M&A? Why Business Communications Due Diligence Is Critical

Business Communications Due Diligence

There’s a lot of strategic planning that goes into mergers and acquisitions, yet a big mistake that’s often made is not performing business communications due diligence. Before two companies merge, it’s crucial that the communication systems are able to talk to each other. Otherwise, you risk disrupting customer service, productivity and more.

Learn how to evaluate business communications during the M&A process by understanding what it entails and asking the right questions to ensure a successful merger.

Business Communications Overview

First, let’s quickly review what exactly is business communications. It’s the tools and systems that enable internal and external communications for the company. These days, most business communications involve a variety of systems that rely on high-speed internet services, such as:

More organizations are turning to unified communications systems to eliminate fragmented communication and promote collaboration. For example, our Cisco BroadWorks platform is an all-in-one solution that integrates communications tools and apps into a feature-rich collaboration suite.

How M&As Affect Communication Systems

Communications touch every aspect of your organization, which is why business communication due diligence is critical during the M&A process. Here are the most important reasons why you should give communication systems the attention that they deserve:

Customer experience

Communications play a key role in how customers think and feel about your business. It’s vital that your systems have fast and clear connections to promote an excellent customer experience. If not, customers will be frustrated and may leave. While service issues may not be completely avoidable, it’s important that you limit disruption as much as possible. 

Productivity

Whether it’s servicing clients or collaborating with co-workers, your teams need a dependable infrastructure to perform their job. System issues and downtime hinder productivity, costing you money. Implement a communications plan to help keep your business running on all cylinders during the M&A.  

Company culture

Mergers can be a stressful time for employees, which is why it’s crucial that business communications don’t falter and negatively affect company culture. Making the transition easier involves seamlessly integrating systems to minimize confusion and disorganization.

Communications Questions to Ask Before a Merger

A major component of due diligence is investigation. With so many moving pieces in the M&A process, communications systems can get lost in the mix. The six questions listed below are great starting points to better understand business communications and integrate systems.

What communication systems are currently in place?

Perform an audit of the communications systems at your organization as well as the other’s. Evaluate the processes, software and hardware that are essential to the operation of both companies. Understand the infrastructure of the other company so that valuable data isn’t lost during migration to a new system.

Can you integrate existing systems?

After the audit, you’ll need to figure out whether you can integrate essential communication systems into a single new infrastructure. Your business communications might need to be revamped to accommodate the critical systems of both organizations. 

Do any systems need to be eliminated?

It’s likely you’ll find systems that overlap and can be eliminated to streamline your business communications. Having different software applications that do the same thing is inefficient and a waste of resources. Plus, it can get in the way of team collaboration.

Are there opportunities to upgrade communication systems?

In addition to identifying weaknesses and redundancies, you should also consider opportunities to strengthen your business communications. Outdated desk phones and unreliable internet service are just two possible upgrade opportunities.   

What security measures exist? And are there new security risks?

Examine each company’s communications security measures to discover vulnerabilities and reduce risks. It’s imperative that the migration or integration process doesn’t result in data loss or exposure to a cyber attack.

When does the merger need to happen?

How long it will take to integrate key systems depends on multiple factors, which is why it’s important to know the timeline in which the merger is set to take place. It’s crucial to evaluate your business communications from the start so the merger isn’t extended due to poor planning and you are able to make the necessary transitions with no lapse in business communications.

Don’t Skip Business Communications Due Diligence

You don’t want surprises during or after a merger or acquisition. Knowing the communications capabilities of both companies and how they can be integrated can set a merger up for success. Partnering with a business communications service provider like Universal Connectivity can help you assess the current landscape. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

James Smith

As President and Chief Connector, James loves solving complex communication problems to help businesses transform, optimize, grow and succeed. One of his favorite parts of the job is being able to smooth the pathways for clients to communicate clearly and effortlessly. On this blog he shares telecommunications industry news and the latest trends.

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