What’s It Like to be Acquired by Progress? Part 2

What’s It Like to be Acquired by Progress? Part 2

Posted on May 02, 2024 0 Comments

Scott Uhlaender, who joined Progress as part of an acquisition in 2020, shares his thoughts on Progress and why our people, culture and business strategy set us apart.

In 2020, Progress acquired Chef, expanding our product offerings and moving us into a leadership position in the DevOps space while also adding a strong roster of enterprise customers.

In addition, we added some strong talent to the organization, including Scott Uhlaender. Scott, who became VP of Global Sales Infrastructure Management after the move to Progress, has seamlessly transitioned into his new role at Progress. Learn more about Scott’s experience and Progress’ M&A expertise in the interview below.

What did you do in your role at Chef, and how has that changed now that you’re with Progress?

At Chef my title was VP, North America Chef Sales. Today, it is VP Enterprise Sales, Infrastructure Management. Now, I oversee sales of Chef, along with LoadMaster, Flowmon and WhatsUp Gold.  

How was the transition/integration process from Chef to Progress?

The integration process was extremely well organized and well thought out. I was expecting a chaotic process, but it was the total opposite. Everything was extremely well communicated.

How has Progress helped you advance in your career?

Working with Chief of Staff Jim Vinson has been great. He has helped me gain new perspectives on my role in sales—applying a financial lens to my decision-making processes has been valuable. Also, working with Jeremy Segal and Alex Fries on the Corporate Development team has been exciting and educational, as I have gotten an opportunity to help evaluate many prospective acquisition targets. Working with them on M&A has allowed me to think creatively and explore new technologies and business models.

I’m very happy with the recent expansion of my roles and responsibilities, so my near-mid-term career aspirations have been achieved.

As a member of the Infrastructure Management leadership team, what is the most challenging aspect of your job? 

Within the team, things are ever-changing. From evaluating M&A opportunities with Jeremy and Alex to continually tweaking our sales to make sure we are growing the business efficiently, there is always something exciting to work on. Also, I spend a lot of time helping with integration once we close an M&A transaction. Managing my sales day job with these other efforts can be a challenge at times, but it is also fun.

Can you talk about a specific project or achievement you worked on while at Progress that you were especially proud of?

I am most proud of the case study I worked on with Panera Bread.

What aspect of Progress made you most excited when you joined the company?

When joining Progress, I was very excited by the resources a large company has and what they can offer their employees. Chef didn’t have a lot of capital to invest in the business, while Progress invests significantly in research and development (R&D), allowing us to continue innovating on the technology front. Additionally, Progress has substantial marketing resources which help my sales teams attack new parts of the market.

What is your favorite part about working at Progress? Do you have a favorite Progress memory? 

One of my favorite aspects about my role at Progress is that no two days are alike. Things are always changing, and we truly do have a fast-paced environment. We are consistently thinking of news ways to grow the business. Driving these operational efficiencies creates opportunity for employees and prevents complacency. I have also found that at Progress, everyone can be themselves. Your ideas are truly valued, listened to and appreciated. If you have an opinion, not only is it a safe place to share it, but people will genuinely listen.  

My favorite memory at Progress was finally meeting my team in person after the COVID-19 pandemic. I felt like I knew my team members so well, yet had never met them in person, so it was a terrific experience.   

What sets Progress apart as an acquirer that makes it a great place to work? 

A few things set Progress apart. First, as a sales professional, the diversification of products is extremely valuable to me. Second, the customer base diversity and quality are unmatched. Our business is very secure financially and our well-established brand in the market makes employees feel comfortable. 

What advice do you have for employees that will be a part of a future acquisition? 

I would advise all employees to be open to change and be ready for a fast-moving process. Good results will happen, but the deal process and integration process happen quickly, so be open to change and the rest will take care of itself.  

What are some things people may not know about you? 

I love to golf in my free time. Here’s an interesting fact: my younger sister is a five-time Olympian in skeleton sledding and my father was an MLB player and coach.

Learn more about Progress’ M&A strategy and approach here.

Alexander Fries

Alexander currently serves as the Director of Corporate Development for Progress, where he is responsible for sourcing, executing, negotiating and integrating mergers and acquisitions, which are essential elements of Progress’ business strategy. Prior to Progress, Alexander was a Manager on the Corporate Development & Strategy team at Ingram Micro, a leading global IT distributor based in Irvine, CA, where he led M&A and strategic initiatives across all business units and numerous geographies.

Alexander holds an MBA in Finance and Global Management from UCLA's Anderson School of Management and holds a BS in Finance and Economics from Babson College.


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