Have you heard of K2? How much do you know? Not much? (Perhaps you think of it primarily as a vendor selling a SharePoint workflow addon.) If so, you’re not alone. K2 hasn’t historically garnered as much coverage as the well-known BPM technology platform providers.
Take a look at this customer list, though. What do you notice? (Apart from the fact that the website looks a lot less ‘enterprise-y’ than you might expect).
The list is very international. It spans many industries. It features both large and small businesses. And it’s longer than you might think. This is at least partly because K2 has a dedicated ‘customer success’ team, focused on making sure that customers get value from their investments.
Since its founding in South Africa in 2000, K2 has been quietly but steadily growing by helping customers implement process applications on Microsoft platforms. Since 2011 its growth rate has increased markedly, and it’s now hitched its horses to Microsoft’s shift to the cloud with Azure, Office365 and SharePoint Online—with new technology releases currently in beta.
K2 now has over 250 employees and in fact has over 2,500 customers (with over 1m users of its technology) worldwide, served from offices in the US, UK, Singapore and South Africa. It’s currently adding around 500 new customers a year. As a company with its roots in South Africa, it’s interesting to note that its North American business has been growing very strongly in recent times and now accounts for about 60% of the company’s global business.
In the past couple of years K2 has continued to broaden its proposition beyond BPM/workflow, to include a standalone model-based form development tool (SmartForms); and richer reporting and data management capabilities—as well a delivering a range of native mobile apps. SmartForms appears to be gaining a lot of interest in the market, not least because Microsoft’s roadmap for its own InfoPath technology has become a bit muddy.
K2 principally plays on the speed and agility with which its customers can develop process applications, but despite its very pragmatic message (to perhaps oversimplify: "super-fast model-driven application development, with process management capability thrown in") there’s real BPM sophistication in this platform. For example K2′s ability to support exploratory work scenarios with case management application styles is really solid, and it has a good mobile story. K2 estimates that around half of its current serious prospects are interested in case management capabilities.
We’re going to be publishing an in-depth analysis of K2′s offering in the next couple of months—once a number of things currently available in beta form have become generally available. I’d be very interested to hear from you in the comments below if you have experiences with K2, or indeed if this piece was your introduction to the vendor…