IT Innovation | September 22, 2015

Mergers and Acquisitions: The Opportunity of Change

By: Guest Author


30% of Oracle employees came to us from an acquired company. Besides bringing unique product, industry and
customer knowledge, each new-to-Oracle employee is an ambassador of a company
culture that includes perspectives and approaches that may be different from
Oracle. We think that’s a good thing.

We know the acquisition of a company can be tough for our
customers and the experience can feel a lot like an uninvited guest with a big
appetite for change. Our customers use the technologies we acquire to run their
business and that change has the potential to impact their ability to do so. Our goal is to lessen the initial impact in
the timeliest way and get to the added value envisioned by the acquisition as
fast as possible.

We look to our new team members, and the culture they bring
with them, to highlight opportunities for easing the transition that will
ultimately increase customer success and make doing business with Oracle
easier. Soon after the acquisition is
announced, we work to understand the perspective of the acquired company along
with the processes and systems used to work with their customers. Critical touch points including technical
support, roadmaps, and contracting are discovered at a detailed level. We seek to understand how the voice of the
customer has been supported and what opportunities exist for further relationship
building and two-way communication. This
period of discovery brings the two teams together and brings to light inherent
challenges to the way we do things.

Combining our collective experiences and expanding the value
we deliver brings us closer to our common goal of ensuring that our customers
thrive during and after the transition. The only meaningful measure of whether
these efforts are having the desired effect is achieved by reaching out
directly to our customers. Early in the
transition we use surveys and face-to-face engagements to ask our customers about
their experience and to tell us what we are doing well and where we need to
improve. This outreach becomes a
baseline measure of customer satisfaction, providing guidance and insight as we
work to more effectively communicate and direct our integration efforts. We ask our customers for specific feedback
regarding product and service satisfaction, how well the account team understands
their business and about areas of innovation they would like us to pursue. We ask whether the customer has noticed an
upward trend or a decline in product quality and service delivery; how we are
doing at keeping our promises and if we are succeeding in being a trusted
advisor. These interactions are also an
opportunity to provide assistance to any customer who tells us they need help
during the transition.

In line with Oracle’s best practice of engaging in closed-loop
communication, we report the results of these engagements to those customers
who have given us their feedback. We
also share the results with Oracle leadership so that the entire team can
benefit from customer feedback and take action when needed.

Needless to say, every acquisition brings new opportunities
and new challenges. We know from
experience that embracing what is new is well worth the effort, and that, together,
our combined team can meet our goal of helping our customers achieve even
higher levels of success.