Start-up ketl has developed an AI to facilitate corporate document management. In a bid to boost its attractiveness to companies, ketl offers its customers the possibility of managing their information in a fully sovereign IT infrastructure. By choosing Infomaniak’s Public Cloud, ketl has made significant savings that will enable the Geneva-based company to inject additional funds into R&D to extend its feature set and consolidate its lead in the field of corporate digital document management.

ketl: rethinking corporate document management

For the co-founders of ketl, one thing is clear:

In 2021, electronic document management (EDM) software offers little more functionality than it did 20 years ago. Yet companies are managing more and more data every year.”

James McGill is a data scientist with experience as a quantitative analyst in the banking sector. Samuel Halff has several years of experience as a business lawyer in Geneva. Nicolas Casademont graduated from the EPFL Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne as an engineer. These three Genevan entrepreneurs decided to combine their talents in 2019 to re-imagine EDM from scratch and conquer this ultra high-potential market.


  • To develop a scalable EDM platform, ketl needs on-demand IT resources to create a containerised microservices architecture.
  • ketl seeks to offer an independent Swiss alternative to the web giants.
  • To remain competitive, ketl must lower the cost of operating IT resources as much as possible, especially for its AI engine.

Why Infomaniak’s Public Cloud

The IT infrastructure was a determining factor on several levels when developing and deploying its platform. We spoke to ketl’s creators to understand their vision and their journey regarding their choice of cloud platform.

How does ketl use the cloud to differentiate itself?

For Samuel Halff, “Most pre-existing EDM solutions were designed around working methods dating back 20 years. They’re dependent on decades of development that prevent them from starting from the ground up. ketl is based on modern, efficient principles and technologies. Thanks to the cloud, our platform can evolve quickly and inexpensively. Where others have to refresh old methodologies and/or have accumulated complexity, we can innovate and simplify everything without spending more.

A simple interface, intelligent assistance, automatic interaction between the information and the business tools (accounting, time sheet, creation of typical documents); ketl saves time every day for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Which technologies are you developing?

“Our EDM solution is an ultra fast intelligent document search platform. Businesses in 2021 should not be dealing with text documents as images. We’ve developed our own text extraction engine to scrutinise each document and exploit its full potential. We can recognise files and extract information from them, recognise user habits, etc. We’ve also developed our own artificial intelligence (AI), which took almost two years to accomplish.

In other words, ketl is a “private Google” for corporate documents. We don’t depend on the tech giants, plus we want to promote local and open-source technologies.

We’re also able to generate quality translations, keywords and document summaries. These aspects are state-of-the-art; our engineering team is implementing the latest findings in these areas. ketl wants to become a pioneer in these areas, both in Switzerland and in Europe.”

What’s the role of “Swiss made” in all that?

“At the beginning of our adventure, we considered outsourcing part of our development abroad to cut costs, as most of our competitors do.

When it comes to developing cutting-edge technologies, Switzerland remains highly competitive.

We’re developing our software in Geneva using Infomaniak’s Public Cloud, a local infrastructure that offers our customers the guarantee that their data is managed end-to-end in Switzerland. The quality of our product and the proximity to our customers gives us a huge advantage in the medium and long terms.”

Do you have any prior experience of Infomaniak?

“When we launched our technology, our initial development and test servers were created at Infomaniak. The main criteria were the simplicity of the onboarding process, the competitive rates and the location of the servers. This allowed us to quickly make the first prototypes available to our prospects and customers.”

How do you use Infomaniak’s Public Cloud?

“We need significant IT resources to operate. Our business model requires that servers be located in Switzerland. Infomaniak’s cloud infrastructure is very efficient and the rates are unbeatable on the Swiss and European markets. ketl’s architecture is fully containerised (KUBE) and follows the microservices paradigm, so it’s perfectly suited to an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) like Infomaniak’s Public Cloud.”

What have you been able to solve with Infomaniak’s Public Cloud?

“For us, the major advantage of Infomaniak’s public cloud is the very low cost of resources for carrying out artificial intelligence, an activity that’s very resource-intensive. AI is a relatively important cost centre for us, so Infomaniak enables us to improve our performance and our margins. We have other cloud partners, but this aspect at Infomaniak is particularly interesting.”

How was the migration to Infomaniak’s Public Cloud?

“The cloud-native technologies used by ketl allowed us to get up and running quickly on the Public Cloud. The main technical challenges for us are being able to provide a quality service to several thousand users simultaneously. We’re several months ahead of schedule in this regard and are implementing a system to add and reduce the number of servers in response to demand.

Our platform connects to our users’ cloud file storage solutions. Take Microsoft as an example: they offer very powerful and well-documented interfaces (APIs) that allow us to easily connect our customers with Microsoft 365.

Switzerland doesn’t have an alternative to Microsoft APIs at present, which is why we’re pleased to see Infomaniak progressively release public APIs for its solutions so we can soon offer our customers a serious sovereign alternative in partnership with Infomaniak.”

What do you particularly like about Infomaniak?

“Several of our servers have been hosted by Infomaniak since we launched ketl. In fact, our team have all been Infomaniak customers from a young age. We grew up with Infomaniak, as it were, and are very attached to its friendly image and its “Swiss made” philosophy. We particularly like its independence and his willingness to develop technology in Switzerland. ketl also wants to contribute to the development of a strong IT ecosystem in Switzerland.”

SMEs can rely on ketl

ketl is aiming to become the reference application for modern SME management in the region and far beyond.

The Swiss company has a number of ambitious R&D projects underway, mainly concerning translation, multilingual search and data encryption. ketl’s customers will reap the benefits gradually.

From next year, amongst other things, users will have access to alerts when ketl detects deadlines in their scanned documents. The platform will also allow them to generate summaries of long texts in complete confidentiality.

In the shorter term, ketl will publish a search engine to help lawyers to browse more than 500,000 decisions of the various Swiss courts – completely free-of-charge.