SOUTH HARWICH — Tom and Trish Kennedy are back in town. The IT entrepreneurs who shaped BackOffice into an internationally successful data solutions company, then sold it to a Goldman Sachs-backed investment group, are developing an innovative technology center and AppFactory at the offices of their former business that will bring dozens of new jobs to town.
Last Wednesday they celebrated the opening of their training center at 940 Route 28 with an open house for local businesses, community leaders and customers of their new business, Zudy.
The new venture is a digital transformation company with a no-code platform known as Vinyl. Vinyl's patented technology merges mobile and web, enabling enterprises to build highly configurable applications in less time. Using Vinyl, organizations can dramatically increase the number of new mobile/web applications they can build, according to the company.
“The Cape and Harwich provided an exceptional environment for our growing business, and we are thrilled to return to this special location,” said Trish Kennedy, Zudy's chief operating officer. “Some of the largest global companies in the world will train and build applications in our Harwich training center.”
The Kennedys built BackOffice Associates from a small company working out of offices in Orleans in 1996, in 2005 taking over the former May Institute building. In the early stages the company had 250 people worldwide with 55 working in the South Harwich office. By 2011, the company had grown to 500 employees worldwide with 110 working out of South Harwich. The Kennedys sold that business to Goldman Sachs in 2012.
In 2014, the Kennedys founded Zudy to evolve application development across platforms.
Zudy is based in Miami and has offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Ontario. As with BackOffice Associates, the Kennedys are committed to rapid expansion, saying that a high product demand is driving growth of the company. They are predicting they will create 350 new jobs by the end of next year, with 100 of those jobs located in the South Harwich office.
“It's a great day to be part of the Cape Cod community when a local business announces they are thriving and expanding,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Michael MacAskill said. “Time and time again, under the Kennedys' leadership, the Cape proves to be an area where innovation happens, growth that both BackOffice Associates experienced and now Zudy's rapid expansion is a testament to this fact. I'm thrilled to see another tech company call Cape Cod home.”
BackOffice Associates drew a lot of business executives to Harwich for training and the expectation is Zudy will do the same. Trish Kennedy said the company is still pursuing the purchase of the Stone Horse Motel to be converted, in part, into temporary housing to be used by Zudy employees here for training and for seasonal workforce housing.
The name Zudy sticks in the minds of many New England Patriots fans, who watch post-game press conferences where the name is portrayed on a backdrop. Clients of Zudy include KraftGroup/New England Patriots, and at Wednesday's open house the team's Super Bowl LI trophy was on display along with the five Super Bowl rings. Patriots wide receiver and special teams captain Matthew Slater was also there for the open house.
“We're extremely excited to have such dynamic entrepreneurs as Tom and Trish Kennedy back in Harwich with yet another diverse and cutting edge business in Zudy,” Cyndi Williams, interim executive director of the chamber of commerce said. “We look forward to our future partnership in the growing economic development of 'our' Harwich, together.”