One on One with Cision’s Peter Granat

UPDATE: 10:01 AM February 9th – Cision sent out this announcement to customers today  which provides further explanation: “Coming this spring, you’ll have the option to upgrade to our new edition, which has easier navigation and a sleek new design, for no additional cost. “

There is also the option to get early access to the new edition. All you have to do is sign up and Cision will let you know when you can upgrade and in exchange provide some real-world feedback.

CisionLogoPeter Granat is in the middle of the largest Public Relations vendor consolidation the industry has seen… I dare say ever. Within 6 months in 2014 GTCR announced it had

acquired Cision, Vocus, Visible Technologies and Gorkana all with Peter Granat at the helm.

I spoke with Mr. Granat last month to see how this effort is moving forward.

The Integration

While at Cision Mr. Granat saw 8 acquisitions between 2004 and 2008, including MultiVision, Delahaye, MediaMap etc. The constant between many of these acquisitions has been that the business layer is very similar making integration easier due to similarities on thought leadership and product positioning. The same holds with the four organizations he is pulling together now.

“We have the opportunity to combine these companies with a fresh start around the core values of the business” – Peter Granat commenting on the integration progress

Our conversation was very polished; after all Peter has been speaking with press, employees, clients and making his case with GTCR for months around this mash-up , so no surprise there. As I’ve been told by current and former employees he is personable and transparent which helps breakdown cultural barriers between the companies.

The main thing that stood out during our conversation is this: Mr. Granat is making things happen despite cultural differences and deep seeded animosity (Vocus vs. Cision) that has existed for years. His leadership is what will make these individual companies & cultures come together and provide a formidable option in the marketplace once everything is all pulled together.

A Surprise Reveal

An account executive called me last week to provide an update on the merger and the new features available to clients. After providing the same items that I already knew from using the Vocus system (things just show up like content from LexisNexis) or was told by Mr. Granat during our call they provided the tidbit that I had been hoping to find out about.

The question of which platform would move forward and which would be ‘retired’.

The current edition of CisionPoint is going to be retired in late 2016.

The upgraded edition is going to be based on the Vocus software. An updated interface will ultimately deliver all the goodies from Cision, Vocus, Gorkana and Visible Technologies to current and future customers.

When I spoke to Mr. Granat he did not commit to which product would be the basis of the ‘New Platform’ so this was exciting to hear. Time frames on this are not public however Mr. Granat noted users can expect to see a rolling update of features (in both Vocus and Cision) as 2015 goes along. Now we know the updates will be focused on the product formally known as Vocus.

Mr. Granat was very clear that when the time comes clients will be migrated with plenty of time and training provided to transition to the “New Platform” smoothly when it is formally introduced.

Goodbye Vocus

vocuslogo On February 2nd the Vocus name was retired. In an announcement to users on January 30th Cision stated  “as a result of the combined strength of the new Cision family, our customers can access premium news content from LexisNexis and media evaluation through Cision’s Digital Reach tool. On February 2, we will retire the Vocus company name. Rest assured that the Vocus products, including the Vocus PR Suite, are still available and Cision will continue to support and enhance them.”

So while Cision won the branding, Vocus won in the technology and interface. A clear indication that Mr. Granat is focused on taking the best of all the acquisitions to make a compelling combined product offering.

In closing, all signs point to a solid offering being put together by talented teams from the entire Cision ecosystem (Cision, Vocus, Gorkana & Visible Technologies).

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