Let us discuss tools for successful integration. We are not not referring to system integration, but tools for managing and supporting the Merger integration process from pre-deal through due diligence, up to and including post merger integration.
Today, Excel and Power Point are currently the most used tools in the M&A transaction/integration world. There are also several Virtual Data Room providers that offer solutions at a high cost.
For managing the end-to-end process, Excel, Power Point, and Share Point on their own do not really work. Every project is different and one needs to be aware of the complexity that tools bring with them. So do tools really work? Do they add value and justify the cost and time to introduce & maintain? Does email communication from a tool work?
We can at least specify a list of requirements that a tool should address:
Project / Deal based
Document repository capabilities
Project Management capabilities
Communication/collaboration capabilities (email/messaging/collaboration)
End-to-End process management (i.e. transition of Due diligence /Data Room info to integration team)
Reporting capabilities (i.e. on a project basis, and or for the entire deal pipeline/project portfolio)
KPI tracking capabilities
Knowledge bank capabilities
Highly performant and highly secure (especially with cloud based solutions)
Stable (i.e. updates must have no impact)
Easy to deploy & configure
Easy to use with little/no training