Interview with Rachel Boskovitch, Sales Director DACH, Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, Africa & ME at SS&C Intralinks
The M&A community knows SS&C Intralinks as one of the leading dataroom providers. What differentiates SS&C Intralinks from the other data room providers? What does SS&C Intralinks stand for?
As an innovative technology partner to the largest banks and corporates around the globe, Intralinks has been pioneering the financial services markets since the 90’s and continues to offer the latest technology and services to its clients, developing state of the art innovations faster than anyone else.
In addition, Intralinks is the largest international provider of data rooms and supported over 10,000 strategic transactions in 2019. Customers can complete M&A transactions faster with Intralinks’ state-of-the-art products and services. Intralinks is not just a data room provider, but a partner that provides solutions at all stages of the transaction. Whether it is deal marketing, data collection and analysis or due diligence itself, whether it is on the sell or buyside: Intralinks has helpful tools to support the M&A process throughout the entire deal lifecycle!
One of your newest products in your portfolio is DealVision. Rachel, could you please explain why you have developed such a solution? What typical challenges is this tool suitable for?
Over the last 20 years, Intralinks has provided data room solutions, in particular, to companies and consultants on the sales side to manage the due diligence process efficiently and securely. However, the buyside teams did not see much progress in terms of technology designed to support their unique needs. Over the past 24 months, Intralinks has therefore held discussions with nearly 100 global deal makers to understand the challenges and issues they face as buyers in the due diligence process. What we have learned from these discussions is that there are inefficiencies in the due diligence process on the buyer side. It is time-consuming and labor-intensive, not only for the companies’ M&A team, but also for the extended due diligence team, which includes internal and external experts. The three main problems we have heard from the teams on the buyer side are
- Data: Buyers need to manually organize the contents of the Seller’s VDR with their due diligence checklist – simply finding the right information can be tedious
- Communication: Buyers may not receive all the requested due diligence information and managing the back and forth of questions between the deal team and Seller is time consuming; and, they also receive findings reports from the deal team through ad hoc channels
- Limited Insight: The individual leading due diligence efforts on the Buyside has no visibility into the progress of the deal team, so obstacles may go undetected
And our solution DealVision addresses exactly these challenges and problem areas.
And what are your clients saying?
Our clients (Corporates, Bankers and Law firms) are excited about bringing cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence to manage the diligence process. Most clients have been seeking a solution for effectively managing buyside due diligence, as the current process of using generic tools such as Excel spreadsheets, and e-mails is not efficient, scalable, or secure. We have seen success with our early adopters and are now looking to extend it to other buyside teams on their upcoming deals.
You mentioned that this tool is independent of the SS&C Intralinks dataroom. But how can the data be collected in case of other data room providers?
Other VDR providers are not keen on giving us access to the software on their backend APIs, so for now, DealVision does need to be synced with an Intralinks VDR for an optimal experience. However, this could change in the future – our vision is to support connections to more than just Intralinks VDRs. If our customers want to use DealVision on a different VDR platform, they should contact us because there are several workarounds that we can use to ensure a relatively seamless workflow.
Sounds promising. Well, what are the benefits for your clients? Why should your clients use this tool?
There are many reasons why a client should use our tool:
- Clients would be able to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to find documents faster and reduce the back and forth with the sellside team
- With our checklist management functionality, our clients can upload their own unique checklist and assign items to their team
- Clients can track progress of the due diligence workstreams through real-time dashboards and analytics
- Last but least, clients can send questions directly to the Seller and track their findings (risk, opportunities) in context to diligence content and checklist
As I said, many reasons for using our tool.
Are there any other product developments you want to point out already? By when can we expect new products?
There are several innovations that are worth mentioning in addition to DealVision.
Our new product, Intralinks for Deal Marketing was launched in March 2020. It provides advisors and sellers with the ability to more efficiently distribute marketing materials, provides intelligence around the level of buyer engagement with these materials, and allows them to quickly identify the right buyers for the deal. The solution streamlines the painstaking deal marketing process. With less manual effort, more insights and more security, we’re protecting NDAs, CIMs and reputations everywhere.
Advisors and sellers can::
- Capture their actions automatically during the distribution process- eliminating manual tracking on spreadsheets
- Track buyer engagement by confirming when a potential buyer views documents
- Automate watermarking and ensure the right documents get the right level of security
- Use dedicated storage for transaction notes, key documents as well as buyer lists, activity and profiles
And surely you have heard about our last product launch, which caused a lot of interest especially in the days of Covid-19: our newly released direct integration of Intralinks with Zoom, so now you can upload videos such as plant tours, operational due diligence reviews, management presentations and Q&A with key stakeholders to your VDR in seconds – all within your data room.
In this way, deal teams are adapting to the realities of “remote” due diligence process by finding creative solutions to keep closing deals in these challenging times.
And Intralinks, as an innovative technology provider in the M&A field, delivers the solutions!.
Rachel, thank you very much for the interview.
We conducted the interview as a follow-up to the Corporate M&A Roundtable on July 30, 2020. You can find excerpts from the M&A Roundtable here!