Meet A Minnesota Tech CTO: Kyle Gunderson, Revel

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Thank you Tarmac for underwriting our Meet a Minnesota CTO series, where we get up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief techies!

Kyle Gunderson joined VC-backed Revel earlier this month, after two decades in Minnesota tech; previously, Gunderson has been CTO with Spok and also with Quantum Retail Technology.

How long have you been working in techn for and what is your technical background?

I have spent all of my 20+ year career working in software and technology-related businesses. Most of my time has been spent working 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. My formal education was in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and I spent my early years doing software engineering and architecture. I have now been fortunate to apply fundamental principles of software strategy, development, and delivery to create products for ERP, MRP, GRC, Retail, and Healthcare.

What are you focused on right now?

My focus right now at Revel is to ensure that we have the right teams and technology operations to deliver on  Revel’s vision and goals. In 2018, Revel will continue to grow its talented Product and Development teams. Building on a foundation of proven solutions and industry expertise, Revel is innovating with cloud-based technologies, data science, and user-focused design to improve both healthcare member experiences and quality of service.

What are the some of the technologies within your company and IT environment?

Building software systems and platforms today is much different from how it was done in the past. The advent of public cloud infrastructures, open source communities, and the use of technology to provide a vast array of solutions has created a rich set of available technologies and patterns to follow in solving problems. At Revel, we are bringing together cloud infrastructure and deployment, data management, and predictive data analytics technologies along with multi-mode delivery systems for SMS, email, and IVR to create member specific outreach programs.

How do you ensure that IT plans, projects and objectives are aligned with business outcomes?

This is something that Revel does extremely well. As an organization Revel is focused on business outcomes for both our customers and our business. In fact, our vision is to support improved business outcomes for our customers by empowering people for health. All of our long and short term goals, projects, and individual tasks can be tied back to support of the company’s vision and mission. It’s just built into the way we operate.

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

Revel is a small, growing technology company with the majority of the organization dedicated to enhancing our existing solutions and innovating with new technologies to deliver an array of healthcare member engagement programs. The Product and Technology organization consists of product strategy, development, QA, and production support teams.

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

It starts with the fact that Revel has great people and is a great place to work. What makes it a great place goes back to the vision of using technology to help people improve their health and a culture the empowers people to use their unique talents to help fulfill that vision.  Located in the North Loop of downtown Minneapolis, Revel will soon move into its new office space designed specifically around our core values and fun, innovative culture. The new space is sure to become a huge part of attracting and retaining our technical team. Finally, we benefit from and leverage the strong network of technology professionals in the Twin Cities.

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

I have been a lifelong learner which I think is so important in our industry. New technologies are emerging all of the time. It’s important to have an appetite to learn new things in order to keep up. Most of what I learn is in some way connected to products and innovations that are being developed in the business.  The good thing is that there is no shortage of information sources. Much of what I learn comes from the really smart people around me or from my ongoing interest in technology trends.

What excites you about where technology is heading?

I get excited when I see how technology can make people’s lives better.  I am also proud to have been part of creating software solutions designed to help businesses perform better.  While the thousands of  business solutions out there have tremendous value, the solutions that have the power to create positive changes for individuals are exciting. There has been an explosion of consumer-based technology solutions that create unparalleled access to information, help us manage our own health, connect us to friends and family around the globe, and puts high powered computers in our hands. Revel is at the intersection of connecting with users at the individual consumer level to improve the lives of people and driving improved business outcomes for our customers.

What concerns you about where technology is heading?

As the world of technology manages more and more of our personal data and changes the way that we interact socially, we have to be good stewards of that data and ensure individual privacy is protected. I also worry about the power of social media to impact our social norms or to be exploited for unintended purposes.

What is your opinion of Minnesota’s tech industry – how could it be better?

The Minnesota tech industry is thriving with a great mix of technology businesses both large and small in our state and the Twin Cities area. We are in a market filled with talented technologists with opportunities to develop solutions and innovate with leading edge technologies. It truly feels like a well connected and networked technology community.  We are living in a time of unprecedented competition to attract and retain technology talent. I think that it would be interesting to cooperate as a technology community to find ways to attract more talent to this market to be more in balance with the demand for tech skills.

What are you into outside of technology?

As a person who enjoys continually learning new things, I am always open to a new hobby.  Especially anything that gets me outside and allows me to spend time with family and friends. In addition to hunting, fishing and biking, I have tried my hand at beekeeping, making maple syrup, and brewing beer in recent years.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I mentioned that the Revel team is growing, and we’re actually hiring for several different roles. Anyone interested in joining a great team of talented people working in a fun, fast-paced environment should check out our current job openings at Revel here.

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