K2—Putting the BPM Establishment on Notice

In this first part of a two-part report, TEC's P.J. Jakovljevic takes a close-up look of the business process management (BPM) vendor K2, focusing on the business strategies and products that have allowed the vendor to become a serious contender in the BPM space.
The business process management (BPM) software market is a vibrant one, replete with viable providers. Over the last several years, K2 has expanded to become a serious contender in the BPM space, challenging the likes of IBM, Appian, Pegasystems, Tibco, OpenText, Software AG, and others. The company helps people build and run business applications including forms, workflow, data, and reports (see figure 1). Within departments and across enterprises, K2 customers can rapidly transform their companies with applications that connect their people to information and work, anywhere and at any time.

Figure 1

The company began operating in South Africa and expanded to create a global footprint with customers and partners in Europe, the US, and Asia. Adriaan van Wyk, the chief executive officer (CEO) of K2, Lenz le Roux, and Olaf Wagner established SourceCode in 1997. In 2000, SourceCode Technology Holdings, Inc. was founded with Global Headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. The product is based on Microsoft technologies, and the geographic closeness was apparently important to its founders. As figure 2 depicts, the company began doing business under the name of K2 in 2006 with the launch of its current flagship BPM product suite K2 blackpearl, focusing on allocating work for people with all the information they need to make better decisions. The software platform is currently built in English only, with additional language packs planned in 2014.

K2 has more than 350 employees, more than 500 partners, and thousands
of customers globally, and it reports that its mission is to put customers above everything else—helping them get the job done and accelerating their performance.

K2’s ideal prospective customer is looking to quickly assemble and build business applications based on data and processes, allowing for quick automation to react and respond to information. In other words, the product can cater to many constituents: the information technology (IT) department looking for choice in deployment (on premise, cloud, and hybrid) and business users looking to be empowered with the tools they use, without IT (other than perhaps coaching and guiding them), to run their business and deliver insights, processes, and decisions quickly and intuitively. K2’s customers share the same business needs for reacting to information flows, regardless of size or industry.

Figure 2


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