Adrift in a Sea of Dealrooms: The need for better decision making

The study found that 90 percent of respondents agreed that the overall quality of the VDR solution was vital for helping to make deals run smoothly and impacts a company’s ability to do its best work.

13 May 2010

“It's in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” I rarely quote Tony Robbins but his comment comes to mind on this occasion.  Although his statement is perhaps a little big-picture for my blog, just maybe he was referring to the destiny of one’s M&A deal or project.

Over lunch recently with some associates at a bulge bracket investment bank, I sat and listened to one of them talk for almost an hour about which car he was going to buy. It was clear that he had done the research and knew the ins and outs of every mid-sized sport sedan, and was planning to choose one based on the optimum combination of performance, quality, and overall value (sorry BMW, it actually wasn’t the 3-series in the end).

When I later asked the same associate why he uses Intralinks for deals, he simply said that he was told to use it by his colleague two years ago when joining the company straight out of b-school. While I’m more than pleased that he’s committed to Intralinks, I was astonished that more thought hadn’t gone into the process, in stark contrast to the time he’s spent researching cars.

Just as it would be embarrassing to bring a client into an old conference room where the paint was chipping off the walls, the table was made of cheap particle board, and the seats had torn vinyl, it should also be embarrassing to invite a client or prospect to a virtual workspace or dataroom that doesn’t reflect the value and quality work associated with the firm. Have you really looked at what you are using recently?

A recent third party preferences study surveyed hundreds of M&A professionals globally who use multiple Virtual Data Room (VDR) providers and asked them a series of questions to understand both their criteria for selecting their VDR before deals, as well as understanding how they felt about the different providers’ offerings. The survey showed not only that Intralinks beats the competition in every category, but also just how important it is to M&A professionals to have the right VDR provider in place.

The study found that 90 percent of respondents agreed that the overall quality of the VDR solution was vital for helping to make deals run smoothly and impacts a company’s ability to do its best work. Furthermore, 70 percent recognized that the VDR solution they choose reflects on the quality of their own firm. It’s astonishing to see the number of people who recognize the importance of the right solution, given how many folks still pick their VDR based on which company bought them dinner last week or what the guy in the next cubicle or office suggested in passing.

I believe Intralinks is highly regarded because exchange of critical information is the ONLY thing we do, and we do it better than anyone else. Unlike some competitors who have grown into this market from other peripherally related businesses or those barely beyond the start-up phase, Intralinks knows the deal process inside out and is intensely focused on doing everything it can to help deals run more efficiently. This is why it’s no surprise that when compared to the competition, by those who know and take the time to evaluate the difference, Intralinks comes out on top every time whether it’s on functionality, quality, or performance. People should do the research and take the decision making process on VDR selection very seriously — it’s a reflection on the value of the company and the company’s work. But as I always say: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Matthew Porzio

Matthew Porzio

Matt Porzio joined Intralinks in 2003. As SVP Marketing & Strategic Business Development, he is responsible for managing and driving the strategic direction for Intralinks Dealspace including virtual data room and full deal lifecycle solutions for the M&A, Private Equity, Advisory, Corporate Development and Restructuring communities. Before joining Intralinks, he was a senior associate at Metzler, a German advisory firm, focused on cross-border M&A transactions.