The WAN’s Role During a Merger or Acquisition

Mergers and acquisitions bring their own set of unique challenges for both companies involved. Not only do employees have to deal with changing roles throughout their workforce, IT manager must ensure that data, applications and the overall technological infrastructure from both parties is properly integrated. This is perhaps the greatest strain in the entire process.

“In many sectors, a large percentage of all merger synergies are dependent directly upon IT,” noted ComputerWeekly contributor Charlie Mayes. “In some, particularly financial services, it is the IT integration process that drives the merger timetable.”

There are several issues that can crop up during a merger, many of which are directly related to the wide area network the organizations use. During a merger or acquisition, the WAN acts as a path between the companies, enabling them to bring together previously separate infrastructures. However, several different issues can hamper this process, threatening the success of the entire merger.

“During a merger, the IT team relies on the WAN to support the migration of datasets, applications and other resources that must be brought over from the new company.”

Insufficient bandwidth
During a merger, the IT team relies on the WAN to support the migration of datasets, applications and other resources that must be brought over from the new company. All these platforms and databases must be integrated together to form a cohesive, seamless infrastructure. However, issues can quickly creep up if there is not enough bandwidth to support migration.

Just consider the size of some of the data files that might be associated with a business’s intellectual assets. Compounding this problem is that while merger activities and integrations are taking place, the WAN must also support the regular, daily activities of employees. This can cause considerable performance issues with the critical applications staff members use to do their jobs.

Reliable connectivity in branch offices
Another challenge that many IT teams experience during an acquisition or merger is a lack of reliable connectivity in branch offices. Often, when a merger or acquisition takes place, the companies being joined will remain in their branch offices, but will still require dependable connectivity to enable them to utilize applications and other resources.

This is what took place with Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP, which experienced considerable growth after several mergers and acquisitions. The company boasted eight branch offices, where connectivity was critical to ensure employees’ ability to leverage video conferencing, email, file sharing and other systems. For Taft, network outages put a considerable kink in daily operations, and its original failover system – which included multiple carriers – was not ideal.

“The carriers were unable to fail over to the other network, and it caused these one-minute pauses,” said John Carroll, Taft’s director of technology solutions. “The carriers had many more outages than they admitted. People complained about bad picture quality, and they hated the adio fading and garbled sound.”

This is a common issue seen by many different organizations during the merger process. However, in a business like Taft, this unreliable connectivity – particularly when spread over several branch offices – was simply unacceptable.

A merger can cause several IT issues to crop up, including application performance issues or network outages.
A merger can cause several IT issues to crop up, including application performance issues or network outages.

The solution: An intelligent software defined WAN
One effective solution for addressing all of these issues is to use a software defined WAN solution to create a proactive, responsive network. SD-WAN technology not only allows for intelligent data packet and traffic steering, but can also help a business make the best use of their available links for failover, even during a tumultuous time like a merger or an acquisition.

These were the results seen with Taft’s deployment of Talari’s Software Defined THINKING WAN. The company was able to bring packet-level intelligence to its network following several mergers, all the while boosting capacity and reliability. Application performance issues were resolved and the business saved considerable money.

“Before we had Talari, videoconferencing and other apps were unreliable because of a poor circuit,” Carroll said. “Now I can balance circuits across Level 3, AT&T and Cogent, and there are no complaints from users. I bought Talari to make the network more reliable, and it did exactly what it promised.”

Contact Talari for a custom demonstration of its SD-WAN solution today.

Categories: Application Performance/Application Quality, IT Challenges, Network Reliability, Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN)


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