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When one company has better as-built IT documentation than the other, that’s the company that’s more likely to absorb the other. The existence of current as-built diagrams — not just the original design diagrams because things change when your IT infrastructure is actually setup — and up-to-date software licensing (such as for all Microsoft Office users) makes scaling much easier and faster. Documentation also verifies existing assets.
What IT assets does each company own? What equipment is at each location? How old is the equipment? Where are the data centers located? Which service providers are each company using? What are the operational processes of each company? The speed and accuracy with which you can collect this information impacts each step moving forward.
Integrated system accomplishment
The leverage you need to have to meet the business objectives of the merger. You will need to:
Conduct a gap analysis that covers all hardware, software, platforms and anything specific for each line of business
Evaluate all of the service providers, including ISPs, data service companies and platforms
Determine what’s redundant and what to keep
A structured methodology is the only way to go — there are far too many details to approach it any other way. Key parts of the road map are how much integration is needed before the companies can be joined and which initiatives to prioritize based on business impact and ease of implementation.
IT team capability
Does the current IT team have the expertise to handle each step of the integration process? Can they absorb the extra work? Will they be able to manage the combined infrastructure once the two systems are consolidated? Identify the IT integration leadership team early and assign responsibilities early, too. This also helps alleviate uncertainty in both companies.
Experienced IT advisors add structure and discipline
Bringing in Openix Solutions advisory team that has done a lot of integration work helps you make good decisions and can also help you execute merger activities. Our experience analyzing and consolidating assets, doing the technical mapping, sequencing priorities, and making recommendations about new investments are invaluable to the process. Openix Solutions also has access to additional resources like engineers and automation tools.
Automation tools help
Integrating IT systems can be labor-intensive and it usually needs to be done quickly, so the more that can be automated, the better. For example, a domain migration tool can take the security profile info from one business, map it and change the permissions into a script, and then move it from one system to the other. Without this tool, domain migration could take one to two hours to complete per computer. Unless one of the two companies is in the IT business, it’s highly unlikely they’ll own automation tools for systems integration.
Throughout the integration process, IT departments still need to keep the lights on! Successfully integrating two IT systems means the businesses need to continue to operate as usual during the consolidation. Some companies choose not to integrate right away and end up running one company in two different environments. This is inefficient and costly in the long run and not recommended.
Most mergers and acquisitions need a partner to help them integrate IT systems. It’s complicated work that can become even more complicated if it’s not done methodically. Openix Solutions often works with merging companies because as a managed IT service provider we take on new clients into our managed technology framework every day — this process is normal to us. We have the engineers, tools and staff on hand, and we’ve done it countless times with diverse businesses. If your company needs to integrate IT systems for a merger or acquisition, or if you just want to talk about the possibilities, feel free to contact us. We can engage as much or as little as you need to help you through the process.