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Meant to Move

Kinetic Data helps companies accelerate business-software tasks

Minneapolis / St. Paul Busine ss Journal - September 14, 2007
by Cati Vanden Breul, Contributing Writer  - Nancy Kuehn | Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

When John Sundberg decided to leave 3M Co. and pursue a career as an entrepreneur, he wasn't going to let anything stand in the way of his dreams -- even an announcement that his wife was pregnant with their first child.

That was nine years ago. Now Sundberg has four children, and one fully grown company, by the name of Kinetic Data Inc.

Sundberg left 3M's information technology department to start Kinetic Data, a consulting firm that shifted gears in 2003 and started to offer its own business-service-management (BSM) software to clients including General Mills Inc., Intel Corp. and IBM Corp.

Kinetic Data develops software tools to run on the BMC Remedy platform. IT service management system used by 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.

Companies usually invest $500,000 to $1.5 million in BMC software, so finding products that allow them to see the benefits in all areas of the firm is a great value proposition, Sundberg said.

Kinetic Data's best sellers are Kinetic Request, Kinetic Survey and Kinetic Calendar. The first manages employee service requests, the second sends out surveys to employees and the third allows employees to manage their personal and task calendars simultaneously and update them as necessary.

Each of the solutions can be used across departments and is designed to be navigated by non-developers.

"The goal is really to shorten the time frame from idea to action," he said.

Two years after Kinetic Data introduced its first products, its customer base doubled, and the market potential is huge, Sundberg said.

Approximately 100 out of the 10,000 companies that use BMC Remedy have purchased software from Kinetic Data. That leaves a lot of room for growth. And although there are other firms that develop business-service-management solutions, Kinetic Data found a niche because of its focus on the BMC platform.

A good chunk of the firm's sales come through partners such as St. Paul-based Meritide Inc., a technology consulting firm.

Meritide President Patrick Irestone has known Sundberg since their firms became competitors in the late 1990s, while Kinetic Data was still focused on consulting. Within days of finalizing their partnership in May, Meritide, a BMC premier partner, closed on its first sale of Kinetic Request and Kinetic Survey to St. Jude Medical Inc.

"Their software reflects an understanding of real-world processes and problems," Irestone said.

Over the next three years, Sundberg said the firm likely will develop additional software programs and continue to go after the big-name clients.

But, he adds, it won't fix what's not broken.

"When I think about the future, I think about doing a lot of the same things, because we are doing today what the dream was back then," Sundberg said.

Photo of John Sundberg

John Sundberg, president of Kinetic Data, said it has thrived because of a focus on a key software platform used by big companies.