First off, let me say that I couldn’t be more excited to pass along this very exciting news to our customers, partners, friends, and family! On January 17th, 2018, SSP Innovations and Wind Lake Solutions (WLS) reached an agreement for the acquisition of WLS by SSP Innovations Holdings. This acquisition truly takes the SSP brand and offerings to the next level within our industry.
When I made the decision to bring in Warren Equity as an investment partner in SSP Innovations, a key driver was to be able to acquire other businesses that were well aligned with SSP’s core values and culture while diversifying our offerings in the utility and pipeline industries.
We first acquired Paleon Solutions in June of 2017 which added key AMI products to our portfolio as well as valuable new leadership in our president, Aaron Patterson, and our CTO, Adam Tonkin. We then began an exhaustive search for a like-minded company that provides complementary services to our current offerings.
Wind Lake Solutions is led by industry veterans that have strong reputations for customer focus, employee engagement, and long-term relationships. Through this process, I have had the opportunity to get to know the WLS leadership and am very proud to welcome Dave Coates and his team of executives along with the entire WLS staff to the SSP family.
Comprehensive Team Offering
Bringing the SSP and WLS teams together truly creates a best of breed organization that broadens the services we currently offer to our respective customers. To be clear, if you are working with WLS staff today, you will continue working with the same staff tomorrow. We are not removing or changing any of the current offerings that WLS provides. Our primary goal is to provide continuity with the existing WLS projects while expanding our joint offerings to include a comprehensive set of services that add true value to our current and future customers.
SSP and WLS have minimal overlap in our offerings in the area of GIS consulting and software development. These respective teams will be merged together to further expand our skillset and depth of resources around our existing GIS product implementation, customization, and systems integration projects. This new blended team will continue to offer best in class Esri and ArcFM™ services.
The WLS data services team adds a valued offering to SSP’s suite of services. WLS has provided expert project-based and ongoing data maintenance activities to utilities for the better part of 20 years. On the project side, they have undertaken countless projects for some of the largest utilities to migrate, enhance, and/or extend the utility’s GIS data thus greatly increasing ROI from the GIS platform. This has often transitioned into ongoing high-quality data maintenance related to the posting of work order data into the GIS and related systems.
WLS provides a department of experienced data editing staff, data project management staff and data quality assurance staff that can be used to augment the operations of any utility or telecom. We’ve worked with the WLS data services team on a number of engagements and are now excited to have them officially join the SSP team.
Further, SSP has embraced Wind Lake’s flagship product, SPANS (Spatially-enabled Permitting and Notification System), which provides efficient communication, rigorous management, and timely and accurate reporting for utility/telecom joint use activities. We’ll be exploring the fit of SPANS within SSP’s portfolio of products and look forward to offering this new product to all of our electric and telco customers.
Expanding the Team
Importantly, this acquisition significantly expands SSP’s presence within the industry both with regard to the size of the organization and our financial footprint. While both SSP and WLS were significantly sized businesses independent of one another, the joint organization provides an indicator to our customers and partners of our ability to scale to meet the impending change in the industry centered on the new Esri utility network.
Combining this acquisition with our recent strategic partnership with RAMTeCH to provide the Utility Network Advantage Program (UNAP) puts SSP Innovations in the leading position to guide customers into the future of utility GIS.
The landscape of the utility GIS partner market has been a bit fragmented over the past 15+ years. This has absolutely been a good thing and enabled the formation and growth of amazing companies like SSP Innovations and Wind Lake Solutions. As we now enter the next generation of utility and telecom GIS, consolidation among the top firms provides a true competitive advantage as it will allow us to best service the industry for the next 5, 10, and 15+ years to come. Our customers have been asking for it and we’re very happy to oblige.
In summary, please join me in welcoming the Wind Lake team to the SSP family! We are truly thrilled to have the opportunity to join forces to drive the future of the utility industry.