Kainos Group plc (previously Kainos Software Limited)
Public limited company
Traded as LSE: KNOS
Industry Computer software
IT services
IT consulting
Founded Belfast, Northern Ireland (14 April 1986)[1]
Headquarters Kainos House, Upper Crescent, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Key people
John Lillywhite[2]
Brendan Mooney[3]
Number of employees
700+ (2015)[4]
Website .com.kainoswww
Footnotes / references

Kainos Group plc (commonly referred to simply as Kainos) is a public limited consulting and support services.[7][8] Kainos has offices in the UK, Ireland, Poland and the U.S.,[8][9][10] and provides services to its customers across Europe, the Middle East, Africa[11] and North America.[10]

In the [14] Kainos has been a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for more than 10 years, and was one of Microsoft's first Gold partners.[15]

Today, Kainos is one of Northern Ireland's largest high-tech companies,[16][17] and one of the top companies in the UK and Ireland.[18][19]

On 10 July 2015, Kainos was admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange, trading as Kainos Group plc.[20][21]


The word Kainos comes from ancient Greek, meaning "new" or "fresh".[22]


1986 to 2010

Kainos's headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Kainos was founded as a joint venture between Fujitsu and The Queen's University of Belfast business incubation unit (QUBIS Ltd) on 14 April 1986,[23][24] and became one of Northern Ireland's first campus companies. On January 1987, the company began trading in the QUBIS building on Malone Road, Belfast[25] and Kainos founder, Frank Graham, was appointed managing director.[26]

In 1993, Kainos developed the Microsoft-based Meridio product, which is enterprise document and records management (EDRM) software.[27]

A spin-off company of Kainos was established in 1994 called Lagan Technologies, which grew to become a leading software supplier into local government in the UK and the U.S.. It was eventually acquired by U.S. based Kana Software in 2010.[28]

In 1996 the company developed a document management system called Kainos Knowledge. This led to Kainos winning their first contract in the U.S., and Kainos Knowledge was recognised as one of the top three document management systems worldwide when it was shortlisted for a Microsoft Industry Solution Award.

By 1997, due to the expansion of the company, Kainos relocated and opened offices in Mount Charles, Belfast, and opened its main headquarters in Upper Crescent, Belfast.[29] Since then, Kainos moved into customer management systems (CMS) and call centre technology, and resulted in the company being restructured in January 1998 to form three business divisions - Customer Management Systems, Custom Solutions and Products. That same year, Kainos signed a major deal with Fujitsu to develop a new document management software product, based on Kainos Knowledge, to be launched in markets around the world under Fujitsu's Teamware brand name.[25]

Historical logo used by Kainos in the mid-2000s

After several years of business, in which Fujitsu was its main customer, the company sold most of its stake to ACT Venture capital in 2000.[17] ACT Venture capital later divested its shareholding in Kainos.[30]

In 2001, the product Meridio was launched as a separate business division to develop document and records management software, which were sold to a number of system integration and software resellers.[31] Frank Graham resigned as managing director of Kainos in 2001, to become managing director of Meridio,[32] and was succeeded by Brendan Mooney.[3] That same year, Kainos established a joint venture with InHouse Publications called Property News, one of the largest property portal sites in the UK and Ireland.[33]

Kainos developed an award-winning customer services line named "1901" for eircom in July 2004, which today is the largest reference site in Ireland for the commercial application of speech technology.[34] In September 2004, Kainos entered into a partnership agreement with Mediasurface, the UK’s largest content management provider.[35] The following year, Kainos entered into another partnership agreement in 2005 with TIBCO, a provider of infrastructure software.[36]

In 2007, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kainos called SpeechStorm was established, providing automated products for call centres, including touch tone, SMS, speech and visual IVR.[37][38] Meridio was sold and acquired by HP's Autonomy on 24 October 2007 to become Autonomy Records Manager, a records management product.[39][40] That same year, management in Kainos bought out Fujitsu’s remaining 20% shares.[17] SpeechStorm, the speech division of Kainos, partnered with Genesys to deliver eircom with the solution to streamline and optimize customer service, and to transform its customer contact center into a Dynamic Contact Center (DCC) in 24 April 2007.[41]

The company extended its Microsoft Gold Partnership on 27 February 2008, with the addition of the Microsoft competency for Custom Development Solutions.[42]

On 9 February 2009, the company was selected by six UK councils to be their IT services partner to deliver their electronic document and records management projects.[43] Kainos launched the National Safeguarding Unit and its website for the NSPCC on 2 August 2009, which provides information and resources to help keep children safe.[44]

On 26 July 2010, Kainos won a strategic SharePoint 2010 EDRM project for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.[45] Kainos expanded its operations and opened a research office in Silicon Valley on 18 October 2010.[10][46]

2011 to present

Kainos was chosen to take part in a healthcare technology research project in 2011, known as "VERVE", which aims to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged groups including older people and those with neurological disorders. The project is coordinated by Trinity College Dublin and includes partners in healthcare and academia in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Germany, who together provide clinical and technical research, practical experience and knowledge in their respective areas of expertise.[47] On 16 February 2011, Kainos launched AppCamp, an opportunity for young developers and entrepreneurs to learn how to create applications for iOS devices.[48]

