KnowIT was born from the pain and frustration of our own search for an employee monitoring solution when we discovered the theft of our intellectual property from under our noses.

The Know IT story starts three years ago when our founder was alerted by a project manager that an employee of three years standing was using Skype to chat with someone who was believed to be a recent ex-employee. Suspicion was raised because this person had resigned immediately after returning from a two months compassionate leave he had requested in an emotional plea.

This smelled fishy, and the decision was made to log into the existing employees machine and examine his Skype logs.

To our shock, it turned out these two had been planning to set up an operation that was based almost entirely on intellectual property developed by the company. The compassionate leave was a ruse to get the time to set up their operation while still getting paid and accessing our assets.

The evidence was damning — not only from the conversations they exchanged —but file transfers that included IPR such as

  • Source Code
  • Use Cases
  • Entire list of invoices and customer emails
  • Business plan
  • Sales models
  • Email templates
  • PSD for a website that cost 100K USD.

To add insult to injury, the logs also showed that they had also tried to poach key people to join their new venture.

This was not only staggering but presented an existential threat. The situation demanded an immediate way to monitor this employee to gather as much evidence as possible before firing him. The longer he stayed, the more he would steal.

Clearly, time was of the essence but as no one had any experience in employee monitoring, the CEO himself started an immediate Internet search to see what was available. The results were a little confusing, containing dozens of websites that were lacking in clear information

After eliminating products that had little factual information, eliminating products designed for spying on individuals, and eliminating products that lacked a sufficient feature set, there were two products shortlisted.

Frustratingly, both products required the purchase, setup and installation of dedicated servers, as well as the requirement to pay for annual licenses up front. The second choice was ever worse, requiring us to be contacted by a salesman before a price could be quoted. It seemed like they were living in the pre-Internet age.

And all the while the clock was ticking.

The eventual solution took a team of three people, several days to set up from start to finish, and when it was finally working, it did not quite meet our expectations.

But by far, the worst thing was that after a year, the system had fallen into disuse and ended up simply gathering dust. No one knew how to operate the system, all the hard drives had filled up with screenshots, passwords were forgotten and the only reason we remembered it were the continual emails from the company offering ever increasing discounts for renewal.

Following the conviction of the rogue employees, we realized that our problem was common to most businesses, and there had to be a better way. We decided to develop our own monitoring systems.

What was needed was something that a business could install and test instantly. Something that let them make a buying decision based on a quick test, but would not need long-term payments to be committed until they were sure that a system would meet all our future needs.

The answer we came up with is Know IT – the promise that no business ever need to fail to enjoy the benefits of employee monitoring simply because of cost, complexity, and ongoing maintenance. Over the three years, we added many features beyond monitoring in one easy to use package, creating a brand new category of product — Employee Optimization Software delivered as SaaS.