Computerworld - It sounds impossibly fast. But $23 billion electronic components distributor Avnet can usually bring acquired companies into the fold -- including IT systems -- within 90 days.
Avnet CIO Steve Phillips explained the process at Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders conference this month. The Fortune 500 company has grown via numerous acquisitions, including three just last year.
Phillips said Avnet has an acquisitions playbook -- actually a SharePoint site -- that serves as a repository of everything Avnet has learned through more than 60 acquisitions. It includes checklists, processes and best practices for integrating all parts of the business, with a particularly thick section on IT.
The CIO urged companies to "document your tribal knowledge" and be sure to update the playbook after each deal.
Phillips said Avnet works with "deliberate speed" because a drawn-out process is a major drag on employee productivity -- he called it a "deep freeze" -- and Avnet wants to minimize the amount of time the two companies are operating differently, on separate IT systems. Besides, faster integration means a quicker payoff from the acquisition, he said.
A key element of Avnet's M&A strategy is to "ease the pain" of the people involved, Phillips said. "It's really important to be respectful and humble" when communicating with the acquired company's employees, he said. They want to know, "What's my future? Will I be with this company or not?"
Avnet determines which IT employees will be in the "go-forward organization" and which ones will be in the "transition organization" but then leave once the integration is done.
Ultimately, "we pick the best of the best" systems, applications, processes and people, Phillips said, regardless of which company they come from. Phillips himself came from Memec, which Avnet acquired in April 2005. He had been Memec's CIO.
This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from a blog post by Mitch Betts that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.
Read more about Management in Computerworld's Management Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- The CIO's Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) This guide will help those making an EMM platform decision make the best choice for their organization.
- Yankee Group: BlackBerry Results Refute Rumors of its Demise Yankee Group: BlackBerry® is stronger than the press makes it out to be.
- Your New EMM Platform: How to Streamline the Migration Smartphone migration can be resource-intensive and challenging. Find out how outsourcing the process can save significant time and money.
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing... All Management White Papers | Webcasts