Valiance – An NNIT Group Company
NNIT has evolved quite dramatically over the years, from a small independent IT consultancy born out of Novo Nordisk to a publicly listed company and now an international group of companies in its own right. This article is the second in a series looking at the individual NNIT Group Companies – what they do and how they add value to NNIT’s purpose and aspiration of making a mark in business and society; bringing digital transformation to life.
Valiance Partners was acquired by NNIT in 2018 and was The NNIT Group’s first international bolt-on acquisition as well as the first acquisition to boost the company focus on international life sciences.
With Valiance as part of the Group, NNIT can also offer specialized services for large data migration projects, often associated with M&A activity, e.g. when moving from one technology platform to another, or migrating data from an old to a new upgraded version.
Valiance is an expert in critical data migrations within the life sciences industry. Or as Tom Witmer, Head of Valiance Business Development, puts it: “If it doesn’t involve complexity, risk, and a significant compliance aspect, we probably don’t get involved”.
From data validation to data migration
Valiance was founded in the US, in 2003, by partners Richard Higger, David Katzoff and Nagesh Sarma, and originally the three of them were involved in data validation consulting work, which evolved into data validation in connection with big data migration projects.
As consultants, they found that most migration issues arose when systems were going live, which would then significantly delay the successful launch of the new platform. So, they realized it would be very useful to develop software to automate testing as opposed to the sample-based, manual testing that was the standard, but cumbersome, error-prone, and time-consuming practice at the time.
Soon, the data validation part of their business was mostly abandoned, as the Valiance team decided to concentrate their efforts and services within migration and migration testing. Eventually, the trademark products TRUarchive™ and TRUconsole™ were developed to support the entire data migration process.
Typical projects include data migration to and from clinical, regulatory and quality systems such as Veeva Vault, Sparta Systems’ TrackWise, OpenText Documentum and LiveLink, Microsoft SharePoint, Argus, ARISg, MasterControl, and QUMAS, to mention a few.
“Our Veeva partnership started in 2012, and Veeva Vault is really taking off, so we’re doing a lot of Veeva migration projects, because we were the first partner to do migrations for them – and the first to become a Veeva Premiere Partner for their clinical, regulatory and quality systems,“ Tom Witmer elaborates and adds:
“We’re so busy, we’re just flying, and we’re expanding both our business and workplace at a rapid pace”.
An interesting first meeting with NNIT
When the Valiance Partners first met with NNIT in late 2017, Valiance was still a small-ish business with just over 50 employees. Today, Valiance employs 135 people and is hiring.
Valiance caught NNIT’s eye when they were just starting to intensify their work with Veeva both in the US and in Europe, and NNIT was contemplating branching out to include data migration. Talks were initiated via LinkedIn, and soon a meeting was set up in the US.
NNIT’s former CEO Per Kogut and M&A responsible Rasmus Nelund wanted to Valiance in the US:
“We weren’t really sure what to expect, or what they wanted to talk to us about; it wasn’t super concrete. But it was a good visit, and we got to know each other quite well during that first day. We got on well, laughed a lot and generally found that we enjoyed each other’s company. But it wasn’t until March 2018 that we started to seriously talk acquisition. Actually, it was a long process for us. As a small company, we were used to executing on ideas much faster,” Tom Witmer explains.
NNIT’s Rasmus Nelund weighs in on the process: “It is important for us to ensure that in addition to a strong business match, it’s also a cultural match. If we’re not a success in the long run, the union is not successful, so we’re happy to take our time”.
On October 9, 2018, NNIT and Valiance could finally announce that they had agreed on a deal to make Valiance part of the NNIT Group, thereby boosting both companies’ capabilities and opportunities for delivery of IT services to the international life sciences industry.
Realizing and accelerating synergies
Leading up to the acquisition, NNIT and Valiance had already started to collaborate on a number of projects, allowing them to test the relationship. For NNIT, the attraction was fast-track access to the fast-growing Veeva solutions market as well as the US market in general; and for Valiance, the attraction was greater access to the European markets as well as NNIT’s strong track record within regulatory management, other technology platforms, and the customers in NNIT’s portfolio.
Valiance co-Founder Dave Katzoff explains, ”prior to the acquisition, Valiance recognized that we needed to offer more business-oriented services to enhance our technical migrations and remain competitive with larger integrators. The NNIT opportunity was intriguing, as it provided an option to build upon an existing company rather than attempting to build those capabilities from scratch.”
Co-Founder Nagesh Sarma finishes:
“Our geographical footprints together with our particular strengths within the data migration and strategic consulting areas have proven to be a winning combination and one that’s gaining more and more traction. Going forward, I think, we’re looking at an even brighter future together, I really do. We’re expanding our services and deepening our expertise, not least within regulatory services, but also the Veeva Powerhouse offering. And we are able to introduce each other to some very big customers. We work well together, and we increasingly find that we think in terms of The NNIT Group before, during and after marketing and sales efforts”.
Valiance Partners is an expert in critical data migrations when compliance and accuracy are at stake. Valiance has managed more than 700 successful migrations for over 160 companies, including the world’s leading pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology brands. Their TRUseries™ software provides end-to-end data and content migration and migration testing for IT, quality, validation, and test management.