2017 Autumn Report
We are pleased to report an encouraging 9% compound net growth in Kobas EPoS venues in 2017 Q3, proving neither summer vacations nor continued political uncertainty are barriers to hospitality venues adopting our technology and best practice. Much of this growth was in and around London, yet we’ve also grown footprint in Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds and even in Workington, Cumbria.
This brings us to 75% net venue growth in the first nine months of 2017, supported by increasing our team by 40% in the same period. As a result we’ve got an exciting quarter ahead of us, with some big product updates, increased general support hours and various installation runs – all ahead of everyone’s Christmas rush.
Team Expansion and Support Hours
We are very fortunate indeed to have forged such a talented and dedicated team here at Kobas. We now have 14 full time staff, and a further three on flexible hours. We all combine to provide the Kobas platform and the customer service that’s crucial to so many hospitality venues nationwide.
I continue to be impressed by how much our team achieves given our relatively small size. The Kobas Cloud Change Log details a huge swathe of product improvement so far this year; each change making Kobas more powerful and useful for our clients, helping them to run their businesses more efficiently with less effort.
Delivering all this, while also growing our venue footprint by 75% so far this year is a significant achievement. In doing so we’ve found ourselves in a stronger position to provide general support outside of conventional UK office hours.
We’ve always aimed to investigate emergency support issues straight away, whatever the time of day or day of week. Naturally that commitment remains. Our more general support though has been restricted to 09:00-18:00 on UK business days. Over the summer we have trialled extending those hours into the evenings and on weekends, and I’m pleased to confirm we will be standardising our general support hours as follows with immediate effect:
09:00-21:00 Monday to Friday UK business days
12:00-21:00 Saturday, Sunday & UK public holidays *
* Emergency support only on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day
Here at Kobas we aim for our Cloud service to be available 99.99% of the time outside of agreed maintenance periods. At the beginning of 2017 Q3, on the morning of Sunday 9th July, a routine AWS RDS maintenance update led to unforeseen Kobas service instability between 05:10 and 07:09 BST. Platform performance was slow, leading to our independent assessor, Pingdom, to deem us unavailable for 15 brief periods within that two hour window.
As a result, our total downtime in 2017 to date has increased from 19 to 59 minutes during Q3. In the week following this incident, following detailed analysis, associated infrastructure was upgraded and automatic fail-over setup was reviewed and improved.
Substantial further infrastructure improvements are planned for the forthcoming quarter, with the intention to both provide a substantial capacity and performance improvement, as well as increasing resilience. It is expected that these works will take place on Sunday mornings, and be complete before the end of November, in time for an expected increase in demand due to Christmas trade.
Further service information about these upgrades will be communicated by email in early November, with corresponding information on this blog, and updates on Twitter.
A significant effort this quarter has improved our audit and permission controls in Kobas Cloud, providing more reassurance than ever before for smaller and larger hospitality businesses alike. Our Change Log holds more detail of all the upgrades we’ve added this quarter.
Looking forward this is the third consecutive report in which I’ve promised that an all new rota creator is coming, and as you can see below, it’s really close now. Our clients can now all offer their customers online ordering thanks to the addition of Preoday support to Cloud and EPoS, and Kobas EPoS v4.6 should be out later this month, bringing a great improvement to PLU item modifiers and support for a different style of customer facing screen.