There are many advantages to being well-established in your market. For example, our fictional global business Bluestock has a sizeable customer base, strong supplier networks, solid brand recognition and a mature IT infrastructure.

The flipside is that huge enterprises can be cumbersome and slow to react to market changes. For Bluestock, this led them to splash some of their cash reserves on buying two new innovative startups, who were tipped as the next big disruptive unicorns in their respective industries.

However, six months into the new relationship, Bluestock was not seeing much impact from these acquisitions. The CEO demanded a report on how and when the synergies would materialize.

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GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Acquiring the startups had been challenging enough. Integrating them into day-to-day operations proved even more so. Their processes, infrastructure and culture were completely alien to those of Bluestock. Inevitable really. When a big and burdened dinosaur joins forces with two nimble and digital unicorns, there are bound to be “getting to know you” issues.

Having assessed the slow progress to date, Capgemini were brought in to unpick some of the problems and help the growing organization operate “as one.” An experienced team of service integration experts helped align the different IT services with Bluestock’s overall business objectives to create real value.

INTEGRATION THAT STACKS UP

Starting with the back-end infrastructures of the different businesses, they mapped out an integration strategy to show where operational improvements could quickly be made. After a pilot initiative to prove the case, Capgemini then took ownership of the full systems integration program.

Once the infrastructure was on track, the focus turned to aligning their business services via a “stack” approach. Rather than a traditional IT-led program based around transitional service agreements, this brought all the relevant tools, services and people together quickly to minimize disruption.

TRANSPARENCY OF OUTCOMES

With this holistic and consistent approach to service delivery, Bluestock and its new acquisitions have been able to focus more on business outcomes and value. They’ve been able to avoid doing the painstaking integration work themselves, and eliminate IT service management headaches.

Acquiring agile new companies may seem like a quick win on the path to transformation. But integration is a big deal. It requires a careful strategy.