This month, October 2020, is full of exciting changes for Kinetic! We’re delighted to give a warm welcome to our new Head of Products – Adam Calladine. Adam has great experience and a breadth of knowledge that will help Kinetic take our products to the next level on the route of innovation.
Adam has performed a variety of roles within the last 15 years but all within the higher education industry – from a Business Systems Manager at the University of Birmingham, through being one of the first Product Managers at Kinetic, to the Systems Development Manager role for Liberty Living, a purpose-built student accommodation provider with nearly 25,000 beds, and now he is back at Kinetic!
We thought it would be great for you to meet Adam and put a face to the name, so we have asked him some questions…
It’s rather rare for professionals to re-join one of the companies they used to work for. What was your motivation for this? What makes Kinetic such an attractive company to work for?
The company has changed and grown considerably since I left five years ago, as have I, and it really does feel like the journey of Kinetic and I have converged at the right moment in time. Kinetic is embarking on the next step of innovation, consolidating 22 years of delivering excellence to the sector and bringing new and exciting opportunities. I have been through my own journey working for the customers we serve and experienced the difference the products make and how essential they are first-hand, which gives me great insight as to where Kinetic could and should go next.
I have never stopped being inspired by the team at Kinetic, even after I left the business and formed a new client/supplier relationship. I have held nothing but the upmost respect for the team and that team and culture played a huge role in my desire to return to the business.
Your experience is quite varied but very much related to the higher education sector, what is your outlook on the current situation?
I think the current situation is incredibly difficult for all sectors, it is so unique and unrelatable that it is impossible to predict what will happen next and to develop coping and mitigating strategies. Higher education is no exception to this. Universities and college campuses are places where students from across the world live and study in close proximity to each other and many offer conferencing and events services. The impact on the sector is far-reaching: the impact on the intake of international students; loss in revenue from the closure of meetings and events spaces; the challenges in delivering world-class teaching remotely; the potential impact of the exam results being estimated on drop-out rates; the potential for welfare and mental health concerns amongst an isolating population and much more.
However, one thing we can be sure about is that there will always be a need for education and new opportunities as we adapt as a society to the impact of the pandemic. For a society to adapt, education has a critical role to play, there will be a requirement by people for re-education to take on new roles in an alternative, existing and emerging sectors.
The software Kinetic provides underpins the core operations and revenue generation of the institutions and companies we serve through student accommodation and events operations. Kinetic is in a unique position to be able to invest and innovate to support the changing landscape in which these services are delivered.
What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as Head of Products at Kinetic?
It is a very exciting time to become part of Product development at Kinetic. With Student Life, KxPayments, Pulse and many more recent innovative developments, the product set is now much broader and goes deeper into our customer operations. This requires a product-focused culture, maturing the product set and ensuring focus is maintained on developments that support the future. I am passionate about the software Kinetic builds and the markets it serves, and I am constantly looking at how the products can make businesses more efficient and effective and I always have my eye on technology advancements.
My inspiration comes from the existing products that have been innovated and cultivated over many years and the teams involved in doing so. I believe I can build on the product strategy already in place to continue to build the best in class in a sustainable and maintainable way and cultivate innovation to help our clients adapt to the current situation and beyond.
How important do you think it is to innovate during the current climate and generally?
Innovation is key to any software business and especially key in times of change and uncertainty. Kinetic has met the challenges our customers face consistently and is a trusted partner for many HE institutions and a growing number of purpose-built student accommodation providers and conferencing venues. It is critical that we continue to innovate to support the changing role our software plays in these businesses.
It is also key to innovate from a technical perspective as the technical landscape moves at such pace. It is important to understand that innovation is not an internal and isolated process. The inspiration for innovation comes from all stakeholders - from our customers and our customers’ customers, other sectors, our software engineers, our sales, marketing, support and professional services teams. It is the challenge of the products team to collate, interpret and act on all this intelligence and context to make innovation a reality and this is the challenge I have signed up for.