In conversation with Ulrich Mangold

  • 10-07-2023
  • Article
Main interviewed Ulrich, CEO of PeakAvenue, to discuss the merger between iqs and Plato and to find out what the plans are for the future.

Jointly, PeakAvenue can perform- what I’d like to call- a quantum leap to stay ahead of the game.

- Ulrich Mangold, CEO of PeakAvenue

With the merger of iqs Software GmbH and Plato AG in 2022, PeakAvenue, a portfolio company of Main Capital, becomes the new combined brand name. A name that echoes the possibility of excellence: “The straight path along the digital thread”, according to CEO Ulrich Mangold during an interview with Main to discuss the formation and next steps.

Can you tell us a more about how and why this merger was formed?

“Beforehand both companies were already profitable and successful in their go-to-market, so there was no real, direct pressure to merge. However, in face of a joint ambition to achieve a market leading position, we had to ask ourselves: how can we gain momentum over the long run? Where can we find the right synergies to achieve this growth? We knew we couldn’t paint the picture we envisioned in front of us as a standalone company. As a result, we decided, with Main’s support, to run our operations as one unified organization, PeakAvenue. We saw the possibility to define a well-managed generational change: a change that would lead to a more efficient organization with a stronger market position.”

How can PeakAvenue benefit from the consolidation?

“Jointly, PeakAvenue can perform- what I’d like to call- a quantum leap to stay ahead of the game, and not just deliver continuous improvements. Besides more technical power the main benefits of bundling the forces are international growth, broader focus on various verticals and customer synergies. The combination of 30 years of experience with double the resources, more people and more power, as well as a new idea and a new generation, stimulates a scale-up mentality; a joint mission and vision for the future that makes it all the more exciting and motivating. Everyone at PeakAvenue is part of this evolving journey. This is where the biggest synergy occurs, among the people themselves. We have for example experts in different verticals and in combination of both we can gain momentum. So, through that we are currently in the middle of creating this quantum leap. The real exciting thing is that we are in a system-defining stage. Rather than administering a status quo, our aim is to perhaps change some rules in the market along the way and to play a major role in it.”

What are the next steps?

“PeakAvenue, now as one company, has worked on developing a strategy of building a new platform that really fosters the digital footprint throughout the entire product life cycle. As such, the PeakAvenue solution provides a comprehensive platform for quality management processes. This new product will be a scalable web-based solution hosted in the cloud, which is open, allowing the customers to connect it with other systems. It will be an integrated, connected system which allows the customer to learn and increase their maturity.”

In the wake of a merger, what is needed to ensure a successful integration?

“The sweet spot to a successful organization after a merger, in my opinion, can be answered twofold. The first aspect is putting the right people in the right positions. This sounds simple, but in reality, the process is more complex and you need to allocate and fill positions from a strictly strategic perspective. Secondly, communicate effectively and transparently. So, telling the new story, both internally and externally, and motivating people to be part of this- of PeakAvenue. This is far more meaningful than setting metrics and KPIs, because ultimately people make a business.”

How can Main help PeakAvenue achieve its ambitions?

“Main was instrumental in convincing us of the merger. In hindsight, I believe the founders made the right decision. Main, as a pragmatic and strategic- rather than a formalistic- partner, can help us accelerate profitable growth. In addition, we can gain a broader network, which I believe allows us to nurture and maintain valuable contacts necessary for this growth. Another benefit is that, although Main is not interfering with the practical business, they do provide deep-sector and market knowledge, giving us strategic advice from an analytical perspective. Main challenges us, which generates creative tension and makes us perform to our potential and helping us throughout the entire integration process.”

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Esmée Knijff