporting solution, so that marketers can track how budget use changes throughout the year, while finance teams benefit from month-end and year-end financial controls.
We integrate Q:be with Oracle for vendors, partners, purchase orders, payments and credit notes. We also enable Google Apps integration and smart dashboarding with scheduled performance targets.
We introduce advanced financial receiving controls, our new automations framework and “Connected Planning”, which allows different functional teams to collaborate.
After two years of substantial research and development, we introduce the new Forms Q:be – a configuration-based framework for building rich and complex web forms and automations. We also enable integration with Slack, so that teams can receive notifications on the Q:be dashboard.
We release the Compliance Q:be, a feature-rich tool for tracking marketing project spend against corporate policies and contractual agreements. It’s built entirely from our Forms Q:be. We also introduce DocuSign integration, so that contract signatures can be part of an automated workflow.
This will be an exciting decade for Q:chi and our marketing performance management software. Our team is expanding rapidly and we are launching a brand awareness campaign. We’re also preparing to release the latest update of Q:be, which will be version 15.