Unified Communications

Mergers and acquisitions: Navigating collaboration challenges

Explore insights from Mio's journey with mergers and acquisitions and learn about the broader implications of M&As on the unified communications landscape
Mergers and Acquisitions

As we step into the new year, we’re reflecting on the transformative trends in workspace collaborations. 

One area that has been particularly dynamic is mergers and acquisitions. Today, we’ll dive into insights from our journey with mergers and acquisitions and broader implications for the unified communications landscape. 

#1: Addressing the fragmentation challenge

A common challenge that we see after a merger or acquisition is the fragmentation of team collaboration tools. The acquired company often brings their own collaboration tools, and a subset of employees often need to continue using legacy applications for security/compliance or operational reasons.

We’ve found that 85% of businesses use at least two messaging apps internally. Once organizations reach thousands of employees, it’s inevitable that they utilize a combination of Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Webex, and Zoom Chat within the same organization.

Tom Hadfield, CEO, Mio, says,

Following every M&A transaction, IT leaders must navigate the consolidation of two collaboration environments. It’s rare to move all employees onto the same team collaboration app immediately, and yet both teams must be able to communicate without friction on day one after the transaction closes. Failure to do so can result in missed messages and project delays.

Another adverse consequence of fragmentation in the collaboration ecosystem is a negative impact on the employee experience and an increase in toggle tax.

 This is the tangible economic cost caused by the lost productivity of switching between multiple chat applications.

The Harvard Business Review estimates that employees lose 9% of their working time toggling between apps annually. This can be quantified as a $9,000 loss out of an $100,000 annual salary. 

#2: A fight against the clock 

Needing to chat with each other from day one is a ticking clock that organizations have to face following an M&A. 

Tight timelines make a labor-intensive migration next to impossible. What we’ve seen at Mio is that companies employ interoperability to avoid having to endure a complete chat platform overhaul. 

Take an example where a parent company uses Microsoft Teams and the acquired company uses Google Chat. Now, the parent company has to make a decision. 

Jake Bailey, CCO, Mio, says,

As organizations plan on their post-M&A integration, their strategy is either to migrate to one platform overnight, or coexist. Rip and replace migrations are next to impossible, and always messy for admins, and coexistence is frustrating for employees without interop.
From our experience, a 1-2 year period of coexistence bridged with interop allows IT leaders to be more thoughtful with their decision, instead of rushing the decision of which platform to migrate to in order to meet a Day 1 deadline.

Bailey continues,

No IT leader wants their first order of business to be ripping out the tool people use and love. 

The significant time spent making these decisions is a real driver for interoperability. We take this off the plates of IT departments and workspace admins, freeing them up to focus on the hundreds of other tasks an M&A requires. 

#3: Overcoming cost and adoption obstacles

When the question of migration arises, it’s hard not to factor in significant licensing costs. 

Consolidation on one platform often changes licensing structures and increases the per-account spend. For large enterprises, these costs are a prohibitive challenge.   

Additionally, forcing a migration comes with a significant amount of friction for the end user. 

As Stanley Toh, Broadcom’s Head of Enterprise End-User services & Experience, says,

The UI [between platforms] has subtle differences, and you have to learn every single platform. Additionally, licensing all of these different chat platforms across the enterprise can be costly.

Solving this issue is exactly our bread and butter. This is what we help with every single day.

A recent example is a company that we’ve been working with since October. Their 24,000 users are Google Workspace users. Since completing a $68M mega-merger, they acquired 50,000 employees who use Slack. To avoid a complete rip and replace, they brought in Mio to help manage the first year of their integration. 

Toh continues,

With Mio these days, with interop, you have only one chat inbox. You can use it on your preferred and most comfortable chat platform. To me, this is a game changer. It’s a revolutionary transformation of the chat experience for the end user. 

Looking ahead

As Mio continues to navigate the M&A landscape, we remain committed to navigating platform diversity challenges and empowering seamless collaboration within enterprises. 

We understand that each organization has unique challenges. Our goal is to provide tailored solutions to any enterprise who needs it. 

In the words of our CEO Tom Hadfield,

Our vision is to build a unified network for workplace communications. We fundamentally believe everyone should be able to communicate in real time with all colleagues, regardless of which messaging app they use.

In 2024, we look forward to keeping the momentum going. We are excited to enhance communication, streamline workflows, and contribute to the successes of recently merged or acquired enterprises.

To learn more about interoperability, visit our website today.

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