Mergers and Acquisitions

Much of what is called investment is actually nothing more than mergers and acquisitions, and of course mergers and acquisitions are generally accompanied by downsizing.”
Susan George

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are challenging for their OSS teams on a number of different levels – across technology and personnel.

Maintaining business as usual means that all applications are invariably maintained, at first. But the merged entity will generally look to rationalise staff and technologies to remove any duplicate functionality.

When rationalising, it makes sense to undertake a roadmap analysis to identify which OSS applications will provide the business with a competitive advantage into the future. It doesn’t always happen quite that way though.

In an acquisition, the acquirer will tend to retain the tools that it is already comfortable with and projects are initiated to migrate the acquiree’s customer base across to the acquirer’s systems.

During a due diligence exercise, I had the opportunity to evaluate the fixed asset register, which included network and application assets, of a large Telco (Let’s call them Company A). They had been through an acquisition of a smaller CSP (Company B) around five years earlier and had kept Company B’s systems running, but made Company B’s staff redundant. leaving no-one with any knowledge about Company B’s systems, nor maintained related data.

Little did they know that one of Company B’s old OSS systems was actually a potential salvation for many of the monitoring, management and reporting issues they were having. To this day, the silver-bullet application is only acting as a service catalog and not the fully-fledged OSS that it could be for Company A.

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