Kainos became a corporate member of the ECHAlliance in 2012, an initiative based in Northern Ireland and Finland designed to support and promote healthcare and wellbeing.[49]

Kainos launched a scheme called "Earn as you Learn" on 1 May 2013, which allows students to earn a living and develop real-world expertise and experience as trainee [52] On 25 February 2014, Kainos launched BelTech in Belfast, a technology conference to bring together tech and business leaders from all over the world to discuss emerging technologies, and to educate young people, parents and teachers about careers within the technology industry.[53] Kainos supported Girlguiding's first coding camp with Google and the Raspberry Pi Foundation in July 2014 to provide talks on careers in technology and teach the basics of computer science using Raspberry Pi computers and coding programmes such as Scratch and App Inventor.[54]

The company has been working closely with the IET, and on 1 October 2014, Kainos was formally recognised as a Corporate Partner. This new partnership allows Kainos and the IET to work together to create products, services, support and accreditation workshops, and encourage engagement with the wider engineering and technology community.[55] Meteorix established a partnership with Kainos to enable Meteorix to deliver additional services to their Workday customers by offering Kainos Smart, a cloud-based automated testing tool for Workday implementations.[56] On 19 November 2014, Kainos announced its plans to expand the Evolve Electronic Medical Records platform into Ireland, with the appointment of senior healthcare practitioner and technology expert Anthony Dooher.[57] Kainos Smart was further expanded in the North American market by opening an office in Boston, MA in June 2015.[58]

On 10 July 2015, Kainos was admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange, trading as Kainos Group plc.[20][21]


  • Continuous Improvement & Support Services
  • IDAM & Verify Integration

Business units

Government Digital

Kainos is a provider of digital services to government departments and agencies across the UK public sector. These services are developed with government officials to meet their priorities and developed using agile methodologies and open-source software, making public online services more accessible and easy to use.[5][60]


Kainos has been a Workday implementation partner since 2011, providing management, integration, support and testing services for the Workday SaaS product. Kainos is Workday’s largest QA testing partner and a Workday Rising Gold Sponsor. The company have a team of consultants that provide human capital management (HCM), financial and technical services to customers in the U.S. and Europe to help deliver Workday implementations. Kainos have completed engagements in France, the UK, India, Australia and Canada, and have developed a range of tools, including their product "Kainos Smart".[61][13]

Smart is Kainos's cloud-based automated testing tool for Workday implementations. It was developed to encompass all of the core human capital management (HCM) business process areas as well as integration, payroll processing and reports, making testing a less resource-intensive process.[62][63]


Kainos provides digital services to healthcare providers such as hospitals and community care organisations. Developed with NHS clinicians and managers, the Evolve EMR is the main product in Kainos's suite of healthcare products, which automate the creation, capture and handling of medical case notes and operational documents and records.

Evolve is the top EMR product in the UK, and is used in more than 70 hospitals to help healthcare providers become a paperless environment, including Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust.[5][12]


The Enterprise business unit was formed in 2014 by merging Kainos's Support and Financial Services business units to further expand these services outside the UK.[64] This division involves providing software maintenance and support services to its customers, as well as digital solutions to customers in the financial services industry, from business analysis and design through to development and support. Projects in Financial Services usually involve resolving challenges in systems integration, both legacy and recent systems.[5]


Kainos established Digital Academy, which is a series of initiatives to bring coding education to young people and identify technology talent. These have included "hackathons", summer camps, work placements and competitions for young people, as well as talks for parents, teachers and government.[65]


Kainos launched AppCamp in 2011,[66] and since then has been running separate app camps in Belfast, London and Bristol in the UK and Gdańsk in Poland for eight weeks every year during the summer.[67] It is an opportunity for young developers and entrepreneurs to learn how to create applications for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices,[68] and is Europe's largest iOS development initiative.[69]

During the app camp, successful applicants learn how to program in Objective-C, how an Apple application is designed and structured, how to use the Xcode development environment and how to deploy apps to the App Store. Applicants who are studying degrees with a graphic design component have the opportunity to work alongside the developers as graphic designers to help design their apps.

There is a two-week training course on app development, where every camper is given the opportunity to pitch their app idea to a judging panel. Then, six campers with the best app ideas are chosen and brought into one of Kainos's offices for six weeks to help them develop their apps. Once each camper's app is complete, they are released to Apple's App Store. After a period of three months, each app is judged on performance, number of downloads and written reviews, and the camper with the best app overall in those categories wins a prize.[70][71]


Kainos, in association with Belfast Metropolitan College, established an initiative on 22 July 2013 called CodeCamp, which Kainos continues to run in various locations across the UK. The aim of CodeCamp is to give young people a real-life view of software development, improve their computing skills and inspire them to pursue a career in IT. The attendees use tools such as MIT’s App Inventor to create their own mobile applications for the Android operating system.[72][73] Practical sessions, named "Breakouts", are run by mentors during the camp to teach attendees about different topics in computing, including Eclipse with Android SDK, iOS development, how to use Git, Mathematical logic, UX design and Web development.

