Innovation spotlight: Fusion Alliance's merger with Quick Solution proves to be beneficial
Two IT and digital consulting firms have combined to help clients seize opportunities due to changing technology.
Technology is constantly changing, a truth embraced by Fusion Alliance, an IT and digital consulting firm that helps clients develop digital and data strategies.
Change is also something the firm has experienced itself-having just merged with the Westerville-based, former Quick Solutions. The merger is still fresh. The sign out front of the office still needs to be updated. The one inside just was.
"One of the things that we realized very early on is that the cultures of our two companies were very, very similar. Many of the same values, value structures, mission, vision, those types of things," says Fusion Chief Operating Officer Tom Campbell, who was CEO of Quick Solutions. "So when we got together once, we did our transaction. Really, to put our combined mission and vision values together was relatively easy to do because it was so similar prior."
Quick Solutions was founded in Columbus in 1991 by Gary Quick-the company name wasn't just a play on words. Just west in Indianapolis, Fusion Alliance was established in 1994. The two firms did many of the same things-helping clients with digital strategies and issues like content management, the cloud, IT and mobile experience. Their client lists and service offerings differed, but those were also similar, says Fusion President and Partner Rick Mariotti.
When Quick Solutions wanted to expand into the Cincinnati market, where Fusion Alliance already had an office, they noticed each other.
The companies merged in October 2014 and the union has resulted in a combination that offers the best of both firms, Campbell and Mariotti say. The process has been smooth as the companies took their time on details.
"When we closed the deal and started all the things you need to do administratively to bring the company together-for example, employee handbooks, right?-they literally looked like they were written by the same company," Mariotti says. "We were so close there were times when we had to laugh."
In January 2015 Fusion Alliance kicked off its "One Company" initiative and harmonized infrastructure, HR policies and office administration. The work is mostly done, and now they focus on business opportunities.
"The unique value that we bring to the market is to bridge that gap between business, IT and marketing, and help take the vision and the business opportunity and architect the right solution and do a great job on the delivery side of that," says Indianapolis-based Fusion CEO Doug Brown.
Fusion has faced challenges in finding talented potential employees, but that's a problem across the technology industry, Campbell says.
The company hopes to expand geographically and sees lots of prospective clients out there. Companies are discovering that technology can be disruptive, and they need to prepare, Campbell and Mariotti say.
For instance, Mariotti says a CEO of a large insurance company recently told him he expects that in just two decades, increasingly common technology in cars-backup cameras, sensors, automatic braking and, potentially, self-driving vehicles-could significantly lower business in the auto insurance industry.
"What's happening is incidents on the road are going to decrease and decrease until, they believe, in 20 years it's going to be abnormal to see a car hit another car because the computer is going to stop it before it ever happens. So their business is going to dry up. They've got to start thinking today about how they're going to replace billions of dollars worth of auto premiums," he says.
Problems like that are where Fusion Alliance can help. For Columbus-based Alliance Data Card Services, Fusion has helped with data strategies, website builds, partner assessments and other digital development projects, says Alliance Data Chief Information Officer Mike Rosello.
"I like the fact that they are local, (and) I know their most senior leaders personally," Rosello says.
Fusion has positioned itself well, he says. "I think they are making strategic acquisitions in the marketplace and focusing on more precise services to deliver as core to their business model, versus having a very large service-offering catalog where firms would then have to be lean in regards to their bench strength and selling model."
Kevin Kidder is a freelance writer.
440 Polaris Parkway, Suite 500
Business: Fusion Alliance is an IT and digital consulting firm that merged in 2014 with Columbus-area firm Quick Solutions. The reconfigured company focuses on giving clients business expertise in marketing, data, digital and cloud technology.
Other Locations: Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
Founded: Fusion Alliance, 1994; Quick Solutions, 1991.
Employees: 550 (185 in Westerville office).