Network Impact of a Merger

By Regina Kwon Print this article Print

Integrating networks after a merging? Check out our detailed Project Map and plan for integration.

The diagrams in the download to your left illustrate a series of the tasks companies take on when combining networks after a merger. The download to your right sets out how to plan your network merger project.

Integrating networks after a merger? Start
planning now.
(Zipped Microsoft Project file)

In this example, a large gas company (A) has acquired an electric company (B) that is similar in size. The combined company has 17,000 employees in six states and yearly revenue of about $10.6 billion.

The two firms formed a joint team to handle the technical ramifications. During the discovery process, the team ran protocol analyzers to determine each network's current load for the applications the companies planned to share. Each software system had different utilization goals based on usage and whether it would be phased out. Shown here are load numbers for the highest-volume applications: enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management.

The analysis and projections showed that neither firm's pre-merger architecture could readily absorb the other's traffic; hence, the team created an implementation schedule to upgrade Company A's local area network (LAN) to Gigabit Ethernet and to move Company B to 100 megabits per second. Using best-practice goals, the team targeted an average initial load on the LANs of less than 10% for all applications (not just the high-volume ones shown here).

The merger team consolidated the 32 satellite offices with a single Internet service provider, enabling volume discounts. The provider also supplied a dedicated link between the headquarters of the two firms; along with the LAN upgrades, the new link allowed the company to move all internal voice traffic to the Internet protocol. Though incurring significant costs for new infrastructure, the change would save millions in phone charges.

This is just a microcosm of the technology tasks in a merger—and they take place only after months of confirming objectives, redesigning technology policies and reconciling contracts. To help you start, Baseline and Avaya have provided a detailed Microsoft Project 98 template

This article was originally published on 2002-05-15
As Statistics Editor of Baseline magazine, Regina creates interactive tools, worksheets and project guides for technology managers. Before joining Ziff Davis, she worked as a technical program manager for a database company, where her projects included data management applications in XML, Java, Visual Basic and ASP. Her other experience includes running the new media department at Christie's Inc. and writing and editing for Internet World and PC Magazine. Regina received a B.A. from Yale.
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