Evolver and eVigilant merge to form Converged Security Solutions

 - 
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

RESTON, Va.—Virginia-based security companies Evolver and eVigilant are merging through the private investments of Hillcrest Holdings Inc. and Akoya Capital LLC. The combined company, named Converged Security Solutions, will offer a managed services security solution spanning cyber- and physical security.

Evolver provides cybersecurity, cloud, infrastructure, application development, end-user support, and legal technology solutions across the federal and commercial markets. eVigilant provides IT and security solutions—specifically, the company has worked in designing, engineering, implementing, operating, and monitoring electronic security systems for hundreds of organizations.

“The reason the combination makes sense is that this provides us with core capabilities including risk quantification, which is very important to determine not just where your security exposure is, but how many dollars of exposure you might be experiencing,” Dr. Bob Friedenberg, the newly appointed CEO of the combined company, told Security Systems News.

“I think that we are very well positioned to capture a couple of key trends in the security marketplace. We’re seeing lots of restructuring of parts of the government where they’re starting to define security inherently as converged,” Friedenberg said. “The second is the emergence of the Internet of Things. … We’re right at the place where all the remote devices that could represent attack vectors on networks are starting to become under more scrutiny.”

By integrating network-enabled physical security systems—such as access control, ID management, video surveillance, motion detection—with cybersecurity—including network protection, intrusion detection, malware prevention, information assurance—CSS clients will gain increased infrastructure protection and risk mitigation across multiple types of threats, the company said in its announcement.

Evolver CEO Bill Sabo will be the new president and COO and eVigilant’s CEO Gunvir Baveja will serve as the new EVP of strategic sales. The company’s board of directors will include John J. Regazzi, former CEO of Elvesier Inc. as executive chairman of the board, and Mike O’Kane, founder and chairman of Evolver serving as vice chairman.

“We have been committed to converged security as the right solution for our customers for several years. There is tremendous synergy between the two organizations, and we have already been teaming to offer our combined services. Now that Evolver and eVigilant have come together, we will be a transformative force in the market,” Bajeva said in a prepared statement.

Friedenberg has previously worked as the EVP of integration and CIO for another converged security company. “I wanted to do something relatively similar in that it would cover converged security, but also recognize that the market had moved forward since then,” Friedenberg said, mentioning IoT as one emerging trend. “We also wanted to much more heavily invest in remote security services as a more cost effective delivery method.”

For the time being, CSS will keep using the Evolver and eVigilant brands, Friedenberg said. He outlined the process of integrating the two companies: “We are combining the HR and benefits part of the organization very rapidly. We’re going to be looking at combining IT over the next few months. We’ll integrate the financial systems early next year. What will take the longest is to start to project out the integrated solution.”

A potential challenge to providing integrated solutions is the respective companies’ current success, according to Friedenberg, which can prolong legacy modes of business operations and thinking.

It has been a fairly long acquisition process, Friedenberg said, which comes with some benefits. “Both companies have gotten to know each other fairly well, pre-close. That, from my perspective, made it easier to deal with some of the cultural challenges that can be problematic in doing these kinds of integrations.”

Hillcrest and Akoya, the first institutional investors for both Evolver and eVigilant, are providing growth capital to CSS to support its go-to-market strategies and the new managed services lines of business.

Friedenberg said he had been working with Akoya on the idea behind CSS. “They agreed to take this on and they were invaluable partners in refining the value creation plan, helping find Hillcrest as the majority investor, and putting together a board that will help us manage and grow the business.”