A Richmond-based IT firm is making a bigger play for automating government office work after hiring another local tech company’s founder and CEO.
Impact Makers announced in late April it hired Anthony Fung, the founder of Amplitude9, to further expand its robotic process automation services.
Robotic process automation, or RPA, is technology designed to take over monotonous workplace tasks, which frees up human workers to focus on other duties.
The move in effect means Amplitude9’s robotic process automation services have transferred to Impact Makers now that Fung is Impact Makers’ vice president of client intelligent automation solution. Amplitude9 staff are expected to transfer to Impact Makers as well.
“It’s essentially a merger by any other name,” Impact Makers CEO Michael Pirron said, referring to the move as a “de-facto” merger. “Rather than the two entities merging, all of Amplitude9’s services and its staff will move to Impact Makers. (RPA) has been an area of focus for us and this is us investing further in that area.”
Impact Makers is a consulting firm that works to improve clients’ data management, cyber security, analytics strategy and other technological aspects of their businesses. The company’s clients are in the health care, financial and public sectors.
The addition of Fung means Impact Makers has further expanded into automating office work particularly in the public sector, where Amplitude9 has focused its efforts. Amplitude9 licenses its intellectual property to Impact Makers.
The automated process can find use in applications such as billing reconciliation or onboarding for new employees, Pirron said.
Pirron declined to comment on the identities of the Amplitude9 clients now serviced by Impact Makers but said there were five government agencies and universities on the roster.
Fung said last week it wasn’t yet clear how many of Amplitude9’s nine employees would join Impact Makers. He expected Amplitude9’s five software developers would be transferred. Impact Makers currently has about 70 workers.
Fung is still CEO of Amplitude9, which continues to exist for product research and development related to Impact Maker’s expanded RPA services.
“We were aligned with where we wanted to go with RPA and their mission was very attractive to me to join forces,” Fung said. “They deliver the services and Amplitude9 has some R&D resources to make it a product if it’s scalable.”
Fung said he’s known Pirron for a while and their companies had already been working together when Pirron pitched the idea several months ago. Fung, who was a deputy secretary of technology under the Terry McAuliffe administration, founded Amplitude9 in 2019.
Pirron, who founded Impact Makers, resumed his tenure with the company when he returned as CEO in 2020. The previous year Pirron filed a lawsuit against Impact Makers to reverse a sale of the company, and argued he was forced out to set the stage for the deal. The dispute was quickly settled.
Pirron said the company has downsized its headquarters in The Symbol commercial building at 3200 Rockbridge St. in Scott’s Addition to 3,200 square feet from the 13,200-square-foot space it inked a lease on in 2017.
“We had a lot of unused space and we wanted to save money and relocate the funds to other areas for further growth,” Pirron said.
Impact Makers is a public benefit corporation that is owned by The Community Foundation and Virginia Community Capital.