SIDN and Connectis: a year of investment
At the start of 2017, we announced our acquisition of a controlling stake in Connectis, one of the Netherlands' leading suppliers of secure log-in solutions. The deal was seen as a big boost for the digital identities market. Twelve months on, we can reflect on a momentous year.
From start-up to scale-up
We acquired Connectis just as the company was entering a new phase of development: transitioning from start-up to scale-up. It was the ideal moment for harnessing SIDN's experience to take Connectis's operations to the next level of professionalism. Over the last few months, therefore, we've been aligning Connectis's planning and control cycle with our own. The appraisal system, pay structure and benefit packages have all been overhauled and a joint team has sharpened up Connectis's commercial strategy.
More than ever before, the focus is on operational excellence. Connectis has traditionally done a lot of bespoke, project-based work. Now the time is right to optimise delivery speed and efficiency by shifting the emphasis towards standard products. A new distribution strategy has also been developed, focusing on two channels: an on-line channel for standard solutions aimed at the SME sector and a targeted partnership channel for more complex commissions.
First fruits of the new strategy
We're already seeing the first fruits of the various initiatives. For example, the parent to a string of insurance companies recently chose Connectis as its log-in partner. And a contract has been signed with a major, globally active ICT service provider: Connectis products will soon be incorporated into the concern's service range. Meanwhile, we're exploring the scope for working with government entities, e.g. on the further development of DigiD and on the interior ministry's data management project.
eID proposition for the registrar network
At the end of the summer, we organised a session for .nl registrars to discuss how the registrar network might get involved in the marketing of Connectis products. The main focus was on eHerkenning and ways of promoting the distribution of digital identities. Detailed consideration was given to Connectis's biggest product, the broker. The session yielded a number of valuable points that are now being investigated. As soon as the various issues have been worked out, an eID proposition will be put to the Registrars' Association.
Reinforcing the organisation
With an eye to the future and the role Connectis can play in the exciting developments ahead, we're looking for talented people. New Commercial Director Jeroen de Bruin and Sales Engineer Wessel Mienis have already arrived to reinforce Connectis's commercial team. And the search is on for a Marketing & Communication Manager, a Business Analyst, a Java Developer and an eID thought leader.
Martijn Kaag steps down as Connectis CEO
As agreed when we acquired our stake, Connectis's founder Martijn Kaag has stepped aside from his role as CEO. SIDN's CEO Roelof Meijer took over the helm at Connectis on 1 October. Martijn remains involved as Product Development Consultant and minority shareholder.
Secure log-in solutions and reusable digital identities
With 2017 done and dusted, we can look back with satisfaction at our first steps in the world of corporate acquisitions. It's clear that the eID market is highly dynamic. And that secure log-in solutions and digital identities are central to the future security of the .nl zone. Against that backdrop, we'll be working with our Connectis colleagues to lay the foundations for further growth. We remain dedicated to energising the market for secure log-in solutions and reusable digital identities.