The marriage of Dotmatics and Insightful Science is now more than a year old. During that time as CEO, I have spent much of my efforts in preparation for our future. Perhaps you’ve seen some of this: we’ve built out a strong, capable executive leadership team and we’ve made important acquisitions as part of our corporate development plans that we believe offer great promise to our customers. I’m happy to share that now with much of that completed, I get to spend more time where I want – engaged with you, our customers, understanding your needs and improving your experience.
Bringing together two companies (or more!) and aligning teams, resources, and priorities is challenging work. Too often in the world of corporate development when companies buy each other, the acquiring company struggles to create cohesion in the broader team. Over the past few years Dotmatics has acquired many scientific technologies and through it all, I’ve been keenly aware of these types of M&A and integration struggles experienced by so many companies in so many industries.
We are still deep in this process. And while we have much of that tough work ahead, the model we’ve chosen to use in our approach to M&A and integration is paying off. I want to share with you a few reasons why that is the case and why I’m so thrilled to be on this path with you:
It’s About Having a Shared Mission: Often executives from two joining companies speak about their ‘shared vision.’ Don’t get me wrong, a shared vision is important for an acquisition to work. I’ll admit to saying that plenty and even emphasize it below. However, time and experience have taught me that a shared mission is even more powerful because purpose-driven work (more than a business vision) is so eagerly shared by employees and even customers. I am seeing this more today at Dotmatics than at any time in my career. Our teams, regardless of where they’ve come from, share a profound belief that the work we’re doing helping researchers can and will lead to scientific discoveries that make the world a healthier, cleaner, safer place to live. Being a part of a community with this sort of mission is exhilarating, and it’s creating new exciting connections all across our business.
The Value of the Whitespace: For many of our customers, Dotmatics today might feel like a house of brands following a series of acquisitions. Perhaps to many we’ve simply taken our Dotmatics data management products and added a collection of scientific tools like GraphPad Prism, Snapgene, Geneious, or Protein Metrics. But for us, this new Dotmatics represents a bigger opportunity – one that we are working hard to deliver on.
Recently I spoke with Paul von Autenried, a storied industry executive from his time as the CIO at Bristol Myers Squibb and as a board member for Quickbase and PennMedicine Princeton Healthcare System. Paul shared with me a concept that continues to resonate so strongly with me. He said, “the future of the new Dotmatics is exciting…but the future value of Dotmatics lies beyond the functionality of the applications themselves, and mostly in the whitespace between them.”
The work of scientific discovery is extraordinarily complicated. It is tough business wrought with trial and error and ever-evolving methods and discoveries. Every new development only increases the volume and complexity of the data that scientists must consume. We’re thrilled to have many of our tools used to help scientists access, analyze and share data to address some of the challenges along the way. But we think there is so much more we can do to help scientists, researchers, and their organizations to maximize efficiency and innovation in this rapidly changing environment.
As Paul has pointed out, what Dotmatics can do is more than simply providing a collection of “best of” or “really good” tools. The whitespace between those tools is where we want to help you. We want to link our broad scientific capabilities in flexible and innovative ways to keep pace with the changing needs of scientists. And we want to connect these tools along with the data and insights in a way that reduces the complexities and the significant time and money spent on the discovery process.
Support the Innovative Genius that Already Exists: The culture of a company is a fragile thing, even though it is built layer by layer through years of work by the employees. Held within that culture is often the innovative genius that makes the corporation successful. It is important to us not to disturb that innovative genius or culture during an acquisition. As we’ve acquired companies and their technologies, we’ve tried to find a delicate balance between helping too much and helping too little. We’ve acquired many companies whose founders are passionate scientists that want to remain focused on the technology.
Our approach with acquisitions is to preserve the engine that builds out those innovative new products for scientists while providing a set of shared services to support them on the business side. We can help them by offering assistance with human resources, marketing, IT needs, etc. letting them focus on the thinking and passion that drove their success. The ‘built for scientists by scientists model’ is one we feel strongly about and want to enable.
A Brand that Represents a Vision: As I mentioned, earlier this year we announced the consolidation of this house of brands under a new Dotmatics brand umbrella. While it’s the same name, there is something very exciting about introducing a master brand like this. It represents a vision for where we want to go. But having a vision for the future doesn’t mean we’ve figured everything out now. In fact, it’s probably quite the contrary. We have so much to learn and so much we need to do to help our customers! But with alignment around a mission and a growing understanding of the needs that face our customers, we want our Dotmatics brand to represent our future vision of something better – one in which we’re helping you connect the technology and data to drive actionable insights that help to reduce the time and money spent in the discovery process.
To our customers who have joined us on this journey, I say thank you. We know how painstaking scientific R&D is whether you’re creating life changing therapies through biologics or small molecule research, creating new chemicals and materials that will improve the capabilities and safety of products, or discovering new approaches to address environmental challenges of our earth. We want to better understand your mission, your challenges, and your needs. We want to help you do your jobs better. Please contact your account rep or a member of our customer success team if you’d like to meet with me in the near future. I’m excited to meet you and spend more time with you during the coming months.