Compare the Cloud has been interviewing cloud experts and learning about their companies, today the spotlight is on Khaos Control Cloud. We sat down with Mike Cockfield, Founder and Managing Director of parent company Keystone Software Development, to find out a bit more about his business.
[easy-tweet tweet=”Keystone Software Development was founded in 2000 in order to revolutionise business management software” hashtags=”Cloud”]
Tell us about yourself and your experience in the cloud computing industry.
Keystone Software Development was founded in 2000 in order to revolutionise business management software for SME retailers. Our ERP solution, Khaos Control, is currently used by hundreds of retailers across the UK. Khaos Control Cloud is our first cloud solution and builds on the experience, knowledge and skills that we have developed during that time, to produce a compelling product aimed at small and micro-retailers that need to ditch their spreadsheets in order to grow their businesses.
Who are Khaos Control Cloud and what is your differentiator?
We are a wide-ranging business management solution for small and micro retailers that is completely browser-based. Khaos Control Cloud provides a breadth of functionality that is unrivalled at our price point, ensuring that companies can focus on developing their companies, rather than worrying about how to integrate their CRM, to their stock control, to their accounts. Our solution encompasses all of these functions and much more, which provides businesses with a powerful, all-round solution with which to manage their organisations.
What countries have KC:Cloud deployed into?
Initially we are focusing on the UK. However, Khaos Control Cloud is location agnostic and can already be used worldwide. The solution has been developed in a way that will make it quick and simple for us to move into non-English speaking territories.
What are the development plans for KC:Cloud?
Our development plans for Khaos Control Cloud are aggressive and far-reaching. This is not a product that will stand still and early adopters will benefit hugely from the ongoing development phases that we have planned for the product. After launch date we will involve our user community with the product development roadmap. Users will be able to up-vote the features that will have the most impact for them and will be part of the development process for Khaos Control Cloud. As a cloud solution, updates will be released to the entire user community regularly and seamlessly, ensuring that the product is constantly moving forward.
Where did the name Khaos Control Cloud come from?
As a company we develop solutions that help to control the chaos in customers’ businesses so that they can focus on growth, hence Khaos Control. With such a striking product name, we decided to build upon that when naming our browser-based product, hence Khaos Control Cloud.
What are the trends your organisation is noticing in the marketplace?
The key trend for us is the continued growth of pure play retailers; companies that only sell online. Online marketplaces and the ability they provide for individuals to test and trial products and brands continues to drive the expansion of micro and small retailers. These companies get so far with manual tools, spreadsheets and other single solutions, but they are held back by not being able to get control of their business as a whole.
The second key trend from our perspective is Omnichannel retail. Providing a consistent experience to your customers, regardless of the way in which they’re interacting with you is becoming vital, regardless of the terminology you use to define that. That is only possible if you have the right system and business processes in place in order to join everything together. If you’re using Seller Central, Magento’s CRM and other marketplace back-ends to manage your customers and order fulfilment then you will miss out on the opportunity to provide that consistent experience and every person on every channel will be treated as an individual. Having a single system that allows you to control all of that customer data and interaction means that you can get back to understanding who your customers are and how and where they’re interacting with you. You can make them feel valued and ensure that their experience is as excellent as possible, every time they shop with you.
How do you intend to attract customers to your new platform?
We’re looking to grow Khaos Control Cloud as organically as possible, focusing on generating content that will help the entrepreneurs and businesses we know Khaos Control Cloud will help from day one. We’re building our following on Facebook and Twitter, as well as looking to raise awareness of our brand and the product via more traditional methods – hence this interview! We are also looking to mix in physical events, and the first of these will be a series of roadshows across the country during the first week of July 2016.
What is your definition of cloud computing?
For us, cloud computing means providing browser-based solutions to our customers that can be used securely anywhere and at any time.
What does your average day involve?
An early start! I’m still a developer at heart, and I love nothing more than getting into the office at 6am and spending a couple of hours with my head in a new development challenge or problem before the office gets busy. I deliberately work in the heart of our open plan office, so once the working day is in full swing I’m as accessible as possible. To-do lists and task lists are an essential tool to ensuring that accessibility doesn’t end in tasks being missed!
There will be meetings every day, ranging from strategy and general marketing through to 1-2-1s and technical. I like to keep things dynamic and agile, but I also know that giving my time up to my colleagues is vital to ensuring that they feel valued and supported.
I always take a break for lunch, getting myself away from my machine is vital in order to gather my thoughts and focus on what I want to do that afternoon. On an ideal day, I’ll be done by 4pm and will relax with some home-cooked food and some time for the family and myself.
Who is the team behind Khaos Control Cloud?
Keystone Software Development now has more than 40 employees and it feels a little unfair to only highlight those working with me on our cloud solution. However, the key technical people behind the product, in addition to myself, are:
Steve Jefferson – Senior Developer
David Capps – R&D
Matt Hadden – Developer
Max Read – Designer
[easy-tweet tweet=”#Cloud computing means providing solutions for our customers that can be used anywhere and at any time”]
If you could change one thing about the cloud computing industry?
Standardise browsers! Everyone has their own favourite and new browsers continue to thrive, with Vivaldi being the latest example. But they all have their own quirks and features and taking advantage of them in a way that benefits our users is a challenge!