EdgeGuide is an IT services provider in Stockholm, Sweden, with deep Microsoft expertise and a particular specialty in handling transitions after mergers and acquisitions. The 20-person team at EdgeGuide has defined a strategic methodology that guides clients from planning to project completion in order to quickly harmonize businesses coming together as a result of M&A.
Polygon Group is a company in acquisition mode. They’ve integrated more than 25 companies into their operations in the last couple of years, bringing on independent property damage restoration firms from three continents. Now, 5,400 Polygon employees serve insurance, property management, government, and industrial clients in 16 countries. When the acquired firms become fully integrated, Polygon can increase efficiencies in finance, marketing, HR, and operations as well as sharing knowledge across the entire enterprise.
Migrating to integrate
EdgeGuide began working with Polygon Group when the company was looking for a partner to move them from Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) to Microsoft 365. They recognized that Microsoft would offer a more robust collaboration platform at the enterprise level, allowing them to better integrate additional companies as they continued acquisitions. EdgeGuide offered a unique approach that focused on helping Polygon quickly harmonize their business.
“We have decades of technical expertise, but we actually see the core of our business as change management,” said Zaid Al-Balaghi, Deputy Manager at EdgeGuide. “That means helping people make the cultural shift to their new platform and changing their way of working. With this in mind, stakeholder involvement is critical.”
The Polygon project, which lasted 10 months and spanned more than a dozen countries, was organized into six phases: Prerequisites, communication, governance, user adoption, migration, and early life support (ELS). The migration itself, using BitTitan MigrationWiz, was a two-week process replicated across multiple regions. Pre-migration started two weeks prior to each site’s weekend cut-over. In all, the mail, documents, and collaboration tools for about 3,000 users were migrated – with more to come as acquisitions continue.
Keeping stakeholders involved for project success
The stakeholder involvement piece – weekly non-technical steering committee meetings throughout the course of the project – was designed to help C-level executives stay connected to the process and see the broader benefits of the platform change. In these meetings, EdgeGuide outlined tangible milestones and reviewed the team’s progress. They also built in a time to reflect on lessons learned. With Polygon, this happened after each regional migration.
“Most IT service providers understand the importance of a structured process, but they often lack the change management skills to get customers to their desired solution. Client companies have gotten wary of promises that don’t get fulfilled. At EdgeGuide we’ve fine-tuned a process that we put in place for every project, and our clients really see the difference it makes,” said Al-Balaghi.
Mergers and acquisitions can be tricky and complex, and not just from an IT standpoint. When two groups are beginning to work together for the first time, it’s important to build trust quickly. In the worst case, rumors begin to fly and employees don’t know who to believe.
“Our governance process gets the right people in the room so they can hear about project status and discuss what’s needed for the next steps. By making it high level and productive, they find it’s well worth 30 minutes a week,” said Al-Balaghi.
No trouble with MigrationWiz
MigrationWiz was chosen for the Polygon project because of its ability to deliver a fast, secure migration from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365. The EdgeGuide team was familiar with other migration tools, but decided to bring in BitTitan for this complex, multi-site project.
“We were really impressed with the error reporting in MigrationWiz. Because it’s so detailed, it allows for precise troubleshooting. The result is no wasted time because we know exactly what needs to be addressed and can fix it right away, keeping the migration on track. Other tools just stop and throw an error message, leaving you to discover what got hung up,” said Al-Balaghi.
EdgeGuide has completed the migration work needed to integrate Polygon Group’s current accumulation of companies. But there’s more to come as Polygon continues to implement the acquisition strategy that’s at the core of their growth plans. EdgeGuide – and MigrationWiz - stand ready with a migration taskforce that will respond as soon as they’re notified of a merger so they can quickly handle the next integration.