Rico Barth, CEO KIX Service Software GmbH




The year is running at full speed. A new version of KIX with many enhancements has recently been released, preparations are being made internally for the KIXCONF user conference, and the partner network is being further expanded. In this interview, CEO Rico Barth reviews the past year, highlights current challenges and reports on what he is particularly looking forward to in 2024.

2023 was a major challenge. The migration from KIX version 17 to version 18 was and still is a construction site - existing customers had to be convinced, which sometimes led to discussions. As KIX CEO: How do you look back on 2023?

Last year was also a challenging yet successful year for us due to the overall economic problems in Europe. The digitalization and simplification of service processes and the resulting benefits for companies and public organizations have enabled us to achieve double-digit growth.

We also took a decisive step forward with KIX, the leading open source service management software: Many of our existing customers switched to the new product generation. As a result, consulting and support had and still have their hands full bringing together customer wishes and KIX requirements.


That sounds like a Herculean task.

Indeed it is. And yes, we have not been able to fulfill all functional requirements to date, and that is not expedient. We always have to weigh up exactly what makes sense for the majority of customers and what goes hand in hand with our product planning and strategy. It should be noted that the new KIX product generation is not an upgrade - it is a completely new product, powered by new technology. Despite all the challenges, there has been a lot of positive customer feedback.Our thanks go to our many customers who trust in KIX and our product development and support capabilities.


Is there anything that is currently very relevant for KIX?

In addition to day-to-day issues, "open source" and its political implications also have an impact on us as a software manufacturer. One example of this is the Cyber Resilience Act, which is currently causing quite a stir in the offices of the EU.

But also when it comes to fundamental questions of responsibility with open source or increased requirements in terms of cyber security due to the recently ratified NIS2 directive - all of this requires appropriate standards, which in turn are applied by KIX and, in addition to security, also increase trust when using KIX. This applies in particular to the public sector and critical infrastructures. Under the auspices of the OSB Alliance, we are working together with other companies to make progress in this area.


And what has happened internally at KIX?

Last year, we took a close look at our corporate structure. After the leaden coronavirus years, we realized that we cannot remain stuck with the status quo. Accordingly, we are working on establishing an integrated matrix structure: The main aim here is to clarify what the processes between the individual departments and the cooperation between them should look like.

The aim is to intensify cooperation and make better use of cross-departmental skills. Ultimately, we want to find answers to the following question: What should work at KIX look like? How do we want to work together? In internal workshops, we provide the space for this so that the company can develop together, from working students to the CEO, and ultimately deliver the best product and the best service to the customer.


April is just around the corner, 2024 is in full swing: what is planned?

On the one hand, we naturally have the migration of existing customers high on our homework list. To this end, we are working on adding important functions that will definitely make the sometimes complex system changes easier for our customers.

Internally, the ITIL® 4 recertification for KIX is also on the agenda. KIX is and remains the leading certified open source service management software with which service organizations can work in compliance with ITIL - and at an attractive price. Apart from that, we are of course holding intensive talks with highly interesting potential customers, we are continuing to expand our partner network and there are also a large number of trade fair visits in the DACH region. Let me put it this way: it won't be boring for KIX in 2024 either.

In conclusion: What are you particularly looking forward to as CEO of KIX?

I'm actually really looking forward to our user conference "KIXCONF" here in Chemnitz. We are already working at full speed behind the scenes, and on June 12 the time has come: two packed days, exclusive user stories, interesting workshops - over 100 IT experts from industry and the public sector will be guests in Chemnitz! It's great to be in contact with our KIX users, to experience their enthusiasm for our product, but also to receive constructive criticism, new ideas and inspiring impulses.


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