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How to make a merger work from an integration perspective

A few years ago, the news broke that Microsoft was acquiring LinkedIn for $22.6 billion. Perhaps one of the most controversial acquisitions in the past decade, but one which has no doubt had legions of advisers on both sides who are presumably more qualified than me to establish a fair valuation price. For a company like WHISHWORKS who provide systems integration services, the news of the acquisition was a tempting prospect.

We know that integrating people to a new organisation after an acquisition is a messy affair, but could integrating IT systems be even more challenging? Deal makers and C-Suite executives around the world are often keen to push deals for a number of reasons, but ‘growth-by-acquisition companies’ as some term them, often face serious problems for the ground level staff trying to keep operations working after the merger.

Insufficient analysis, planning and ability to implement a successful IT integration can make everyday business process (quoting, sales, ordering, reporting etc.) unbearably more complex and time consuming for individuals carrying them out. Without a successful integration of applications and systems intended to deliver these process, duplications and lost data are sure to occur, along with the inevitable fall-out of seriously aggravated employees.

The successful integration of data from both organisations ensures that businesses have access to accurate and informative resources needed to carry out the necessary functions of operations and support. Whether stored in old-fashioned rack servers, or hosted in ‘The Cloud’, the data held by the organisations needs reviewing and integrating with due care and diligence, otherwise the outcome is often pure chaos, with information scattered, lost or inaccessible to the people that need it the most.

If these challenges aren’t met properly, visibility and regulatory compliance are sure to nose-dive shortly after. Duplicate, missing and unsecured data will lead to unsatisfied customers, falls in brand perception and revenue, and unless companies have established a data integration system, getting a unified customer view would become impossible.

These challenges are also likely to increase the risk of compliance breaches, as the merging companies may have previously been subject to different regulations, policies and guidelines which now need to be unified and enforced to prevent fines.

Microsoft now face the not insignificant challenge of unifying their new IT architecture after their latest acquisition. In my experience, systems and processes are unlikely to be standardised across even one of the two businesses, let alone both. To solve this problem, the company could look at implementing an Enterprise Service Bus or ESB, which are specifically designed to tackle integration challenges like these.

If your organisation is in a similar position, having recently been part of an M&A exercise, take a moment to look into how WHISHWORKS can deliver a successful MuleSoft Implementation to solve your integration challenges.

If you would like to find out more about how API-led Integration could help you make the most out of your current infrastructure while enabling you to open your digital horizons, do give us a call at +44 (0)203 475 7980 or email us at

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