M&A thought leadership: Gatekeeping and resourcing in merger integration of software companies
This is a transcript of an interview given for a master thesis with me about the integration of a smaller software company..
Question: You mentioned two capabilities, gatekeeping and resourcing . Tell me a little more about these.
KP: The first one is a gatekeeping. You acquire a highly innovative software company into a larger software company and you want to keep it as innovative as possible. You want to integrate their offering with the rest of the portfolio. So, the question comes up: Who should build the integration? Which of the many solutions of the larger software vendor should be integrated first? If you integrate all of them at once, the acquired company is no longer innovative.
To solve this, you have to oblige gatekeeping. Prioritize integrations and limit the amount of work to be spent by the acquired company on the integration to allow them to still be innovative.
Question: How did you use resourcing to find people building the integration?
KP: Since the target company had little knowledge about the programming environment of ours, it became pretty clear that the resources had to come from us.
So, we basically came up with a team of, I don’t remember exactly, several dozen people from our organization that actually built the integrations. Again, you have to be very thoughtful of how much of the overall development capacity of the acquired company you want to spend on integration.
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