Why O2/Virgin Media merger should put integration first

The news of the planned merger between Virgin Media and O2 has come as a surprise to many. It is a seismic shift in the UK telecoms industry, but one which faces significant barriers before completion. The ability to unite the different IT infrastructures has the potential to define the success or failure of this.

Mike Kiersey, Principal Technologist at Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, made the following comment:

“The success of this merger will hinge on several factors, most notably the operating model (absorption, standalone or merger of equal), alignment to the business intent and the process to execute the merger. To establish an efficient operating state, a clear integration framework must be put in place, whether that means the entities remain separate or embrace a purely integrated approach. In most cases, a symbiosis of both IT departments will be the likely result. 

Once this has been established, a clear M&A post-merger integration plan is critical to integrating business-critical applications, IT systems and data. Both companies need to understand the importance of a harmonised infrastructure, and the severe implications of a failure to integrate two different systems.

Business integration needs to be swift, broken down into manageable chunks and with seamless application and data integration for all employee, partner, and customer services. In this way, data points become more accessible and clear, united by a master data management solution able to cross departmental and geographic borders in an agile yet controlled manner.

For the merged company to be run safely and efficiently, data needs to be accessible and wrapped with the correct governance. The ideal scenario for both parties is to be able to access raw data from a single platform, where it can decide which innovation approach to take for their customers, partners and employees.”

 

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