For most technology industries, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity happens on a consistent basis, owing to the progressive nature of software and business requirements. In the world of contingent workforce management, most M&A activity has been limited to larger platforms that expand their breadth of functionality by acquiring smaller solutions to keep up with evolving business requirements. However, once every few years, a major shakeup occurs that rocks the contingent workforce technology landscape to its core.

Almost three years ago, one of the industry’s largest and most historic acquisitions occurred when ERP giant SAP acquired Chicago-based Vendor Management System (VMS) platform Fieldglass. The $1B transaction proved to be one of the most significant happenings in the non-employee workforce solutions market. Up until today, there hadn’t been similarly impactful new for a while, as earlier this morning, global VMS provider IQNavigator announced that it is merging with Jacksonsville-based and fellow VMS solution provider, Beeline.

“The contingent workforce is a fast-growth market as business leaders turn to non-employee labor to optimize their total talent costs, tackle skills shortages created by an aging workforce, and execute on their mission critical goals,” said Joe Juliano, President and CEO of IQN. “As our customers and partners navigate this changing world of work, our merger with Beeline enables us to more rapidly and effectively respond to their needs by focusing on sustained customer satisfaction, superior execution, and the industry’s largest R&D investment.”

“It’s exciting to combine two successful and proven innovators in VMS,” said Doug Leeby, President of Beeline. “Our clients, and the market, will benefit tremendously from this merger by leveraging the collecting advances we’ve made in user experience, integration, analytics, and self-sourcing. Together, we bring unique expertise, technological strengths, a robust partner ecosystem, and rapid innovation to deliver a superior level of workforce technology to our customers and partners.”

Some highlights of the deal include:

  • Doug Leeby, Beeline’s current president, will serve as lead for the IQN/Beeline brand. IQN CEO, Joe Juliano, will transition into a new role on the board of the new organization, to “assure continuity and success of the combined organization.”
  • GTCR, the private equity firm that owns IQN, purchased the VMS solution, software, and related assets of Beeline from Adecco Group, one of world’s largest staffing firms and workforce management providers (Adecco is based in Zurich-Glattbrugg, Switzerland, while GTCR is based in Chicago).
  • Both current IQN and Beeline customers can expect no disruption to current services or capabilities. The two providers are currently working on integration plans for 2017.
  • Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
  • Users of both platforms can expect more information, including a joint product roadmap and branding plans for 2017, as they become available.

Stay tuned to CPO Rising for an in-depth analysis on the major market and industry implications of the IQNavigator and Beeline merger.


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