At Perspectium, we recently announced plans to join BitTitan. We are just one of many organizations being acquired as the economy gains steam. As a provider of packaged integration processes for service management, we have also helped several companies with their own mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures (MA&D).

BitTitan CEO Geeman Yip pointed to an 88% global surge in M&A deals in the latter half of 2020, compared to the first half. The ServiceNow partner community has also seen significant acquisitions. According to an M&A count from ChannelE2E, there were 12 in 2020 among ServiceNow partners, with this year (7 already in 2021) set to outpace last year.

Geeman also discussed the value of bringing in IT early in the M&A process. Similarly, when you include service management and its technology early in the process, you can avoid obstacles that could otherwise make the process languish.

Those who have gone through successful MA&D know that most of the work is in the planning. With proper planning, the merger or divestiture itself can be a smooth, even exciting, process. When bringing together service management across two organizations, there are three stages of consolidation.

M&A Concurrent Phase – Time to Prepare

In the concurrent phase, your service management and the acquired company’s service management run concurrently but separately. During this time of preparation, assess which systems and which data need to be kept. The merger means that data volumes will grow quickly and significantly. So knowing what data to backup and purge can keep your systems lean. If you begin monitoring data growth now, you can avoid data debt over time.

Which systems will you keep? Which teams will maintain a distinct role, with continued system requirements, once consolidation is complete? As the larger organization, you may have more well-developed systems on your side. But the acquired company also offers distinctive value, created in their own systems, that you may wish to preserve.

Other preparation includes ensuring that automations between systems are in place. By automating the DevOps process, you accelerate resolutions and mitigate risk associated with changes. So connect your service-desk tool to your development tool. And with an automated connection from your service desk to your data warehouse, you clear the way for data growth.

M&A Collaborative Phase – Time to Share

In the collaborative phase, you keep your systems in sync with the acquired company’s systems. Until some systems get phased out, it’s important that their data stay accurate and co-exist for visibility across both organizations. 

With their systems synchronized  with yours, data for service-desk incidents, requests, and catalog offerings stays available for all appropriate users, technicians, and other staff. DevOps automation can be extended to teams in both organizations. And by extracting ITSM data to data warehouses or backup storage, you make valuable service history accessible for reporting, analyses, and ultimately, archiving – without impacting the performance of the ITSM production instance.

M&A Consolidating Phase – Time to Be One

To finish the merger, it’s time to clean up. After archiving discontinued data, switch all users to the permanent system of record, phasing out the other ITSM tool. A history of custom development may require the continuation of separate development instances, but sync both with your ITSM instance to fully automate change management and implementation. Automated connections with service providers also deliver faster resolution and SLA visibility.

Through consolidation of systems, you can terminate or avoid renewal of SaaS subscriptions. This paring down is necessary for continued agility, even after growing the overall service management operation as a result of the merger.

Divestiture – Similar Process, in Reverse Order

For a divestiture, many of the same processes are similar, but in reverse order. Automating connections between existing systems frees up time to manage new challenges that arise from the organizational separation.

Many divestitures stand up duplicate systems and processes for the business unit(s) being spun off as an independent entity. The duplicate system may or may not be the same product. It’s the automated connection that’s important for ensuring consistency of data and processes.

After creating new ITSM and development instances for the business unit(s) being carved out, connect these new instances with existing instances for seamless service delivery while the separation process takes place in the background.

Your Technical Basis for MA&D Is Already in Place

If you are a ServiceNow customer, you already have a strong base of service management technology for MA&D. The ServiceNow architecture is solid. And powerful, agile solutions exist for real-time, bi-directional data replication from within ServiceNow.

By automating the consolidation or divestiture of service management, you significantly raise the chances for a successful M&A or divestiture.

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