At the end of the two week training and app building period, each attendee's app is reviewed by a judging panel. Selected attendees are required to create a short presentation for the panel on their app and present their solution for judging. Prizes are awarded to the best apps in selected categories.[74]

As well as CodeCamp, CodeShow is held in various locations across the UK to keep students and teaching staff up-to-date on the IT industry and to provide talks and practical sessions on a variety of computing topics.[75]

Health Hack

Health Hack is an opportunity for healthcare and technology professionals to work together and create software applications and platforms to improve local healthcare and further afield. Its key partners are Kainos and EMC Corporation. The event was established in December 2012, and runs every year in Belfast, Northern Ireland and in Dublin, Ireland.[76]

It is based on the concept of a "hackathon", which is an event where people involved in software development collaborate intensively on a software project and quickly take ideas to a working prototype. These small projects can be delivered in a short period of time, and assumptions can be tested for creating ideas in healthcare.[77][78] Since Health Hack was launched, many other healthcare-based hackathons have been established, including North West Health Hack in Manchester, UK.


The Code4Derry initiative was a programme run by Kainos to match IT students and graduates up with local government to promote better access to and improve services. It was based on the Code for America programme. Ten students were involved with the programme, lasting up to eight weeks during the summer in 2012, and brought business, government and educational establishments together to solve real issues within a council environment.

Derry was being awarded the City of Culture 2013, which allowed the students to create IT solutions that could be used to help address problems associated with related events in Derry. Derry City Council gained the benefit from students who could help the council understand the potential of technology today and implement useful applications.[79][80]

Notable people

  • John Lillywhite, Chairman
  • Brendan Mooney, CEO
  • Richard McCann, CFO and COO
  • Brian Gannon, Senior Vice President (SVP) for Corporate Development
  • Paul Gannon, Senior Vice President (SVP) for Sales
  • Tom Gray, CTO
  • Russell Sloan, Divisional Director for Government Digital
  • Nigel Hutchinson, Divisional Director for Evolve
  • Malachy Smith, Divisional Director for WorkSmart
  • Sam Bolton, Divisional Director for Enterprise


Year Award
2015 Attained "Platinum Status" in Deloitte Best Managed Company Awards.[81][82]
Top 50 Winning Company at the Megabuyte 50 Awards 2015 for being one of the best financially performing, privately owned companies in the UK mid-market.[83]
Number 40 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2015.[84]
Awarded 2 Star accreditation by Best Companies.[85]
2014 Kainos and DVLA awarded prize in the "Digital and Creative Project of the Year" category at the Techworld awards.[86]
Kainos shortlisted in UK IT Awards 2014 for work with the DVLA on the "View Driving Licence" project.[87]
Technology provider of the year at the HealthInvestor Awards 2014 for their electronic medical records (EMR) platform, Evolve.[88]
Placed 2nd in the "Industry" category and 12th overall at the Digital Leaders 100 Awards.[89]
Kainos Awarded "Placement Employer of the Year" by University of Ulster.[90]
Placed in the top 5% of organisations in the Microsoft Partner Network.[91]
Number 50 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2014.[92]
Awarded 2 Star accreditation by Best Companies.[93]
2013 Placed 3rd in the "Industry" category and 13th overall at the Digital Leaders 50 Awards.[94][95]
"Business of the Year" at the Belfast Business Top 50 Awards.[96]
"Large Company of the Year" at the Aer Lingus Viscount Awards.[97]
Number 55 in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2013.[18]
Awarded 2 Star accreditation by Best Companies.[98]
Placed in the top 5% of organisations in the Microsoft Partner Network.[99]
2012 Enterprise CMS of the Year at the 2012 Document Manager (DM) Awards.[100]
Finalist in 2012 DM Awards, for Company and Software Product of the Year.[101]
Gold Standard Accolade at Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards for one of the UK and Ireland's best managed companies.[19]
Awarded 1 Star accreditation by Best Companies.[102]
2011 Winning the "Best Public Sector Project Award" at the 2011 Document Manager (DM) Awards.[103]
Achieving "Star Status", recognising organisations who engage most effectively with their staff.[104]
Best Managed Company Award in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards.[105]
Awarded 1 Star accreditation by Best Companies.[106]
2010 Best Managed Company Award in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards.[107]
Shortlisted for the Irish Technology Leadership Group Innovation Awards at Stanford University in California, U.S.[108]
2009 Named one of Ireland's Best Managed Companies in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards.[109]
2008 ICT Award for Sales Professional of the Year.[110]
Shortlisted for the ICT Excellence Awards for the categories of "Best IT Company to Work For" and "Sales Professional of the Year".[111]
2007 Second place in Belfast Business Awards for Best Business Growth.[112]
2006 Most Effective Use of Software, with customer Hibernian, in the Information Age Effective IT Awards.[113]
2001 Awarded first prize and top honours for its work on Propertynews.com at Information Management (IM) awards.[33]

See also


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External links

  • Official website
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