Integration Center of Excellence: Streamline Your Business Mergers

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can create business advantages. But to realize those advantages, enterprises need to be able to integrate the merged or acquired businesses quickly and efficiently.

Combining businesses requires data integration and comprehensive data governance.  Two previously independent business entities need to be able to share data, coordinate operations and consistently agree on just what a particular data field, such as Sale Closed, really means.

Acquisition sprees need to become integration sprees if they’re going to be successful. And what’s the best way to ensure that integration can be performed quickly and effectively, time after time? Establishing an integration center of excellence.

An integration center of excellence is a cross-departmental team that establishes reference models, integration patterns, best practices and tools for implementing integration in the best possible way.

In an earlier post, I offered 7 steps for creating an ICoE. In this post, I’m going to talk about the importance of ICoEs for realizing the maximum value from M&A transactions.

Learn how the integration cloud serves as the foundation for highly effective, modern ICoEs. Read our new ebook “Reinventing the Integration Center of Excellence.”

Merging and Acquiring Companies and Integrating Their IT Systems

In the past couple of years, M&A activity has reached a feverish pace. By early 2018, the Financial Times noted that deal-making was up more than 50 percent from the previous year, exceeding $1 trillion in deals.

With more M&A activity taking place than ever before, it’s critical that large enterprises develop efficient, repeatable processes for integrating other companies’ technologies and processes. Without that integration, M&A activity cannot deliver the returns expected of it.

Managing disparate organizations with their own data silos is a recipe for inefficiency and frustration. The better way forward is to integrate and optimize from the start.

At TechStone, we’ve worked with a client that’s a leading organization in its field. In recent years, this company has acquired 45 other companies. Initially, it wasn’t able to leverage the scale of its expanded organization. The IT systems remained disparate and employee data wasn’t centralized. And each of the 45 companies had its own fleet of trucks.

Once the M&A deals were complete, this enterprise found itself with a master fleet of 30,000 trucks. But because IT systems weren’t integrated, the company had no way of tracking and optimizing truck routes and schedules across this mammoth fleet. Activities remained uncoordinated.

We worked with this company and helped it establish an ICoE. The ICoE worked with various organizations internally and began integrating systems and implementing master data management (MDM). Now, the company has a single source of data for products, services, assets and financial operations. All employee data is consolidated and consistent. 

With all systems integrated and data consistently tracked and governed, the company has been able to roll out a new GPS service for its entire fleet. A single technical solution works with all the subsidiaries’ IT systems.

This massive economy of scale wouldn’t be possible without integration. Today, the ICoE is managing integration for the entire organization, spanning all 45 acquisitions.

Bringing Agility to M&A Deals With Boomi

The Boomi integration platform is ideally suited to this type of work. With its low-code interface, collection of ready-to-use connectors, built-in master data hub capabilities, and Boomi Suggest service offering community-based recommendations for common integrations and transformations, Boomi helps companies more quickly integrate the other companies they’ve merged with or acquired.

Boomi typically accelerates integration 4X or 5X, and that’s an improvement that pays off with each company incorporated into the enterprise’s overall IT infrastructure.

We have clients who are acquiring 4-5 companies every few months and integrating them within a matter of weeks using Boomi. An intense M&A strategy like this simply wouldn’t work if integration depended on months of back-office custom development work. These companies’ M&A strategies depend entirely on having a modern, low-code platform like Boomi that streamlines integration and makes it fast, repeatable and predictable.

If M&A deals are part of your business strategy, don’t overlook the important role played by integration and data governance. And be sure to look for a low-code, intelligent integration platform that can make your M&A investments really pay off.

Learn how the integration cloud serves as the foundation for highly effective, modern ICoEs. Read our new ebook “Reinventing the Integration Center of Excellence.”

About the Author

Ken Schmitt is vice president, sales and marketing at TechStone Technology Partners LLC.

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