Over the years, we have assisted many clients through acquisitions or mergers with other organization. No two scenarios are ever alike. In the telecommunications space, an acquisition can be a painful thorn in the side for years if not managed correctly. It's even more painful when the acquisition involves more than a few locations. Many questions will arise: How will invoices get paid? Who will manage services? How will we integrate networks and data centers? Who will audit the contracts? How can we optimize services and costs? Most IT and telecom groups are already overburdened and simply will not have time to dig in and find the answers to many of these questions which is unfortunate because it can cost the organization substantially more money in the long run.

 The first priority is to integrate networks and data centers so the legacy and acquired locations can all begin to talk the same language and utilize the same systems. Accomplishing this interoperability and beginning transition steps can typically be done very quickly and easily. The problem arises in managing the transitioning of services and operations. A detailed assessment of all services and contracts needs to be conducted to ensure contracts do not lapse causing a rate increase, or worse, auto-renew. Further, existing contracts and services need to be carefully considered as well. What's best for the company may not be status quo but to transition to services like those with the acquired organization. This evaluation can be time consuming and extremely complex depending on the network topology, configuration, contractual landscape, and future vision of the organization.

 In order to overcome these obstacles, it is critical to begin due diligence as soon as possible. This includes developing close relationships with the acquired organization's IT/telecom team and their carrier account teams. In many cases, these individuals can assist to significantly increase your ability to get up to speed. The primary intial focal point needs to be on contracts and identification of services so you can gain an understanding of the pieces you have to work with and sort out the various permutations in which they can fit together. Finally, understanding your current and new costs for all services will give you an idea where you may want to focus your efforts for assimilation. With this information, you can make informed decisions about the future of your voice and data networks.

 The due diligence required to effectively and efficiently manage an acquisition and merge your telecom infrastructure with your acquired company can payoff substantially. The difference between successfully managing a transition and failing to do so can be the difference between savings 90%+ of potential costs vs. overpaying manyfold. For help navigating your telecommunications invoices and contracts and developing a strategy to improve performance and manageability while reducing cost, contact Source One at www.sourceoneinc.com
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David Pastore

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