Mergers and Acquisitions: Best Practices for a Smooth Consolidation

Mergers and Acquisitions: Best Practices for a Smooth Consolidation

Mergers and Acquisitions: Before, During, and After

A lot of factors weigh into the decision to merge with or acquire another company: The opportunity to expand markets, add product lines, or drive value through scale and efficiencies. In general, the sooner IT systems can be integrated following a merger or acquisition, the sooner the combined companies can take advantage of benefits like streamlined business functions, improved communications, enhancing customer service, and collaboration.

When executing a migration as part of a merger or acquisition, planning should begin before an agreement is finalized. The project can often be complicated by the involvement of multiple IT teams, different environments, and the uncertainty of dramatic organizational change. But with the right strategies, partners, and tools, you can deliver a timely integration so employees don’t miss a beat.

This provides an overview of best practices for M&A migrations in the three phases of the project: before, during, and after.

Before

The key to a successful migration is to start planning early. In the case of a merger or acquisition, this can present a challenge if there are limits on inter-organizational communications. But the more you can set in motion in the beginning, the easier it will play out in the end. Before the migration, you should create an IT taskforce, assess the environments, make a plan, and select your migration tool.

Create an IT task force: Set up a task force that includes key players from both companies’ internal IT teams. Identify who will oversee the project and make sure team members understand their roles and the overall objectives of the organizational change. Frequent meetings of the IT taskforce can minimize miscommunication that could delay the migration. The IT taskforce should identify important stakeholders within both organizations to make sure their needs are understood. This is also a good time to begin outlining the communication plan that will explain the process to all system users.

Assess the environments: An early assessment should be made as to what needs to be moved, and when. This may include identifying large data sets that could require more time and effort to migrate. There may also be reasons to leave some workloads behind. Part of the assessment is to locate where the data is stored and assemble an inventory showing data quality and value.

Make a plan: Migration planning can begin well in advance of the scheduled cutover. This includes identifying a strategy that best suits the needs of the organizations. For example, whether to migrate in batches or all at once. Developing a migration plan keeps all internal departments on the same page and helps manage the expectations of your leadership teams and stakeholders.

Pick a tool: Once you assess the environments to be combined and you’ve developed your migration plan, you’ll have a better idea of which migration tool will be best suited to the job. MigrationWiz offers a variety of license options. Which one you choose will depend on the workloads that need to be moved and the size and timeline of your migration. You can compare licenses online, or contact us to discuss your project.

During

It’s important to keep communication flowing during the migration, especially in an M&A scenario. There will be a lot of pressure to complete the project quickly so the combined organizations can begin to function as one. But this is also where lack of coordination can result in data or productivity losses. Continue to lean on your IT taskforce as you move into the migration phase.  

Set up collaboration: When you’re ready to start the migration process, consider migrating the productivity platform first. This way teams can immediately begin working and communicating together. Once that’s completed, you can start migrating the other systems and applications.

Communicate: A lot of what happens during a migration goes on behind the scenes, but that doesn't mean it should be kept a secret. Communication is critical, and it should be done at all levels of the organization. Once you’ve set a date, notify users and let them know what to expect. Make sure users know who to contact if they’re concerned about a particular work function or if they discover an issue that’s impacting their productivity. Be sure to provide progress reports, and don’t forget to announce once the transition is complete. If the plan changes for any reason, you’ll want to let everyone know.

Test: With MigrationWiz it’s easy to set up tests that will alert the team to issues that might impact timing or data integrity. This allows you to monitor the process and make sure concerns are dealt with as soon as they are detected.

After

The migration cut-over date isn’t the end of your project. Activities during the post-migration timeframe can help the combined organizations take full advantage of their integrated platform and assure a stable, worry-free environment.

Commit to consistent maintenance: Consistent maintenance is vital for preventing minor issues from snowballing into more complicated problems. Be sure your data governance protocols are being followed and security updates are top priority. 

Educate the organization: Employees impacted by a merger or acquisition will have a lot of new things to get used to. This may include everything from a new manager to different processes and procedures. If they’ve also been switched to an unfamiliar collaboration platform, it’s important to provide them with training, tips, and support to help them get up to speed quickly.

Make the most of the new environment: If a merger or acquisition means your organization now gets to take advantage of working in the cloud, be sure you’re prepared to make the most of it. BitTitan recently published these 8 tips for making the most of your cloud environment.

Yes, you have a lot to think about when your organization is planning a merger or acquisition. A migration may be inevitable, but you can also make it the smoothest part of the transition. BitTitan has people and resources to make sure every migration is a success. Contact us today to get started or learn more. 

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