The Mergers EffectsBy Dennis McCafferty Print
When Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia, the two companies had to merge their people and technology, as well as their financial assets.
How did the merger affect ongoing IT initiatives?
Davis: When you’re going through the planning and execution stages, that becomes your first priority. But we’re well aware of the need to keep developing better business platforms along the way. We’ve increased video conferencing, SharePoint sites and portals to keep our employees from constantly jumping on planes to get business done. We’re not yet at the stage where everyone has unified messaging all on one device, but we are getting more collaborative in the way we do things.
How has the merger affected your data centers?
Davis: Wells Fargo was in the planning stages of a data center expansion at the time of the acquisition, but Wachovia had already opened a new data center. That allowed Wells Fargo to put off plans for its data center, because the Wachovia project is serving that need. This has resulted in significant cost savings.
When do you think you’ll be finished?
Davis: We expect to have most of this done by 2011, but we’re not going to rush anything to meet that time frame. There are multiple stages, all of which require analysis, planning, testing and release. There’s constant code-testing that needs to be completed for every stage, and there are more than 4,000 systems out there that need this.
There’s no magic cookbook for a major integration. Every project is different and requires different approaches and analyses. And there’s a human component, too. We don’t break everything down into technology terms because it’s really about the people using the technology and the customers served by it.
Do you wait until it’s all over before celebrating?
Davis: We celebrate the small successes along the way, but we do it realizing that the next challenge is right around the corner.
AT A GLANCE:
Company: Wells Fargo & Co.
Headquarters: San Francisco
2008 Sales: $1.3 trillion
Number at Wachovia at the time of the merger: 114,196
Number at Wells Fargo at the time of merger: 167,209
Number of current employees, post-merger: 286,000
Business: Financial services—including mortgage loans, refinancing, investment services and traditional banking—for 70 million customers throughout North America
Estimated number of locations: 10,400 branch and office locations and 12,300 ATMs in North America
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