By Anita Stein, UC Global Marketing Director, AT&T

The success factors for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be divided into two categories: “hard” and “soft.” Hard factors include things like IT and other systems integration issues, as well as the transfer of contracts. Soft factors include communication and culture factors, such as people and their responses to change. Studies have demonstrated the importance of managing the human side of the merger, with “cultural incompatibility” often cited as a significant barrier to integration. That’s why it’s important to optimize communication and collaboration during a corporate merger. Communication solutions can provide tools for the team to create and sustain a successful marriage.

Avoiding the M&A culture clash
Intensive communication is essential before, during, and after any merger process. The following merger touch points offer opportunities for better communication and collaboration:

Before: Strategy development, initial screening, and preliminary diligence
During: Negotiation, agreement, and closing the deal
After: Post-merger integration, validation, and process improvement

Clear, relevant, timely, and truthful communication is needed throughout the merger lifecycle. But what if each party has a unified communications solution that’s incompatible with the other? What if the acquisition’s HR team is running solution A, while the incumbent management team runs solution B, and the acquisition headquarters’ office uses solution C?

Getting the merger off to a strong start
Fortunately, the power of the cloud makes it possible for each party to access the collaboration and communication capabilities they’re familiar with without an intensive integration effort. By accessing a common, cloud-based unified communication solution, each organization can streamline communication and collaboration at a time when it’s needed most.

With a unified communication platform, each party in the merger on a supported platform can access a common cloud-based platform with tools like Presence and Instant Messaging. The resulting flow of information and collaboration supports not only the pre-merger phase, but also the critical post-merger phases when people, processes, and technologies have to integrate as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

The first 100 days* are considered vital for the overall success of a takeover or merger. For this reason, it’s wise to avoid the added effort of developing a unified communications solution or engaging in a lengthy integration process. Spending time building and cobbling instead of collaborating and progressing can add complexity, cost, resources, and risk to the merger process.

The M&A process can benefit from authentic communication in the exploration and negotiation phase, as well as reduced risk and unlimited collaboration in the integration phase.

Learn more about AT&T UC Federation to help your company improve communication and collaboration during the M&A process.

Source: CapGemini Consulting: ‘The first 100 Days’

Key insights
1.    The first 100 days are vital to the success of mergers and acquisitions (M&A)2.    Culture clashes can derail the M&A process and hinder communication between merging parties.

3.    An integrated UC platform can reduce risk and improve collaboration before, during, and after the merger.

*) Anita Stein is the UC Global Marketing Director at AT&T and an experienced marketer with over 20 years of working in IT, software and telecoms marketing working at companies such as Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Intel, LANDesk Software and Interwise. Her deep knowledge of UC&C comes from over 10 years of working in the UC&C market place.