Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) have always been a proven framework for rapid business growth. Organizations get to acquire new customer bases, new operational capabilities, gain a competitive advantage and get access to new technologies and talents. An M&A activity can bring significant value for organizations as well as some potential risks.
Signing the buying or acquiring contract is just a part of the M&A process. The real work begins later. Organizations need to achieve operational alignment, service/product portfolio standardization, and unification. Since many businesses are digital at their core, more times than not, a significant bulk of effort goes into technology merger integration.
Business leaders are starting to realize the need for digitizing their ecosystems and embedding new technologies to keep their organizational strategies updated in the face of continually evolving technologies. According to Tom Miles and Brian Healy, Co-Heads of Americas Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) at Morgan Stanley, deal making at 2023 is likely to accelerate.
The growth in the private equity industry, sophistication of corporate clients and overall strength of corporate balance sheets and earnings should result in increased M&A activity in 2023 and beyond.
Cloud Adoption Is the Game Changer
An M&A activity brings in several pressures for services organizations, especially those that arise from dealing with complex disparate time tracking systems, multiple ERP platforms, and other home-grown systems to meet regional compliance requirements. This results in redundant functionalities and increased costs, further leading to operational business inefficiencies, revenue leakages, lack of visibility, siloed data, clunky employee experience, poor governance, and a lack of global compliance.
This scattered structure makes it crucial for organizations to quickly integrate systems, applications and databases to get their business processes up and running in a unified platform. The need is to use project resources more effectively, and not lose productivity and project profitability more.
Using cloud-based solutions as a part of an M&A activity provides business leaders better control over their projects, leading to increased project profitability, reduced risks, global compliance, and real-time project visibility. It enables them to make agile business decisions and maintain a competitive edge.
Case Study: How a Leading Fortune 500 IT Enterprise Unified Their Ecosystem
The CIO’s Challenge
A large Fortune 500 IT Enterprise was founded as a merger between two large enterprises. Globally, they had over 130k employees and a highly fragmented ecosystem because of the M&A deal.
As a part of a strategic initiative, the CIO mandate was to implement an accelerated digital strategy for the business and optimize the integrations with multiple technologies. This would provide operational support and also act as an enabler for business growth.
The main challenge associated with the M&A deal was a lack of real-time visibility across all their projects. Employees’ time data was spread across more than 20 time tracking systems. This not only limited their enterprise reporting capabilities but also impacted their visibility into the work time information of their employees across the globe. In addition, they had to invest heavily in managing payroll compliance for their global workforce.
Between multiple legacy systems, homegrown systems, and the inability to get real-time visibility, the IT enterprise also experienced delayed timesheet approval, which impacted client billing, caused revenue leakages, and obscured project decision-making. All this accumulated technical debt led to a bigger impact on employee productivity. The enterprise’s IT team was clearly struggling and had to centralize their time tracking systems to align the technology landscape to their cloud transformation strategy.
Transforming the Ecosystem
It’s clear that this large IT Enterprise had to solve four critical business problems to accelerate business growth and become future-ready:
- Reduce the technical debt and get a single global platform for unified time tracking
- Streamline billing with accurate project time data
- Get a modern, mobile interface for improved employee experience and enhanced productivity
- Lower the cost of monitoring and management of payroll compliance
The CIO stated that they wanted to treat time as an enterprise asset. Time tracking across the large enterprise was one of the biggest pain points for their employees and leaders. The systems in place were not user-friendly, which caused major roadblocks to integrate, and they had no real-time visibility into how work time was being spent.
They needed a single source of truth for all project time data. Therefore, as a first step, it was important to unify all their disparate time tracking systems to drive insight-based decision-making. The stakeholders wanted access to an ecosystem that was prepared for the future.
Results of Prioritizing Technical Debt of 20+ Time Tracking Systems
The large IT enterprise wanted to unlock more value and harness intelligence and innovation. Their vision was to achieve a one-company, one-platform initiative for global time tracking. To execute this vision, they had to manage their time tracking systems first and unify them into a single global platform. This phase of the digital journey would set the stage and clear the path to implement an ERP standardization program in the future.
But to embark on this journey and streamline their time tracking systems, the Fortune 500 enterprise had to plan a holistic digital transformation journey. That’s when they approached Replicon to replace its antiquated time tracking systems. Their goal was to digitize their ecosystem and radically transform their time tracking processes. While undergoing a merger and acquisition (M&A) deal, the large IT enterprise relied on us for easier integration, simpler collaboration and faster completion.
With Replicon’s unified time intelligence platform, the IT enterprise experienced a significant gain in productivity and project profitability. Also, ensuring a better employee experience with accurate project time tracking data put the enterprise in a win-win situation, and helped achieve success in the digital hybrid workplace.
The shift to a cloud-first time tracking platform has now unified the time tracking system for their business into a single platform. As a result, the enterprise can now leverage modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to unlock value from their existing business, while creating new business opportunities.
Implementing a single platform has dramatically improved the quality of data, enhanced the management of billing, and improved profitability for the global business. Also, their global workforce has gained a modern user interface that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, to capture their project time data accurately, and shift from manual-based time tracking to automated project time tracking. Built-in compliance libraries for over 85 countries have helped them get rid of non-compliance risks.
Become Future-Ready with Replicon
In this era where M&A activities are gaining momentum, forward-thinking services organizations must holistically unify and integrate their powerful IT solutions to develop a robust digital ecosystem. Some emerging technologies truly have the potential to disrupt the status quo, alter the way employees live and work, and unlock value pools. It is therefore critical that business leaders understand and identify which technologies will matter to them and act accordingly, before it’s too late, as there are several reports which state that 90% of mergers and acquisitions fail at the technology integration stage.
It has become imperative for organizations to quickly develop an enterprise-wide digital acceleration strategy to enable sustainable value creation while solving existing challenges.
Professional services organizations have benefited from seamless plug-and-play interfaces with multiple ERP, CRM, and project management systems, thanks to Replicon’s unified time tracking platform. Replicon is the only Time Intelligence platform in the market with an internal legal department that keeps track of labor and wage compliance, supports 375 labor rules across 147+ jurisdictions in 85+ countries. This increases the delivery pace of their current ecosystem while also adding significant business value because of built-in global library for compliance.
So, if you are contemplating a merger or acquisition, then Replicon can be your trusted partner.