Meet a Minnesota CTO: Kyle Gunderson


Kyle GundersonThank you to Andcor Companies for underwriting the Meet a Minnesota CTO series.

Minnesota CTO Kyle Gunderson joined Quantum Retail Technology last month, as he was previously with Thomson Reuters.

How long have you been in the technology industry for and what is your technical background?

I have spent all of my 20+ year career working in software technology related businesses. I have worked in small, medium, and large companies, but always in an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) model with a focus on delivering packaged software solutions to the market. I have been able to translate the fundamental principles of software strategy, development, and delivery to create products for ERP, MRP, GRC, and am now working in the retail space.

What are you focused on right now?

First off, I would say that I am truly excited to be joining the Quantum Retail Technology team.  My focus at Quantum Retail right now is to work with the talented team of engineers and retail scientists here to continue to deliver market leading retail merchandising and supply chain solutions. We will do this by not only innovating and improving our products and technologies, but by optimizing and building best practice approaches to managing the software development life cycle and technology operations.

What are the some of the core technologies applied within your company?

Quantum Retail has created a dynamic engine called Q. This highly adaptable comprehensive retail demand platform is built upon a standard J2EE framework and uses sophisticated task management and database techniques to process extremely large amounts of data to apply retail sciences and help customers make critical supply chain decisions. As the retail market changes, Quantum will continue to lead with innovations that allow us to process larger and larger data sets and to offer our customers more control of their inventory environment.

How do you ensure that development projects and objectives are aligned with business outcomes?

Quantum Retail has a history of being very closely connected to their customers and the retail market space. It is a company founded by individuals with experience and deep understanding of the art of retail, retail sciences and technologies. Quantum remains committed to that legacy today with the ongoing advancements of the core product functionality being guided by the connection to the marketplace and our commitment to being innovation leaders.

What is the size of your department (headcount) and how is it organized/managed?

Quantum Retail is a small software technology company with roughly one third of the organization focused on software development, quality assurance, and IT operations. We are organized accordingly with a couple of teams focused on new product development and ongoing maintenance, a quality assurance group that works closely with development, and an IT operations group providing technology services and support across the business.

How does your company approach recruiting and retention for technical positions?

Like any company in our industry we are fortunate to get to work with very smart and creative people. By recruiting for individuals that enjoy building real value for our customers, are attracted to solving complex problems, and value working on teams of like minded individuals, we think that retention begins to take care of itself. Quantum Retail is a place where people can grow and apply their skills and see the results in the success of our customers. This has led to the development of a talented and committed team.

How do you personally keep up with the ever changing technology landscape?

I like to read a lot of articles and follow technology trends. I especially like to follow speculation on what the future holds and revisit later to see how accurate the predictions are. In general, I personally enjoy the process of learning about new topics whether that is technology related or not. I find it most easy to keep up on the changing technology landscape when focusing on opportunities and challenges in the business. That leads me to explore new solutions and to learn from what others are already doing in addition to formulating my own predictions while anticipating future trends.

What excites you about where technology is heading?

The growing interconnectedness of data and people along with rapidly expanding access created by today’s devices. The ability to handle, process, and deliver all types of data is changing the world on daily basis. It is impacting technology all the way from very large scale cloud computing down to our personal mobile devices.

What concerns you about where technology is heading?

I suppose as it relates to the previous question, I would have concerns about data privacy and the relatively short life span of some new technology developments. Both of these could potentially threaten consumer’s interests. This is something we take into account as we build for the future.

What are you into outside of technology?

I spend as much of my free time as I can with my family. I will continue to hang out with my daughter (15) and son (14) as long as they still find me interesting. Also, as I mentioned above, I enjoy learning about new things, so I am always open to trying new activities.

What is your opinion of Minnesota’s tech industry?

I think that the Minnesota technology industry is very strong and healthy. My sense is that it has grown over time in a way that has made it a well connected network of professionals who have shared similar experiences. I think it creates an environment that supports new technology businesses and ventures that enhances the community and organizations.