Opus Global Brings Alacra and Hiperos Under the Same Roof


Opus Global announced Wednesday it acquired Alacra, a 20-year-old data aggregation and analytics firm focused on risk and compliance solutions for financial services. The firm brings a gold-plated roster of premier data content partners to the deal. Procurement and finance people will immediately recognize Bureau van Dijk, Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Experian, Fitch, IDC, LexisNexis, Moody’s, Morningstar, S&P, Thomson Reuters, TransUnion and Westlaw among the partners.  

What does Alacra do with the content? “Alacra develops workflow applications that enable 300,000 end users at over 200 financial institutions, professional service firms and corporations to find, organize, analyze and present mission-critical business information,” the company says on its website. “With nearly 175 unique databases available to our clients, Alacra has under license the largest collection of premium business information in the world.”

In practice, this means that Alacra is good at aggregating data from a large number of sources, deduping and cross-referencing this content with process workflow around it, thereby ensuring more reliable compliance.

By combining Alacra’s data with Hiperos’ risk, performance management and SLM solutions, the offering moves beyond “know your third party” to also cover “know your customer” – and looking at the sell side is critical to actual management of external relationships.

Since the money touched by procurement is only a fraction of what goes through the sales arm of an organization, what do firms really know about their distributors, partners, advisors, consultants and others that have a role in their broader sales organization? This is especially important to ask in far-flung parts of the world.

Currently, the financial services sector is Alacra’s – and Hipero’s – strongest vertical, which explains why Opus acquired the company. Note that this is expected to change, as Opus and Hiperos see clients moving away from a current relatively static “onboarded and done” approach to a dynamic “re-onboarding every day” mindset, which is enabled by and requires big data and large scale analytics – a trend they see as industry agnostic. The impetus for this shift is not merely the enabling technology but also raised expectations by bureaucrats, media and the public in general.

There is more analysis to be found in our PRO coverage of the deal published earlier today on Spend Matters. In closing, we observe that by combining Alacra's data aggregation and analytics capabilities with Hiperos' proven supplier relationship and risk management solutions, Opus Global appears to have cleverly assembled a self-reinforcing analytics machine. Even if initially targeted at financial services clients, this machine could be instrumental in creating a far more robust and insightful risk and compliance management approach than what is currently available.

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