First there was Broadsoft acquiring Casabi which I commented on last week. Next there was Broadvox acquiring Cypress Communications which Peter broke here and follwed up on here. TMC's Paula Bernier added her opinions to the mix and further reminds us of a slew of other acquisitions taking place in the market.
My thoughts on the matter are fairly simple and straightforward. These mergers generally don't work out the way they are intended because running a company is different than integrating a new one. To be successful, companies need to do both well.
Many Nortel insiders in fact attribute their eventual demise in-part to making acquisitions which they didn't integrate well.
The rewards however for a company that has learned how to acquire are absolutely tremendous - where would Cisco or Oracle be without M&A?
TMC is often made aware of such mergers weeks or months in advance under embargo and I can tell you we will see many many more over the next few months and and of course every acquiring company wants to be the next Cisco - and indeed some will make it there - or at least get closer.
In the mean time, to acquiring companies - I would like to suggest you:
- Integrate fast - do not leave your new workers hanging in any way in the first few weeks.
- Try not to rock the boat with your acquired customers.
- Do not lose site of the potential importance of the brand you buy and what it means. Don't rush to kill it too quickly as to many customers and the media it may be stronger than yours.
- M&A is not a substitute for branding, marketing and sales support - you need to amp up all of these after you acquire.
- Be sure you spend more time with the media after the merger to make sure they understand your direction - If you don't, they will guess at your intentions in-writing and potentially be wrong.
- Do not assume the workers in the acquired company are inferior in any way to the new parent company - quite often they can be better in my experience.