CSAM has for many years boosted its growth through successful acquisitions. In 2021, CSAM’s M&A strategy proved particularly successful in the Public Safety business area. The company acquired two organisations with significant strategic and operational value and strengthened CSAM’s position in the Nordic, European and US markets.
Carmenta was a sizable addition to CSAM’s Public Safety offering, expanding CSAM’s position in the Nordics and Europe, and bringing with it 53 employees and annual revenue of 81 million SEK at the time of acquisition. This represented a 200% increase in the size of the Public Safety business area, which now generates 44% of CSAM’s overall revenue.
Optima, a smaller company in the public safety domain, is also a welcome and valued addition to the CSAM family. Its presence in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Canada and the US, and several other markets including Norway and Denmark, facilitated new opportunities in several markets that demonstrate considerable potential for future growth.
A complete offering to match diverging market trends
The pandemic has been challenging for all parts of our health and medical systems, and the unprecedented, long-lasting pressure on emergency services is just one example of that. The ability to gather relevant and updated information and make the correct decision in real time is even more critical when the entire medical value chain is working at near-full capacity for months on end. To cope with this, providers of national and regional emergency and acute services have deployed several approaches: We see a trend around consolidation, where size and scale are seen as drivers for robustness and flexibility. Another trend is towards localization and regionalization, where the providers advocate that small, nimble, local structures and processes have inherent advantages when every second counts. Across these dimensions, the overarching trend is the need for well-integrated, stable, secure systems with simplified user interfaces that allow the emergency professionals to concentrate on providing the best care for patients.
CSAM’s portfolio of software solutions fits well into this fragmented development: We offer large systems with multiple functionalities integrated into one offering, and we tailor more niche solutions for eHealth providers and emergency response organizations that are missing just one particular functionality in their systems stack. And with an increase in cloud-based solutions, the CSAM offerings are extremely scalable, if several local providers should choose to implement a common system at a later date.
As different as these two new CSAM public safety companies are, together they exemplify CSAM’s successful growth:
Customers, Code & Competence: Central to CSAM’s M&A strategy is this three-pronged selection criteria when we evaluate organizations that might be candidates to join our group: The company needs to have a solid existing customer base and long-term contracts with stable, recurring revenue, it must own its Intellectual Property, and it needs to have the most critical competence within the organization.
Size matters: By organizing adjacent competences and technologies together, we reap benefits from best-practice sharing and synergies across support functions. Carmenta’s expertise will boost CSAM’s Public Safety practice beyond just the scale.
Expanding our footprint: Optima has introduced CSAM to new countries in Oceania and North America, sizable markets with infrastructure requirements that match the CSAM portfolio well. And Carmenta has brought new customers across Europe and in the CSAM stronghold across the Nordics.
Carmenta – the CSAM M&A strategy in action
The first 2021 CSAM Public Safety acquisition was Carmenta. In keeping with the CSAM M&A “customer, code, competence” requirements, Sweden-based Carmenta brought with it a significant customer base, with clients in the Nordics and across Europe. It also boasted an experienced team and two main, proprietary products – CoordCom/ResQMap and ResQMobile.
CoordCom/ResQMap is a complete 112 and emergency response system that facilitates improved call-taking, communication, case handling and dispatch. This fully-integrated platform speeds up every aspect of the response process, can scale to meet the customer’s needs, and is built on the understanding that stability, availability, and security are essential.
ResQMobile is a case handling and routing tool that improves response workflows and helps emergency heroes save valuable seconds when managing the resources at their disposal. Crucially both products strengthen CSAM’s ability to offer a comprehensive, end-to-end emergency response solution.
Optima – the future of emergency response analytics
The second of CSAM’s 2021 acquisitions was Optima – specializing in data analytics and based in Auckland, New Zealand. The company brought two Optima-owned products, Optima Live and Optima Predict, as well as its established and experienced teams in Auckland, Reading and Chicago to CSAM. In addition to serving customers in Norway and Denmark, Optima expanded the footprint of CSAM’s Public Safety domain to include the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Optima Live helps dispatchers make the right decision in real-time with advanced operations modelling and smart recommendations. By giving dispatchers greater visibility on historical incidents and offering a ‘Look Ahead’ feature, it enables CSAM customers to learn from the past, predict future demand and make the best call possible in the present.
Optima Predict is advanced emergency response modelling software that gives CSAM customers the ability to play out ‘what-if?’ scenarios, base their contingency planning on mathematical models and make informed decisions about resource allocation and dimensioning. In a market where customers need to maximise the value of scarce resources and expensive assets, these products are a highly attractive proposition.
CSAM buys, integrates and builds
The CSAM M&A strategy follows a ‘Buy, Integrate, Build’ (BIB) approach. While mergers and acquisitions drive revenue growth, CSAM’s ability to integrate and build the organisations they acquire results in greater profitability.
A business the size of Carmenta can prove challenging to integrate. However, as Carmenta
was a carve out of another company, with only the essential operational services and competence, it could benefit quickly from being supported by CSAM’s central capabilities. Integration is still hard work, but company-wide support within areas such as IT-services and HR have allowed Carmenta’s team to focus on delivering value to its customers.
A smaller organisation, Optima’s products and structure allowed for a more straightforward integration. In both cases, the integration process is progressing at speed, with the focus beginning to switch to building on these new acquisitions.
Both acquisitions show excellent growth potential and provide CSAM with several exciting opportunities. Cross-selling between new and existing customer bases is an opportunity area. Incorporating Optima and Carmenta’s products into the CSAM stable has strengthened its offering and enhanced its existing products.
Showcasing early success
The two acquisitions also highlight CSAM’s enhanced ability to target different elements of the Public Safety market. Carmenta’s fully integrated platform offers an end-to-end service that will be a significant component in CSAM’s bids for large, long-term contracts with intensive tender processes. On the other hand, Optima’s products target smaller, localised contracts that can be won in higher volumes.
This has already proven successful, with Optima winning two new customers towards the tail-end of 2021. The fact that these two customers – American Medical Response and Southeast Coast Ambulance – are Texas and London-based, respectively, also demonstrates an ability to break into high-potential markets.
CSAM’s Public Safety business area showed stable growth in line with the market in 2021. With CSAM aiming to hit 1 billion NOK in revenue within three years, the integration of Carmenta is an important step towards its goal and indicative of the type of acquisition the company will be pursuing over the coming years. Carmenta’s size and track record in delivering customer-focused services and developing strong, trusted relationships with its clients further improves CSAM’s standing in the market.
Moving forward – focusing on customer-first
This customer-centric approach is at the heart of Public Safety’s plans for the future. There is a firm emphasis on adding value to CSAM products while helping our customers control and predict their costs. In particular, the team hopes to take advantage of its acquisitions to integrate cloud computing solutions, implement ever-more user- friendly interfaces and adopt a more modular and flexible approach to platform design.
CSAM’s effective M&A strategy will continue to facilitate this by welcoming new companies into the organisation and creating new opportunities for successful software developers to thrive. Throughout 2021, CSAM Public Safety has illustrated just how successful this M&A strategy can be in the eHealth sector. As it expands and evolves in 2022, we expect Public Safety to continue contributing to revenue growth and cement CSAM’s position as an industry leader.