"It’s really easy to delegate responsibility and have someone put some data in the VDR. That makes life easier, because I don’t have to spend time with the user or explain or demonstrate that Intralinks is the right tool. Usually, the users are easily convinced."
– Sylvain Rivoire, WFS Group CFO
Paris-based Worldwide Flight Services Global SA is a major provider of airline cargo and ground handling services. It supports 120 international airports, and is expanding its role in transportation infrastructure management, with a major presence in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Singapore.
As an international company, WFS needs to regularly conduct mergers and acquisitions and execute strategic projects. This requires storing and sharing key data and content among project stakeholders. To handle all these processes, WFS maintained three distinct VDRs, running on a single collaboration platform.
These VDRs were complex and expensive to maintain, says WFS Group Chief Financial Officer Sylvain Rivoire. But it would have been a challenge for the prior provider to consolidate these VDRs into one instance, and still have the documents be readily accessible. Additionally, to open and view files in the prior system required using Java, and this created potential security risks for WFS.
Because of these challenges, in the spring of 2014, Sylvain Rivoire explored deploying Intralinks. From previous professional experiences, he was already familiar with the Intralinks platform, and knew it was robust enough to absorb the existing VDRs.
However, some of the WFS team members wanted to stay with the current provider, as they were already familiar with product.
But, says Sylvain Rivoire, “Intralinks was more efficient, more user friendly, less expensive, and more flexible.” Using a proven provider such as Intralinks also reduced the risk of project failure.
Among the major selling points was that the Intralinks Viewer didn’t require a plug-in — either Java-based or of any other sort. Also, the Intralinks user interface was intuitive and easy to navigate, as some of the WFS end users discovered during a piloting phase.
To simplify the VDR migration, Intralinks provided a dedicated project manager familiar with the various challenges WFS faced. “It was very useful for us (and for me) to have a dedicated project manager,” explains Sylvain Rivoire. “You don’t have to explain again and again what you want, and that makes your life easy.
Initially, WFS adopted Intralinks to serve as its VDR for team collaboration. Later, WFS expanded its use to support integral M&A transactional processes. The WFS team saves between 30 percent to 50 percent of the time required to configure and manage a new VDR (compared to the prior system). It also helps cut the team’s VDR costs between 15 percent to 20 percent (depending on the size of the VDRs).
Simultaneously, WFS enjoys tighter control over the VDR content and data. Creating and managing VDRs for large deals can be complex. “For this kind of M&A project, you have to control a lot of information shared with a lot of players, with different levels of education,” Sylvain Rivoire says. “Users are not always used to working in this kind of data room.”
The streamlined navigation of Intralinks allows users to adopt the system quickly. “It’s easy to share the tool with other people in the group,” Sylvain Rivoire explains.
“It’s really easy to delegate responsibility and have someone put some data in the VDR. That makes life easier, because I don’t have to spend time with the user or explain or demonstrate that Intralinks is the right tool. Usually, the users are easily convinced.”