The approach for integrating a merger or acquisition should be made in phases. The first two phases should be started prior to the deal being announced if possible. The third phase builds out the longer-term solution.
First – leverage your master data and integrate it with the new organization’s master data to reach out to your customers and vendors during the initial phase with targeted messaging based on their relationship with each company. This should include direct messaging from the top leadership to the key customers of the combined entity, mitigating loss to the competition.
Second – leverage your architecture and metadata to quickly analyze what it would take to build a sustainable integrated view of the combined organization. Document any conflicts or gaps and then quickly move forward putting the solution in place so that it alleviates some of the pressure to integrate all source systems on day one. By combining the organizations and the data level it allows management to make better and faster decisions across the combined entity. It will also show where there are true synergies, overlaps or gaps based on the facts that will either confirm or deny what was assumed during the planning phase.
Third – use your information strategy by leveraging the business process knowledge, architecture and metadata to help with the integration and consolidation of all systems across the newly created enterprise. Having a clear picture of the business process and integrated data flows will help minimize the time that is needed to evaluate the new organization’s systems and how they fit or can be replaced within the current architecture.
The divestiture process is fairly straightforward. You identify the business processes, master data and transactional systems that are directly related to the divestiture and document them. You then analyze the impact from the removal of the systems, data and related resources. One key business decision that must be made is how to handle the historical truth in the data for period to period comparisons. It is also important to determine how much historical data will be sent along with the organization that is being divested. All of these processes and decisions are made easier by having information strategy that is comprehensive and well documented.