Bridging the M&A Knowledge Gap


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As those of us in the technology industry know, mergers and acquisitions are a prevalent part of the business. M&A activity happens in this market every day, and the latest forecast projects an increase in activity this quarter.

But what happens after the deal closes? What happens to productivity in the coming months, when two businesses merge into one – or become components of larger entities?

Having been a part of a roll-up strategy in the past, which involved many acquisitions, I know that every situation has different financial, staffing and cultural nuances. But there is one key problem that occurs after all deals – the knowledge gap that impacts the workforce when two or more entities join together.

When companies are combined, an influx of new knowledge and information enters the collective stockpile. And when companies consolidate, generally their knowledge does not. Their knowledge exists in the minds of employees as well as in myriad systems, cloud, on-premise, and even social. Even though joined companies have more resources, this does not translate into higher productivity—quite often it translates into a productivity lag. And in an innovation-driven industry, a dip in innovation can be disastrous.

The primary reason this productivity-draining knowledge gap occurs lies in the inability to properly share and access knowledge, which is only exacerbated when more resources (or an entire company’s resources) are added to the mix. When it comes to sharing information – from different companies, departments or systems – integration is not the answer. It creates redundancies, along with a number of implementation challenges. Employees often leave, frustrated with their inability to understand “how to get things done” in their new environment.

The best way for companies to eliminate the knowledge gap after a merger or acquisition is to enable secure access, immediately, to both experts and information from across the combined entities’ information ecosystem. This cannot be accomplished by integration or data migration as companies attempt to consolidate on systems of record. Unified, secure access to the most relevant knowledge for each employee’s context is the key to ensuring a highly functioning new entity. Empower knowledge access for all, and your tech company will continue innovating through this major transition.

Is your company coming off a merger or acquisition? Has your access to knowledge increased, decreased or stayed the same?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Diane Berry
Diane Berry is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communication of Coveo, and leads the organization's strategic positioning, go-to-market strategies, and its communication with all constituencies. Ms. Berry previously held executive roles at Taleo Corp, SelectMinds and Smyth Solutions.


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