Careers at K2
K2’s mission is to liberate people from slow, broken processes and existing legacy systems, transforming the old into better, agile solutions.
Upon graduating from college in Johannesburg, South Africa, Adriaan van Wyk and Olaf Wagner shared a dream of making process automation a simpler task for companies. So in 2000 they founded K2, a provider of business application solutions and platforms that enable users to build and run business apps, simple or complex. 2001 saw their first public software release.
In 2002 the company opened its first foreign office (in Singapore) and achieved its first international sale. In 2004 it established headquarters in the U.S., and in 2006 it opened offices in APAC and EMEA. In 2007 it released its flagship K2 blackpearl product. By 2014 it had over 3,500 clients and more than 250 employees. In 2015 it raised $153.5 million in a Series C round led by Francisco Partners.
Benefits at K2
Business model of K2
K2 has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at organizations of all industries and sizes.
K2 offers two primary value propositions: performance and brand/status.
The company demonstrates strong performance through tangible results. It commissioned Forrester Consulting to identify the benefits of its K2 blackpearl solution. Forrester conducted interviews with several K2 clients and conducted a financial analysis, then used the information to simulate a composite organization using the product. The hypothetical firm saw the following outcomes:
- $6.1 million in Net Present Value (NPV)
- Productivity gains of $3.44 million
- Process application management efficiency gains of $752,541
- Reduction in labor costs by $787,051
- Reduction in application development time by 78%
- Reduction in business process app development costs by $1.1 million
- Payback within 9.2 months
- 466% return on investment after deploying the blackpearl platform
Specific positive outcomes for actual clients include the following:
- Credit union First West used K2’s solutions to transform its business banking application process, resulting in a shortening of the process from days/weeks to 40 minutes.
- AXA Wealth used K2’s solutions to automate back-office functions, resulting in the ability to process more than 1,000 tasks per day and more productivity
- Logistics firm GEFCO used K2’s solutions to to improve its invoice management, resulting in the ability to process 700,000 invoice pages per year, up from 40,000
- Kinross Gold used K2’s solutions to automate a dozen processes, resulting in a rise in efficiency and the transformation of $1 billion of manual capital requests into an automated process
- The Commercial Bank of Qatar used K2’s solutions to improve its loan origination process, resulting in a 50% reduction in FTEs and a 35% reduction in turnaround times
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It has over 1,500 clients in over 84 countries, representing over 1.5 million end-users. Its clients include 30% of the Fortune 100. Its employees operate out of offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. Lastly, it has won a number of honors, including the following:
- Software & Technology Award for Best Business Process Management Suite from Corporate America magazine
- Network Asia Information Management Award for Most Promising Business App Platform
K2’s main channel is its direct sales team. It also sells its products and services through resellers. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, webinars, and participation in forums, summits, and conferences.
K2’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
Training Services – The company offers training on use of its products in several formats: instructor-led public classroom, instructor-led private on-site, instructor-led virtual, and on-demand virtual. It also enables clients to receive certification so they can demonstrate their expertise.
Professional Services – The company offers two types of services:
- Core Services - Standard consulting services targeted at newer clients. Specific services include platform establishment, onsite mentoring, remote mentoring, and training.
- Full Lifecycle Services – Services that help clients through the entire lifecycle of their implementations. Specific services include Discovery and Definition; Application Design, Architecture, and Planning; Solution Development, Implementation and Knowledge Transfer; and Remote Mentoring.
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company maintains the K2 Learning Library, through which clients can download learning materials. Its website features a “Resources” section that includes white papers, eBooks, case studies, webinars, infographics, and videos. The site also features the “Knowledge Center”, which provides articles and product documentation. There is also a community element in the form of K2 Community , a forum where clients can interact.
K2’s business model entails designing and developing its products for customers.
K2 maintains the following types of partnerships:
- Value-Added Resellers (VAR) – Firms that offer integrated products and services that build K2 solutions into end-user accounts. Specific partners include Acando, Betimes Solutions, CDS Solution Corporation, DataPoint Solutions, Entermarkets Consulting Services, First Digital, and InDocs.
- Global Systems Integrators (GSI) –Firms that support large enterprise customers and help manage integrations of K2 products with their business systems. Specific partners include Avanade, Cognizant Technology Solutions, HCL Technologies Limited, Infosys, and Tata Consultancy Services.
- Delivery Partners – Firms that provide best-practices installations/implementations and expert systems for customers utilizing K2 software. Specific partners include 5th Method, BPIO Consulting, bridgingIT GmbH, Caprivi Solutions, Dynamyx, Dynappix, ES2, jEyLaBs, LogiqueIQ, and slicedbread.
- Technology Alliance Partners – Firms that add complementary capabilities to K2’s platform so its clients can get the most out of their software investments. Specific partners include Adlib, Archon Digital, Box, DocuSign, HotDocs, InRule Technology, Microsoft, Muhimbi, and Qorus Software.
Benefits for partners include sales incentives, revenue rebates, product discounts, sales leads, opportunity registration, technical and sales training, marketing funding, and marketing tools.
K2’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers that design and develop its products, the sales employees that promote them, the training/consulting employees that provide instruction/advisory services, and the customer service personnel that provide support.
It has relied on funding from outside parties, raising $153.5 million as of April 2015.
K2 has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent service enhancements. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense.
Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and customer support/operations, both fixed costs.
K2 has two revenue streams: revenues it generates from the sale of its products and revenues it generates from the sale of its services.
info: Adriaan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a B.Com. in Information Systems at the University of Johannesburg. He previously served as the Co-Founder and CEO of SourceCode Technology Holdings, which developed K2.
info: Koos previously served as Chief Software Architect of SourceCode Labs and Vision Solutions, as a Technology Specialist at SourceCode North America, as an R&D Manager at IDION, and as a Software Developer at Tool Communications.
info: Jared earned an undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University. He previously served as CFO of Predix, as Principal Economist and CFO of Mozy, as a Senior Finance Manager at Microsoft, and as a Senior Auditor at Arthur Andersen.
info: Mike earned a B.S. degree at the University of Puget Sound. He previously served as Co-Founder, President, and CEO of WiMetrics, as an APM Specialist at Dynatrace, and as Principal Program Manager at Microsoft.
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