Acquisitions aren’t always the overture to a harmonious future. They can cause anxiety and distrust among employees, and in the worst cases, lead to layoffs.
Imprivata handles acquisitions differently. Having purchased several companies over the years, Imprivata knows the key to success isn’t integration; it’s aligning and accelerating a vision. When Imprivata acquired enterprise remote access software company SecureLink in April 2022, the vision was clear: Make an even greater impact on the digital identity protection space.
The importance of protecting digital identities has never been greater. For over 20 years, Imprivata has transformed how mission-critical industries enable, control and monitor digital identities to deliver fast access, improve security and ensure compliance. By leveraging SecureLink and Imprivata’s combined capabilities to enable secure and streamlined identity systems, new sources of value will be unlocked for customers.
For Customer Experience and Operations Executive Doug Caira, the two companies came together in a near-perfect union.
“It was a beautiful alignment between two great businesses with high revenue growth, great retention and customer satisfaction, and similar cultural values that linked us together very quickly,” he said.
Caira isn’t the only leader who saw the acquisition evolve firsthand. Joel Burleson-Davis, senior VP of worldwide engineering and former SecureLink CTO, recalls when the companies decided to join forces.
“We envisioned a future that looks like the one we’re building together,” he said.
Both teams carefully assessed which parts of each business should change and which should remain the same. Burleson-Davis said the process was a far cry from the industry norm of “Big fish eats little fish i.e. big company consumes small company.”
“We don’t want to interfere with what makes an organization great,” Caira added. “We bring in organizations for a reason, and there was a clear reason with SecureLink.”
Burleson-Davis believes this alignment isn’t just a boon for the business; it will also unlock greater growth opportunities for employees.
“Regardless of what team members’ interests are, there’s more than likely an opportunity for them at Imprivata,” he said. “Some of those opportunities we couldn’t provide before, so that’s been a really exciting thing to see open up for our people.”
According to Caira, Imprivata is more than eager to embrace the surplus of new talent. “We’re looking for the best ideas, which allow us to be better together.”
“We bring in organizations for a reason, and there was a clear reason with SecureLink.”
A Marriage of Products and People
For SecureLink’s engineers, the acquisition meant an exciting opportunity to integrate their products with Imprivata’s, said Director of Project Management Office Jacob Venard, formerly VP of customer success at SecureLink.
“We didn’t have two teams fighting over whose idea would win when we put them in the same room,” he said.
According to Venard, there haven’t been any major hurdles when it comes to getting products across the finish line, either. With Imprivata’s single sign-on product and SecureLink’s third-party access management software, employees have more technology at their fingertips to develop even better customer solutions.
Combined technical expertise has given rise to various exciting projects, Caira added, including one the team refers to as “Fusion.” This project marries the best elements of the two companies’ privacy monitoring products, Imprivata Fairwarning and SecureLink Privacy Monitor, into a single powerful solution that will deliver even more value for our customers.
“In bringing them together, we’ll be able to provide additional value to our customers,” Caira said. “It’s really an amazing step forward.”
GREATER ROOM TO GROW
When SecureLink team members joined Imprivata, some of their roles did change — but for the better. For instance, Burleson-Davis now oversees a broader portfolio of products, while Venard now directs project management for all of Imprivata’s products. According to Caira, Imprivata was careful not to shoehorn employees into certain positions or areas of the business, considering their goal is to bring people together in the best possible way. “We figure out the right place for people on all of our teams,” Caira said.
Creating Customers for Life
A key part of Imprivata’s mission is to create customers for life. The team accomplishes this by developing tools, processes and frameworks to guide clients on their digital identity journey, and Imprivata’s products currently touch customers in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and more. According to Caira, cybersecurity is not always a straightforward subject, which is why the team uses maturity assessments to ensure customers understand the impact of their services.
The Imprivata Digital Identity Maturity Assessment allows Imprivata to benchmark a customer's overall Digital Identity Strategy. It evaluates current posture across four pillars of the Imprivata Digital Identity Framework to provide a view into areas of strength, opportunity, and potential risk.
As Imprivata strives to heighten its customer impact, the company is ready to tackle one of its biggest priorities: enhancing its product portfolio and creating integrated value among the various Imprivata solutions that will enable our customers to implement a secure, mature digital identity program. In Burleson-Davis’ mind, their talented engineers are up to this task.
“We have a firm conviction that we know what we need to do to get there,” he said.
AN AWARD-WINNING WORKPLACE
Those who were part of SecureLink’s integration have the opportunity to work out of Imprivata’s Austin headquarters, which earned a spot on Built In Austin’s Best Places to Work list. The office offers employees access to free breakfast and lunch, beer on tap, a golf simulator and more.
Education Fuels Evolution
While both Imprivata and SecureLink have been highly regarded in the industry separately for years, Burleson-Davis wants customers to understand that their joint forces will offer a combined 40 years of digital identity experience. Communicating that shared vision is a challenge, but an exciting one.
“We’re re-educating the market about who we are while educating them about how they need to think about solving their digital identity problems,” he explained.
Communicating the mission to customers is key, but employees can’t get lost in the shuffle. That’s why leadership has doubled down on employee education and engagement amidst the acquisition.
“We’ve got a complex picture that we want to help customers understand, and we really need to understand it ourselves before we can guide them along the way,” Venard said.
The acquisition has gone smoothly by all accounts, but Burleson-Davis acknowledged that the future only looks so bright because of the talented people that make up Imprivata. Roughly one year after the acquisition, he’s still grateful to the team that got us here, and confident in the team that will move us into the future.
“We have people who truly take care of our customers,” Burleson-Davis said. “It’s the secret to our success.”