A few years after the first Internet connection in our country, which occurred in a computer room at the University of Chile in 1992, another group of visionaries laid the foundations of what is now established as Ki Teknology. InterMedia was born in 1996 and Kepler Tehnology in 1998; after years of effort, teamwork and growth, they merged to give life to Ki.
In the early reality of these companies Internet evolved along with technology. "In InterMedia we were not more than 10 people and worked in a windowless office, shared with another company. The team was a design area performing superhuman efforts in implementing simple programming routines and there was no development area", recalls Alejandro Fuentes, one of the oldest employees of the company and today manager of Vertical GET (Government Education and Transport).
While that was happening in InterMedia, to an office in downtown Santiago came a group of Serbs to work in Kepler. "There were about 12 or 13 people, Argentinean, Serbs, Chileans, all informatics. “I got to work as a process analyst and had to be prepared to take in new issues in an expert level. We neither thought in design yet, we made complex jobs, strongly related to banking transactions. Things always worked with simple solutions to complex problems thanks to KTF, but it did not look pretty", says Sebastian Brant, one of the oldest employees of KI and today Vertical Manager Financial and International Services.
The human factor of Ki
Alejandro came to InterMedia when he was 24 as a designer. "In those years, we were using Front Page and Photoshop for web development. Imagine what that was! Front Page was unmanageable, it generated a code that had to be cleaned, filled with tables. Photoshop, meanwhile, only recently premiered layers, only managed a history of an option for controlling Z and obviously for web did not provide benefits at that time", says Alejandro.
Jano, as everyone tells in the office, is a clear example of the company’s vision. At the time of expansion, when they had to look for managers and people who make decisions, they chose to empower their own people. So the ones who assumed big positions were Alejandro, Sebastian Brant, Arturo Mirol, from Infrastructure and Processes; Carlos Arenas from Administration and Finance, and Eriks Duran from Sales.
They were awarded in the 20 years celebration and devoted a few words to Ki workers. They were excited, proud of what they built and of the fondly memories of their beginnings at the company
"In 2005, Andrés Meersohn -InterMedia founder and current director of the company- invited us to a meeting where he introduced us to two nice Argentineans," says Alejandro Fuentes. At that meeting, which also attended Sebastian Brant as a consultant, was conceived what would be born as Ki Teknology in 2008.
The K + I
One of those friendly Argentineans was Carlos Lewit, one of the directors of Ki and founder of Kepler Technology. Carlos is a friendly and relaxed man. He was Executive Director of Kepler, President and Director of Business Development and the person in charge of the merger process with InterMedia.
“"We will be the first Chilean company to export software to the US," Carlos said one day to his team in Kepler. "The leadership of Carlos was strong, we followed him around," recalls Sebastian Brant. "But when he started talking about export to the United States, the truth is that it seemed like a utopia". The truth is that in 2006, we had the first customers in that country.
Kepler's InterMedia Technology resulted in the birth of Ki Teknology, where Carlos was General Manager until April 2013. Position occupied later by his son Martin Lewit, the other sympathetic Argentinean who was at the meeting of the merger.
Martin has been a key player in the growth of the company, especially in the initial efforts of internationalization to the United States and the definition of the strategy and implementation processes of Ki.
The next 20 years
Several colleagues were recognized for his career in the company. Those who numbered more years were the most excited and grateful. "Thank you for letting me be part of this dream", said Arturo Mirol, manager of Infrastructure and Processes.
The same emotion broke Rodrigo’s Olave voice, Project Manager in the company, when he recalled his years in Ki. He only had words of thanks and good wishes for this "small society" formed by more than 250 people, as named by Delia Laforet, current president of the board.
“"The important thing is that legal entities do not die", said Monica Retamal, also director of the company and former manager at InterMedia. She recalled her beginnings in this area when the built of internet began in Chile and all the impactful technological changes that has seen throw her career.
"Thinking where I will be in 20 years..." asked Carlos Lewit at closing. “...I hope alive," joked making a toast to the dream that once had, which took him a lifetime and today is reality.
- At the beginning of InterMedia and KEPLER Technology, there weren’t smartphones, Facebook, Twitter and everything we know today as social networks. Neither Messenger nor Wifi existed. At home we used to connect to internet throw the phone with that strange noise emitted by the modem.
- When the company began to grow and to form teams, the technical testing for developers was to design and build the html of a site in one day. The only one who passed the test was Claudio Zelada, current technical leader in the area of User Experience and Information Architecture.
- It was in those times when YouTube was premiered as an online platform where everyone could see in livestream the attacks on the twin towers.