In our upcoming roundtable at Bullhorn EngageX, our expert panelists will discuss how to ensure a smooth tech stack transition post-acquisition and common mistakes to avoid.

How to make sure your tech stack fails post-acquisition

June 1, 2021
Enga Consulting has received lots of press coverage since it was announced that they’d bought Gage. The CEO, Harry Upp, is very excited and wants the two companies using the same systems ASAP. Jane Lost is Operations Manager at Enga and is responsible for making sure the consolidation of the two company’s CRMs goes smoothly. “How hard can it be?”, Jane thinks.
Jane has never worked on a project like this before but as the CRMs are both Bluehorn she doesn’t anticipate it to be too challenging. As a relatively new Enga employee, she is keen to make a good impression. She plans to have everything completed with no disruption, within a month; she shares a rough timeline with her directors, and they’re delighted at how quickly the database merging can be done

How the project went

Four months, and many stressful meetings later, Jane is almost ready to quit. When creating the plan, she missed some key areas which have severely delayed the project and Harry is seriously frustrated at Jane’s inability to deliver on her promises. During this time, Enga and Gage are still using separate CRMs, meaning duplicated efforts, lack of visibility, and wasted money.

The system integration partner she originally chose to work with on the consolidation also didn’t have too much experience in acquisitions which meant that they were discovering and fumbling their way through the issues together.
They eventually go live but there’s chaos when they do as the Gage employees realize that some of the other application partners that were enabled prior to the merger are no longer there, which means they can’t post jobs, pay their contractors, or see their individual targets like they used to. The whole thing becomes a real point of contention and Enga feel the time and cost repercussions through the additional work required and poor user adoption. Harry is also losing face with his venture capital backers.

Where Jane went wrong...

Jane made the mistake of assuming that because both CRMs were Bluehorn, it would be a straightforward project. But there were some key points that she failed to consider when planning:

  1. The processes that the two companies used were similar but different
  2. The fields used were close, but some data was conflicted, and not all were mandatory or the same type
  3. They used different add on application partners
  4. Reporting was totally different

Understanding and evaluating the differences in Enga and Gage was critical. If Jane had taken the time at the start, and chosen an experienced partner to work with, she could have minimised the stress and disruption caused, and avoided damaging her own reputation.

How to ensure success post-acquisition

While some, like Jane, underestimate the impacts acquiring a company will have on their tech stack, it can feel like a daunting task for others. As the Bullhorn specialists, we’ve seen it all, and we know how to handle these complex projects. In our upcoming roundtable at EngageX, our panellists will be sharing some real-life examples of how they’ve ensured success post-acquisition.

This is the ideal opportunity to learn from peers and industry experts so you can manage the potential impacts to your company and avoid making Jane’s mistakes!

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