M&A: A flashpoint for HR’s digital transformation

4 min read

Lately I’ve been blogging about the role of data integration in accelerating the digital transformation of HR. While at times this challenge seems so vast that it’s hard to find a starting point, a very common business event provides a natural starting point: mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In North America alone there about 15,000 M&A transactions in 2016, with that number of track to grow even larger this year.

It’s a given that even though mergers and acquisitions are an everyday occurrence, these transactions can go south for innumerable reasons, presenting considerable business risk. Integrating newly merged companies effectively, and quickly, is therefore of paramount importance. The consulting firm McKinsey quantifies just how important post-deal integration really is: “Integrating merging companies requires a daunting degree of effort and coordination from across the newly combined organization… Those that do integration well, in our experience, deliver as much as 6 to 12 percentage points higher total returns to shareholders (TRS) than those that don’t.”

M&A intensifies data integration issues

M&A presents a challenging, data-intensive scenario for HR organizations because, when two companies come together, HR organizations must contend with more than just cultural synergies. There is a multitude of issues, systems, and data to rationalize, including additional HR systems, employee data pools, benefits packages, performance tracking applications, etc. Certainly, M&A further illustrates the urgent need for data and application integration, in three ways:

  • To keep key functions operating at full speed during the post-transaction integration period
  • To realize operational synergies in the ongoing merged entity
  • To align all employees around a single, merged corporate identity

Across the operational spectrum, during “business as usual” and M&A periods, poor data and application integration has tactical and strategic impacts. Day to day, a lack of automation slows down each step of the employee journey. Poor integration makes it more challenging for HR organizations to offer strategic, data-driven direction and slows innovation at an enterprise level.

SnapLogic empowers self-service in a merged entity

Here’s a great example of how SnapLogic helped to accelerate post-deal integration: Following a major acquisition, a large, leading global provider of mobile technology solutions wanted to streamline employee self-service with an innovative “one-stop shopping” hub serving the combined entity. It wanted to tailor the experience for today’s mobile lifestyle, sending push notifications to employees’ smartphones and using device-based authentication.

The mobile solutions company chose SnapLogic to provide a unified platform for data and application integration, uniting data from nearly two dozen applications across both organizations. This provided the foundation on which a cohesive self-service experience was built, providing a positive focal point that helped to integrate employees from the acquired company into their new one.

One convenient place for employees’ self-service needs

Through a simple, three-component architecture – a self-service user experience platform, SnapLogic Snaps (pre-built connectors) and the SnapLogic Snaplex cloud-based execution grid – an approvals hub was built; the hub provides an easy, “one-stop shopping” experience to submit and approve a wide range of employee requests, regardless of backend systems. Importantly, the employee self-service hub is aligned with the merged entity’s organizational hierarchy, as maintained in Microsoft SharePoint.

The benefits: Time saved, and a foundation for innovation

By automating and consolidating key activities in the employee self-service hub, the mobile technology solutions company has regained an estimated 8,330 per hours of productivity in its 100-plus person HR organization. These gains were achieved across:

  • Talent identification and application management
  • Hiring processes
  • Provisioning processes
  • Training design and deployment
  • Benefits management
  • Performance management

Equally important, the merged company can now provide employees with a cohesive self-service experience, sending a positive unification message to its people around the world.

To read all the details about this M&A data integration story, read SnapLogic’s new white paper, “Data-driven: Disrupting the HR organization of the future.” It explores the technology realities hampering HR organizations as they strive to transform into a more data-driven, analytic function, and presents data integration solutions from SnapLogic as a key enabler of Digital HR. Download it here.

Former VP of Product Marketing at SnapLogic

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