In late August, Customer Value Partners (CVP), a local, award-winning technology consultancy, announced that they were acquiring Atlas Research (Atlas), another local consultancy with deep experience and expertise in the government healthcare marketplace.
Healthcare is currently very top-of-mind for many Americans – with the country embroiled in an ongoing pandemic, and with a new administration actively working to make changes to the country’s healthcare ecosystem. Simultaneously, healthcare, itself, is undergoing a revolution, with new technologies changing the way patients receive care, interact with their care teams, and generally approach their own health and wellness.
To learn more about CVP’s acquisition of Atlas, we recently sat down with Todd Pantezzi, the Chief Strategy Officer at CVP. During our discussion, we asked about why CVP selected Atlas as an acquisition target, specifically. We inquired as to how some of the large trends and changes in the healthcare industry may have impacted the decision to acquire a company like Atlas. We also talked about the integration, and the steps that CVP was taking to ensure that it was a smooth and seamless transition.
Here is what Todd had to say:
Corporate Growth, Capital Style (CGCS): Can you tell our readers a bit about CVP?
Todd Pantezzi: CVP is an award-winning business and next-gen technology consulting company that helps organizations navigate disruption and prepare for a culture of continuous change.
We solve critical problems for healthcare, national security, and public sector clients through innovative strategies and solutions that leverage technologies and industry expertise in areas including technology modernization, data science and engineering, business transformation, and cybersecurity.
CGCS: CVP recently announced that it was acquiring Atlas Research. What does Atlas Research do? What services and solutions do they offer? What markets do they service?
Todd Pantezzi: Atlas Research (Atlas) partners with federal health organizations to drive mission-critical innovation and transformation. Atlas’ work positively impacts vulnerable populations, tests interventions to support special populations, and energizes communities to help address social determinants of health. Atlas services markets in the federal government, commercial, higher education, and non-profit and is perhaps best known for their innovative work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
CGCS: In the release announcing the acquisition, CVP claims that it’s adding new healthcare capabilities and expertise to its portfolio. How does this help to round out the company’s healthcare offerings? Will it better position CVP to service a particular market or compete for new business?
Todd Pantezzi: By combining with Atlas, CVP is pursuing our goal of becoming a premier mid-tier comprehensive healthcare solutions and citizen services consulting and systems integration firm. Atlas adds new capabilities to CVP spanning research and evaluation, organizational transformation and innovation, strategic communications, and human capital solutions; deep domain expertise in veterans and military health, pandemic planning and response, health equity, mental health, and rural health; and a marquee federal health customer base.
CVP believes that providing technology and management consulting must be based on domain expertise and being connected to our clients’ missions. Adding Atlas’ domain expertise across public health and health care is key to CVP offering mission-oriented consulting services.
Atlas’ expertise also sharpens employment propositions to health and care delivery subject experts that can be leveraged across all health accounts.
CGCS: What trends and opportunities exist within the healthcare space today that make this an exciting, high-growth segment or marketplace for CVP? CVP has a history of also servicing the national security, defense, and public sector markets. Why is now a good time to be making strategic investments in the healthcare segment?
Todd Pantezzi: CVP has supported health agencies for almost our entire history. Prior to combining with Atlas, the majority of our clients were the major civilian health agencies that support Medicare, Medicaid, life sciences, underserved populations, research, and quality.
The Biden Administration’s commitment to addressing health equity, expanding access to care, improving health outcomes, reducing costs, and priorities are driving increased funding and establishing new programs across federal health agencies. The pandemic compounded this market impact, creating its own urgency and surges in funding.
CVP, combined with Atlas, is ideally positioned to meet these agency needs. This confluence of events overlaps with advances in technology and data science that are creating new opportunities to address the Administration’s priorities and to advance nearly all aspects of public health and healthcare.
Our portfolio of civilian agency clients largely focuses on cybersecurity and DevSecOps, both areas of significant need and funding increases across civilian agencies. CVP believes that this is the optimal time to be a leader in these markets.
CGCS: Aside from its capabilities and experience, what made Atlas a good acquisition target for CVP? What intangibles and other characteristics made the two companies a good fit?
Todd Pantezzi: CVP acquired Atlas because of the firm’s reputation, their similar culture, values, and vision for the future, and their exceptionally talented team. As we integrate the firms we are already finding a wealth of exciting opportunities where both legacy firms are collaborating to pursue opportunities for organic growth that would not have been possible solely as CVP. For example, CVP recently won our first contract with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), primarily due to Atlas’ unique health expertise combined with CVP’s data science and technology skills.
When evaluating a partnership, culture is always the first consideration. CVP is determined to only make partnerships with similarly-culture organizations. This opportunity also provides our employees with greater diversity in job opportunities, career advancement, and geographic locations.
CGCS: Does the acquisition of Atlas change or shift CVP’s sales targets and priorities? Does it impact which organizations or agencies that the company will be targeting or its go-to-market strategy in any way?
Todd Pantezzi: Yes, absolutely. Beyond the obvious expectations to increase sales following an acquisition, CVP combined with Atlas now has a much broader aperture in terms of the scope and size of agency opportunities that we can pursue. CVP is now better positioned for larger value, unrestricted competition opportunities that will transform the company into a mid-tier firm with a full range of consulting and implementation services, especially where health expertise is required. We also have tremendous opportunities to cross-sell services from existing clients to Atlas and vice versa. Atlas’s franchise position at the VA, and CVP’s depth in CMS, NIH, HRSA, and other HHS agencies created a fertile environment for leveraging relationships across these agencies and driving on-contract growth.
The agency-specific contract vehicles that Atlas brings to CVP also are driving our sales strategy. The Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Integrated Healthcare Transformation (IHT) contract—a 10-year, $1 billion indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) – is key to accessing the VA. Two vehicles with the FDA – $322M ceiling Business Transformation Team (BTT) BPA, and the $100M ceiling Integrated Solutions (IS) BPA – gain CVP access to this critical agency.
Atlas also provides a new government-wide vehicle for CVP’s transformation and human capital offerings via GSA’s Human Capital and Training Solutions (HCaTS) BPA (UNR). This opens up the entire federal market to CVP’s for these services.
CGCS: The acquisition of a company is always a difficult and bumpy road. Has the integration of Atlas into CVP begun? Have there been any challenges, lessons learned or best practices from the integration that you can share with our readers?
Todd Pantezzi: Yes, we have put together an Integration Management Office (IMO) to lead the charge towards a seamless integration. Under the IMO, we have leaders assigned from both the CVP and Atlas teams to work across the different functional and strategic areas of this integration.
The IMO leaders have developed initial work plans and identified opportunities across the two organizations to drive synergy. We will continue to work in lock-step to achieve our vision as a fully integrated healthcare solutions and citizen services firm.
CGCS: What does the future look like for CVP now that the acquisition of Atlas has been announced? Does the company envision undertaking any other growth events – mergers or acquisitions – in the near future? What are the growth opportunities and strategic priorities for CVP moving forward with the Atlas acquisition in the books?
Todd Pantezzi: CVP has a long history of organic growth and will be heavily focused on leveraging the resources and past performance of Atlas to meet the rapidly growing needs to innovate and maximize agency’s investments in data assets, particularly for health agencies in the highly dynamic and well-funded current environment.
Future acquisitions are always a growth opportunity. Such targets must address a specific gap in capabilities that will enable CVP to fulfill our ultimate strategy of being a full service, top-tier, health and civilian agency consultancy that competes successfully for unrestricted contract opportunities.