We can always rely on inQdo's knowledge and expertise

inQdo hosts AWS cluster of Keephub.io as a trusted knowledge partner


Employees in areas such as retail and wholesale, as well as transport and logistics, are key to the success of an organisation. Keephub recognises peripheral issues often distracting employees from focusing on core tasks. In addition to valuable time lost as a result, this is also at the expense of employee motivation. The engagement and empowerment platform offered by Keephub empowers customers’ employees.

About two years ago, Keephub split off from digital retail agency Kega, to target a broader audience with an internal communication platform. Besides retail, it also has clients in wholesale, healthcare, transport, and logistics, amongst others. In just a short time, the company has grown from 10 to over 30 people, with a 10-man development team based in Serbia. Mike van der Hulst is the managing director of Keephub. “Our product ensures that people who come to work for a customer are quick ‘onboard’. They can download our app and find all the information they need to do their job properly and efficiently. The social intranet provides need-to-know information and ensures engagement through nice-to-know information. For many, Keephub is their new combined Instagram, Facebook, or Whatsapp for connecting with colleagues.”

Agnostic architecture

When Van der Hulst was appointed at Kega some seven years ago, he was tasked with designing, shaping, and developing a new generation of the then platform, Retail InTouch. “That’s what Keephub is today,” he says. Currently, the last customers are being transferred to the new platform. “Retail InTouch was an on-prem solution running at the customers’ premises or as a kind of SaaS solution running on our server in an external data center,” Van der Hulst says. “For Keephub, we sought a different set-up from scratch and thought carefully about the right architecture.” The company did not specifically choose AWS then but developed an architecture agnostic to cloud providers. “Eventually, we did start with Amazon and that has since grown, but we are still agnostic,” he says.

“That path is only possible if you trust each other and move forward.”

Mike van der Hulst

Architecture review

Keephub started developing the new architecture with the help of an in-house DevOps specialist hired specifically for this purpose. As the project started to grow, the situation with one specialist became less tenable. Meanwhile, Keephub was already working with AWS, and Amazon allowed them to have a Well-Architected Review conducted. “We got a budget for that from AWS and also several parties who could do that for us. InQdo was one of them,” Van der Hulst recalls. “This was an opportunity for us to work with a party that could advise us on AWS. However, it was important for us to build and maintain our knowledge internally in terms of management, so that we would not become dependent on an external consultant.”


Keephub spent the AWS budget partly on the review but also asked inQdo to do some corrective actions so that the specialist could prove itself. “And the rest is history,” says Van der Hulst, smiling. inQdo took the existing processes at Keephub and managed to optimise them using industry-standard tools. In addition, the AWS expert helped set up a CI/CD pipeline for deploying and updating the application on Kubernetes. “We wanted to automate the deployment of new versions as much as possible. You can imagine that with a few customers, this can be done manually, but by now we were releasing an update every fortnight for around 60 environments and it was no longer tenable. The pipeline we developed with the help of inQdo ensures that we can deploy an updated version across the entire cluster at the push of a button. That saves us a huge amount of time and man hours.” Keephub has customers not only in the Netherlands but also far beyond its borders. A solid, and above all scalable cloud platform with low latency is therefore indispensable. “The moment we invite everyone with a push message, it can be forty times busier. By properly deploying AWS, we and our customers have scalable capacity available the moment it matters,” says Van der Hulst.

Knowledge sharing

He regards inQdo mainly as a sparring partner in the field of AWS. “We like to have in-house knowledge for day-to-day management ourselves. This way I don’t have to secure specific knowledge in the field of AWS, about optimisations, cost savings, and new functionalities within my team. We can always rely on inQdo’s knowledge and expertise.” Every quarter a meeting takes place in which inQdo provides feedback on issues that can be optimised in Keephub’s cluster, what trends and developments are taking place in the AWS area, and how Keephub could potentially benefit from them. A physical meeting takes place annually to look at the year ahead and the actions needed. “We are capable of a lot ourselves, but I do notice that inQdo is often a trigger. They let us know, for example, when it is wise to upgrade or what technical improvements or cost savings are possible.”

Warm relationship

The relationship between Keephub and inQdo is warm, says Van der Hulst. There is regular contact, knowledge is shared and transferred and the focus on cost savings is appreciated. “Our appreciation manifests also in the process we went through with inQdo. They came to us for a temporary assignment, the Well-Architected Review, and then they became our partner, and for a while now our AWS cluster has been running under their account. That path is only possible if you trust each other and move forward.”

About Keephub

Keephub has been operating internationally in retail and beyond for more than 25 years. Keephub sees that employees make a difference in customers’ success. The internal communication platform the company provides to customers empowers employees and allows them to focus on their core tasks rather than peripheral issues. This leads to higher productivity and motivation and thus greater customer success.