Klass Software’s acquisition of incident management software company PPM 2000 is the first step in an evolution to build a broad, unified software solution to manage multiple aspects of the security function. In buying PPM, Klass sought to obtain “a very good platform business and grow it with the existing team,” says Will Anderson, CEO of Klass Software (and now CEO of PPM). He sees expansion and enhancement of PPM as a “long-term project,” maybe 10 years.
Klass Software is the acquisition group of Klass Capital, an enterprise software growth equity fund headquartered in Toronto. The acquired company will continue to operate as PPM, and the head office will remain in Edmonton, Alberta.
Anderson says software related to the security market “looks a little unconsolidated to us.” Over time, he foresees pulling various software elements – PSIM, incident management, analytics, compliance – together into a single platform built around PPM’s existing software product. They will achieve the goal either by enhancing PPM, by acquiring related companies, and/or through partnerships.
Anderson said the new PPM will likely do one or two acquisitions a year to build out and augment PPM’s capabilities. The company has $10 to $12 million “in our pockets” to invest, and could access another $50 million as needed over time. They are looking to invest $10 million or so each year in acquisitions.
In terms of enhancements to PPM, Anderson says the core incident management capabilities are mature, and new features will likely be related to real-time operations, more sophisticated investigative tools, and analytics. The tools exist in the market, but “smaller clients need us to pull them together and put them in a box.” The main idea is to take information and insight available from various systems and make it “actionable,” he says.
“We want to really talk about solving problems,” he says. “We are an open organisation. We have to be able to interface when it makes sense. It’s a very fluid industry, and we are here to help solve the customer’s problem.”
“We’re excited about a future focused on expanding PPM’s incident management portfolio with complementary technology and services,” says Elaine O’Sullivan, who will continue as president of PPM under the new ownership.
“The value of a software company is knowledge of the market,” Anderson says. “You have to have people who really get the problem, and PPM has the best people in terms of going to market. Their technology is among the best in the space, and their customer list is impeccable – one in every five Fortune 100 companies use it. It’s a great fit all around – great company, great people, great technology. What was lacking was capital, which we have. We can add value by making them better, improving execution of software management.”