Easing the transition: Guy Tallent on the complexity of business acquisitions and mergers

Easing the transition: Guy Tallent on the complexity of business acquisitions and mergers

Kyndryl’s vice president of digital strategy discusses how the firm can help manage the risks posed by business transitions

Alex Smith |

Acquisitions and mergers are majorly disruptive processes for any business to undergo. The prospect of taking over and integrating new assets, which may be operated on a very different infrastructure to your own, can pose daunting technical challenges and risks. 

Guy Tallent, vice president of digital strategy and integration at Kyndryl Consult, breaks down the transition process into three distinct phases. “Day Zero starts on announcement day, when there’s a signed agreement to purchase, sell or merge,” he says. “Day One is when the transaction has been approved by shareholders or regulators for completion and you’re actually able to move data and systems over, and then Day Two is the future state where systems have been transformed and fully integrated.” 

Planning for the transition starts right on Day Zero, as resources from both companies engage to begin preparing to move over the necessary assets. Identifying exactly what these assets include and how and on what systems they are currently operated is the first step of this process, before taking effective control over them. This informs both the separation plans (for the seller) and the integration plans (for the acquirer). 

“Security is paramount,” says Tallent. “Companies have got to make sure that they have a clean separation of data and systems. For that, they need to ensure that they have the right security controls in place for both companies engaged in the transaction.”  

To help manage the complexities of the transition process, customers can bring Kyndryl into its core transformation team and leverage its expertise. 

“We help our customers execute based on an integration script that we’ve performed many times before,” says Tallent. “Similarly, we did this ourselves as we were spun-out of IBM, and we’ve been enhancing that script every time we go through this with our customers. Our customers get the benefit of our history, as well as our background in managing really complex systems and integrating them with modern platforms like Azure.” 

Tallent points to Kyndryl’s close relationship with Microsoft as a significant advantage for its customers, helping them to move assets more smoothly and cleanly. 

“If a customer is acquiring an asset, and the data for it lives on a mainframe, we can work very closely with them using the toolkits we’ve already set up with Microsoft to help ease the transition to an Azure ecosystem, particularly if the acquiring company is already part of that ecosystem,” he says. “There’s a fairly straightforward roadmap that we leverage to transition assets into the acquiring company’s infrastructure.” 

This article was originally published in the Spring 2023 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription

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