You’d think it would be easy to merge two companies. Just smash the two groups of users together and clean up the mess, right? Proper governance calls for communication, process, & automation – there are cultural changes, technology challenges, and policy considerations to watch out for. Each of those factors are a big piece of the M&A puzzle. According to a recent Bain & Company study of Mergers and Acquisitions, 70% of process and systems integrations fail, and they fail at the beginning of the M&A process.
Complicating this challenge is a shift in the strategic reasons companies choose to merge or acquire. In 2018, scope acquisitions outnumbered scale acquisitions for the first time ever. Scope acquisitions enable companies to move into new products, services, and markets, where scale acquisitions enable growth in market share of existing customers.
Cloudbakers has been assisting clients with integrating processes and systems for almost 10 years. A key focus in the last 3 years has been on speeding up the integration of collaboration systems for our G Suite customers. It’s not enough to just focus on the technology and the data anymore; true success comes from working together on building up the culture and policy pieces as well.
Our approach leverages tools and processes across four solution areas:
- Communication: Knowing how to communicate within the organization and where to focus in order to maximize impact
- Process: Rely on proven integration and migration systems, processes, and professionals to minimize cost and risk
- Governance: Focus on adaptability and adherence to the changing timelines, evolving business framework, and disclosure constraints involved in the M&A process
- Automation: Use of BetterCloud to automate SaaS application management for G Suite and other common apps like Slack & Okta, while gaining visibility and consistency on policy matters to keep compliance
Communication: Knowing where to focus
Bain & Company refer to this as the “IT thesis” – knowing how to choose what processes and systems to consolidate and when to consolidate them. Our approach helps clients focus early on the highest value parts of the collaboration stack to integrate.
The words “merger”, “acquisition”, and “divestiture” most of the time, if not always, bring forth a ubiquitous range of emotions, including excitement, anxiety, enthusiasm, confusion, and fear.
As Cloudbakers continues to grow, so does our expertise with not only the technical hurdles that M&A’s bring to the table, but the aforementioned emotional impacts as well.
Knowing where to focus helps minimize the amount of change the acquired company’s staff will have to face in the short term and as such minimize the change management costs of the integration.
Depending on the context (collaboration systems used by the company you are acquiring and the strategic intent of the deal), the key focus areas and strategies are different:
Process: Leveraging expertise
Mergers and acquisition teams are focused on the big picture of the transaction and the integration of legal, finance, and sales. As a result, these teams rely on Cloudbakers as a trusted partner to take on the technology migration.
Governance: Adaptability to timeline & constraints
Often times the identity of the company being acquired is unknown to the team responsible for the IT integration. As a result, discovery often requires the project plans and scope of effort to be flexible well after the process has begun.
Automation: Gaining visibility and consistency using BetterCloud
The recent blog from BetterCloud on how it can help IT manage the M&A process captures the four reasons we consult clients to automate:
- Inventory of people, files, and applications in the new company
- Multiple instance management
- Policy consolidation & Workflow consistency
- Proper new company IT admin privileges
Two quick client examples can help illustrate:
Bringing the cloud down to earth
Integrating an acquired company’s collaboration processes into your G Suite operation does not have to be a complex and expensive process. Cloudbakers can help you achieve speed and reduce risk for your M&A transactions.
Looking for more information? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to an expert!Originally published on September 09, 2019