Mergers or acquisitions are high profile, time critical events. Some businesses merge to create an entirely new company or one business acquires another, but either way there is always a need to consider the digital assets affected by the business decision. So, it would be useful to offer some insight into the considerations we have to discuss when supporting the business through the content migration process of related data.
During Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) the spotlight focuses on the success of the transition. Data migration is obviously just one of many things to be considered but, particularly with public facing web content, any inconsistent messaging or interruption to normal business will be immediately visible and can impact the reputation of the new joint business before it has had a chance to establish itself.
Vamosa, the T-Systems migration practice, has been involved in delivering successful M&A projects for almost 15 years. In that time, we have seen data volumes and data complexity grow hugely, to the point where without a robust, flexible toolset and an experienced team, one of an organisations greatest assets – data – is at risk.
Why the need for migration expertise?
For most businesses, a large merger or acquisition is an unusual occurrence. As a result, there is typically a lack of in-house knowledge and experience of how to plan for and deliver a seamless M&A project. In our experience the scale and complexity of these projects is often underestimated leading to a last minute rush and the risk of reduced data quality.
With our bespoke Vamosa Migration Architect software and experience of similar projects, we can anticipate and help customers avoid the common problems experienced when trying to merge data and user created content. Along with data volumes and a full inventory, our initial analysis will identify the following potential issues, allowing customers to make informed decisions about their content before it’s too late.
Duplicate and Obsolete data – Typically we find around 30% of all data can be excluded from migration, improving content quality and reducing storage costs
Differences in taxonomies and metadata models – Having this information up front allows informed decisions to be made on how to standardise data. Logical rules defined in advance with the business can be implemented automatically during the data move using Migration Architect
Branding issues – In an acquisition scenario it is important that all merged content has consistent branding, logos etc. Any conflicts can be highlighted during analysis and either updated manually prior to the content merge or updated automatically during the data move
Template differences – Particularly with web content being merged from multiple sources we find big differences in layout and styling. Working with the customer in advance of the merge we identify a common content structure and automatically transform content during the data move
Over many projects we have built a robust software suite and methodology which allows us to automate the process of consolidating very large volumes of disparate data into a common platform. The process is fully auditable, tracking every change made to every piece of content. Changes to scope and requirements are common in these projects and we have the ability and the content migration tools to roll back the process and make changes in a safe and controlled way.
Anyone who thinks that the content can be merged and then “tidied up” afterwards probably hasn’t been involved in this type of project. The information and key decisions need to be in place and tested well before any data is moved, to ensure a smooth transition that will involve minimal manual effort.
Content consolidation without M&A
Much more common than M&A are internal restructuring projects. Many organisations have grown organically and now find themselves with digital content in a disconnected environment of disparate, siloed solutions. This is a situation we see regularly with large organisations operating over multiple regions. Often the different regions have developed their own solutions or have chosen to use a different platform to manage content. This results in an expensive to maintain and in-cohesive content estate with potentially duplicate, obsolete or conflicting information.
Vamosa’s approach can help organisations to understand, rationalise and merge this disparate data into a single, centrally managed content migration platform. Reducing costs such as licensing and while automating an improvement of data quality.
This is in effect a merger project but one which takes place within one organisation. As organisations move to cloud based solutions this becomes a much more common requirement and one that Vamosa are ideally placed to help customers with.
What about Compliance?
Compliance with standards such as AAA and GDPR are becoming more important and failure to comply with these standards can lead to hefty fines. With Vamosa Migration Architect we have the ability to scan content and identify compliance violations. Once identified, logical rules can be implemented which will then be processed automatically to reduce risk and improve content quality.
A content migration or merger is the ideal time to incorporate this exercise, ensuring that newly merged content is consistent and compliant with standards. This can also be planned as a separate exercise however, as data can be scanned, analysed and updated just as easily within an existing environment as it can when ‘inflight’ through migration.
More productivity – less risk
M&A projects are large and complex. There is a lot going on and often one of an organisation’s greatest assets – data – is neglected. This leads to problems internally for content creators but can also affect reputation if there are issues with public facing content.
Our approach is proven to reduce risk and costs in data transition within M&A, with the added benefit of freeing up key customer resources to work on other aspects of the project.
At the end of the day our support gives you one less thing to worry about during a very busy time!
Take the next step!
A division of T-Systems, Vamosa Technologies specializes in content migration to cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud systems. With two decades of customer migrations, Vamosa Technologies has experience with a comprehensive range of leading enterprise content management systems. To learn more about services from Vamosa Technologies, please read our case studies and whitepapers or contact us.