Over the past year we’ve seen an entire re-shaping of the CX world as key players merge, overtake, assume, re-brand, acquire and shed in order to stay ahead of a sprawling customer base with even more sprawling habits and expectations. We’ve covered much of that activity here at TheCustomer – some of it from the distant sidelines and then occasionally with the people behind that activity.
Kyle Ferguson is CEO of Forsta and has been, for almost two years, at the helm of one of the companies at the center of all the activity. When we first met Kyle he had just been named CEO of Confirmit and was in the process of acquiring FocusVision, a consumer insights provider that had been operating adjacently to Confirmit. Cut to the second quarter of 2021 and we see Confirmit and FocusVision re-branding to Forsta in order to better unify their offerings. Recently Forsta announced that it is being acquired by Press Ganey, which pioneered the healthcare performance improvement movement over 35 years ago.
If all that leaves your head spinning just a bit, you’ll appreciate what Kyle had to say when we spoke with him about the acquisition and what that will mean for the company / companies.
So, we’ve been a strategic partner of Press Ganey for a number of years. We provide them with the technology platform that supports their workforce experience practice; doctors, nurses, healthcare practitioners – always looking to try to improve care for their respective companies. So, that’s where these conversations really started.
At what point did those conversations start to turn toward working together more cohesively, more holistically, than just as clients & vendors?
One of the things that impressed me when we first sat down and started having these conversations is that Press Ganey is a very mission-driven culture. Part of their mission is to really help and reduce suffering in the world. And one of the things that Forsta has aspired to be is a very much mission-driven organization. So right then and there, Pat (Patrick Ryan, Chairman and CEO, Press Ganey) decided there was something quite unique about our two businesses – imagine if we could bring them together.
I have to imagine as well, that your respective portfolios and the reach and breadth of your combined effort, played into those conversations as well. If I’m not mistaken, Press Ganey services almost all of the top-rated hospitals in this country.
Interestingly, Press Ganey has quite the large market share within the healthcare industry. They’ve got relationships with something like 41,000 hospitals across the U.S. Conversely, Forsta has a global reach – we operate in over 100 countries, we have 5000 customers that are touching our technology on any given day. When you think about that – the combined force is pretty unique, pretty compelling.
Where do you see both companies going as a result of this acquisition?
This absolutely gives us (Forsta) unparalleled access to greater scale, greater investment, acceleration of our product roadmap which we’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to really perfect — not only for our customers, but for their customers, to really drive value at the end of the day. For Press Ganey, this gives them access to our global reach, our leading-edge technology and, I think, the merging of these two companies, these two technologies, these two cultures will take our industry by storm.
I believe this acquisition accelerates our own plans to bring to the market best-in-breed technology, not only in healthcare, not only in market research, but spanning across a number of verticals.