6 Tips to Prepare for a Telecom Merger or Acquisition

The telecommunications industry today is full of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. As you can imagine, this involves months of preparation for all companies involved. Typically, the complexities involved with merging departments and resources are not communicated or identified pre-integration.

Departmental processes and quality vary across organizations, and surprises often surface once integration actually begins. Given the complicated nature of telecom merger or acquisitions, this can result in higher transition costs and the need for more resources.

Another challenge in telecom merger or acquisitions is the talent loss. Given the significant amount of time that occurs between a deal’s announcement and its completion, there is an expected amount of uncertainty involved for the individuals involved. This can lead to large gaps in capabilities, either in headcount or task completion; sometimes entire controls are abandoned.

What are some ways telecom executives can mitigate these challenges? Consider the following solutions:

  1. Be prepared for the discovery process to take place on Day 1 of the merger. Asking the right questions and knowing where to look can help teams identify overlap, gaps, and inefficiencies among merging companies.
  2. Create a departmental integration plan with timelines and objectives. This will likely evolve once the integration begins, but it is a great starting point to know what questions to ask, and establish strict priorities. Remember to align these with company-wide processes.
  3. Try approaching the integration process from a billing perspective—begin with all the applications that support the revenue stream.
  4. When integrating talent through a telecom merger or acquisition, map incoming people into what roles they performed before the merger or acquisition. A detailed examination of the amount of time individuals devoted to certain tasks (e.g., 10% of time on revenue assurance) can help reveal upcoming resource needs.
  5. Develop a formal process for knowledge transfer, preferably before it is needed. Ensure that more than one employee has the opportunity to develop particular skills.
  6. Once a merger or acquisition is announced, plan a contingency budget to respond quickly to potential employee departures.

While no merger or acquisition is identical, these solutions are commonly discussed and utilized among leaders to ensure a smooth transition. The key is understanding the company-wide and departmental priorities. Once an M&A occurs, it’s important to act quickly to adapt processes and resources, while aligned with those priorities.