If you’ve been paying attention over the last couple of years, Appriss, the company best known in the background screening industry for its continuous monitoring solution for incarceration records, has quietly been acquiring organizations that provide data and research solutions to consumer reporting agencies. Recent acquisitions include companies like Crime Finders Inc. (CFI) and Hygenics Data.

Well, neither of these sent waves through the industry like their most recent acquisition of Innovative Enterprises, announced yesterday.

In my mind, Innovative is the most pre-eminent provider of national criminal data (multi-jurisdiction search) in the country. The team at Innovative, headed by Cliff Williams, Bill Bollinger and Tim Brothers has been hitting it out of the park as long as I can remember and in my experience was by far the easiest to work with when it came to their national criminal data products.

Put simply, the acquisition is kind of a big deal for Appriss (gross understatement), because it will allow them to significantly expand their footprint into the background screening industry and enhance the data products they currently offer while giving them a nice vehicle to cross-sell their continuous monitoring solutions. Between this acquisition and March’s announcement that they intend to partner with SJV for both pre and post-hire solutions, we’re talking about an extremely robust data solution.

What Can CRA’s Expect?

My sense is that this acquisition will not have any immediate effects on the organizations’ respective client bases. I’m sure, initially, you’ll just be hearing a lot about this deal and the promise it brings. Inevitably, the cross-selling will begin shortly thereafter and if you are in the market for more products, there should be significant enticements for consolidation. In addition, I can imagine there will be meaningful enhancements to the company’s respective products which will only make them stronger.

For those that are not already customers, I believe there will now be a very compelling reason for you to evaluate the benefits of working with the combined companies.

Bigger picture, this acquisition means that Appriss will be a fixture in this industry for some time to come. They are making substantial investments in the background screening market and will become a household name if they aren’t already. The ball is now in their court to integrate all of these parts together as seamlessly as possible to benefit their customers and realize the full potential of these deals.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.