LogMeIn CIO: The Artwork of Integrating Acquisitions

LogMeIn has built-in 10 acquisitions and divested two enterprise unit gross sales over the past 5 years. The corporate’s CIO shares his secrets and techniques on how one can do it efficiently.

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As a CIO, engaged on the expertise technique of your organization is a given. You oversee the expertise operations, massive investments in software program or {hardware} infrastructure, and overarching plans to maneuver to the cloud or develop an AI functionality. However there’s one other massive job that may fall below your purview, too, relying in your CEO and board’s technique — integrating acquisitions and separating the sale of enterprise items.

Amongst his many different duties, this integration and separation has been an enormous focus for LogMeIn CIO Ian Pitt. He is been with the IT instruments and distant entry platform firm for about 5 years however in that point the corporate has executed 10 acquisitions and two divestitures, most not too long ago the sale of Bold360 to Genesys. LogMeIn acquired net chat firm Bold360 in 2012. Right this moment Bold360 affords capabilities together with conversational AI and a dynamic data base.

Pitt mentioned that Bold360 was one of many earlier acquisitions for LogMeIn, and at the moment Bold360 additionally consists of the capabilities of one other firm acquired by LogMeIn about three years in the past.

“We are sometimes seen as an organization of acquisitions,” Pitt informed InformationWeek. Lots of the merchandise within the firm’s portfolio are the results of acquisitions. LogMeIn has additionally executed massive rollups with its acquisitions. What’s extra, in 2016, LogMeIn merged with Citrix’s GoTo enterprise unit in a deal that Pitt mentioned makes LogMeIn the corporate it’s at the moment.

Ian Pitt

Ian Pitt

You would possibly anticipate that the CIO of an organization like this has some experience in terms of integrating the IT techniques of newly acquired and merged corporations, and divesting the IT techniques of newly offered or spun off corporations. If you’re a CIO or IT chief who’s newer to this course of, Pitt has some phrases of knowledge for you.

“It is an IT mission on steroids,” he mentioned of doing acquisitions, divestitures and mergers. “It is the most important IT mission you’ve got ever thought of however then multiply the complexity of that by 10.”

What makes these initiatives so complicated?

“It’s a must to take into consideration expertise and folks,” he mentioned. “We do not have management over timing and that makes it extra complicated. If you purchase and promote you might be on the whim of the enterprise, the promoting firm, the regulators, and an unknown timeframe. Now we have loads to contemplate, and we do not have plenty of management over any component of it.”

The Citrix enterprise mixture was in all probability the largest that Pitt has labored on, including 1,800 individuals to the group. In that type of deal, the organizations decide about which firm is bringing the very best expertise to the merged entity. Throughout the course of of shopping for the corporate the IT group will look at why the acquisition is being made, how the goal firm operates, how their manufacturing works, what are their core techniques, and “is their resolution higher than one thing we sometimes have,” based on Pitt.

After so many acquisitions, Pitt and his IT group have gotten fairly good at anticipating the pace bumps that it might encounter throughout these processes.

“There’s at all times one thing that will get missed in due diligence, given the pace of how we run,” Pitt mentioned. These may very well be bearing in mind a brand new area the place LogMeIn hasn’t offered or operated earlier than, or perhaps a brand new business phase. It may very well be how the acquired firm prefers to run an workplace, or an business regulation that LogMeIn hadn’t but encountered.

On the flip aspect of that, divesting implies that it’s a must to transfer from a buyer to a provider mindset.

“Fairly than defining how issues will run, you at the moment are subservient to the client’s acquisition course of,” Pitt mentioned. “You might be handing over management.”

Among the many duties are ensuring the remaining a part of the corporate is safe and operational and carving out teams of customers. These offers contain transient service agreements (TSAs) that outline how the promoting firm will proceed to run sure techniques till all of the techniques and information and folks may be transferred out.

“We now have to take care of integrity for our personal group and the third celebration,” Pitt mentioned. “That turns into a burden on the staff, nevertheless it helps us strengthen the operations as properly.”

What’s the important thing to a profitable separation?

“The artwork of getting a very good divestiture is doing it as quick as potential,” Pitt mentioned.

For any of those initiatives — whether or not you might be merging, divesting, or buying, Pitt advises fellow CIOs to have interaction of their commonplace CIO conduct, which he defines as, “Talk, talk, talk.”

Past that, think about creating an integration administration workplace that focuses on the mission. This workplace is constructed from throughout the group pulling in engineers, salespeople, IP professionals, finance, and HR. Pitt has designated individuals he sends to be part of that staff throughout such initiatives.

“Do not do it as a aspect job,” Pitt mentioned. “In some smaller acquisitions which will make sense, however an integration administration workplace is a superb mannequin that we have used up to now.”

It is necessary to get the combination of the businesses proper.

“Throughout an acquisition all of us have our day jobs to do as properly, however a foul integration can sink each organizations.”

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Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT management, careers, synthetic intelligence, information and analytics, and enterprise software program. She has spent a profession overlaying the intersection of enterprise and expertise. Comply with her on twitter: … View Full Bio

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