Mergers & Acquisitions - How CloudM can help

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Migrating data can be risky and stressful at the best of times, but when it comes to Mergers and Acquisitions, everything is taken to another level.

By their nature, M&A projects are incredibly complex with a whole host of stakeholders involved in the decision making process. When there’s so much at stake it’s no surprise that moving your data securely without affecting business continuity is often the most difficult and worrying part.

It’s a genuine challenge for different companies to suddenly start working together, especially when one business has to change it’s normal way of doing things to accommodate the other.

This can be made even more strenuous if the systems are lacking relevant information.

Luckily, we are here to help.

M&As come in all shapes and sizes

There is no one-size-fits-all merger or acquisition; every single project is unique.

Usually, it’s a bigger company buying out a smaller one, but not necessarily so. And even if this is the case, the difference in size of the two companies might only be negligible. Or the two companies might not even be in the same industry!

It may seem like it should be simpler if both businesses are direct rivals, doing the exact same thing, but there’s still no guarantee they’ll be using the same systems. One might be using Google Workspace for example, while the other is using Microsoft 365.

An older, larger company might be completely on premises, while the smaller start-up they’re buying is exclusively in the Cloud, or vice versa.

There are multiple combinations of a merger, all different shapes and sizes, but that doesn’t matter if you do the migration correctly; with the right expertise, everything can be integrated smoothly and without business interruption.

The trouble with tenant-to-tenant

If both companies involved in a merger are in the same modern workplace, such as Microsoft 365, system compatibility removes one concern. However, there are still a large number of components to migrate, meaning it’s still a technical feat and you need a tried-and-tested third party tool to make it happen.

As more and more companies establish themselves in the cloud, tenant-to-tenant migrations are fast becoming the most common migration type performed.

The most important part of a migration is planning. Knowing exactly what you’re doing, how, and when to do it is essential for a successful transfer of data. If you need to perform a tenant-to-tenant migration, here’s a few tips to get you started.

Perform an extensive discovery of the source M365 tenant and data usage.

Knowing exactly what you are migrating, where it all is and how it all fits together is the first step in a successful migration. This can including noting important things such as:

  • What workloads and M365 licences are in use?
  • How many of each workload type are in scope of migration e.g. User mailboxes, SharePoint document libraries, Teams?
  • Is there any legal hold or archived data that needs to be migrated?
  • Are there any workflows that are critical to the business to be mindful of?
  • What external sharing is required post migration (if any)?

Prepare the destination M365 tenant environment.

Knowing everything about where the data is coming from is half the battle, the other half is preparing where it’s going to.

  • Provision necessary destination objects and associated licences.
  • Compare policy settings (e.g. retention policies) and plan accordingly.
  • Check for user name conflicts or similar.
  • Review Teams/SharePoint sites and decide to merge or keep the data separate.

Agree on limitations and expectations.

Before a migration begins, it’s important to agree on what’s to be expected. Areas of discussion should include:

  • Is it the speed of the migration or the user experience that will define project success?
  • Understand what data can and cannot be migrated using available tools such as CloudM.
  • Understand the cost, time and effort required to complete the migration in agreed timeframes.
  • What project metrics are important?

Understand what additional projects are scheduled.

Be aware of anything that may impact the migration of M365 data e.g. desktop refresh or AD migration.

Plan for problems.

Migrations are complex, so make sure additional time is added to timelines for unexpected events and clean up at the end of the migration.

  • Build in project time to perform a pilot phase to ensure the migration approach and experience is as expected.
  • Think about the user experience and plan communications accordingly.
  • Plan for contingency. You never know what will happen.

Understand your limitations.

If planning out a migration makes you realise that it’s perhaps a little above your head, you don’t have the time to do it, or you simply don’t want the stress of it all, then make use of a Serviced Migration and let us take care of it all for you.

Four ways our platform helps after a merger

Once that data has been successfully migrated, the continued merger of two or more companies can take place in a practical, everyday work environment.


When two companies merge, it’s rare not to lose some staff, especially with larger projects.

When an employee leaves, the offboarding process is still a part of their experience with your brand, and a bad offboarding experience can leave a sour taste in the mouth. Data security is also a big consideration during an M&A; if someone is leaving because they weren't happy with the merger then you may need to consider them a potential insider threat and revoke their access quickly.

Our offboarding feature gives you the means to seamlessly part ways with an employee without manual admin or the risk of human error. Passwords are automatically changed along with the ownership of their files and calendars, keeping your data secure and where you need it to keep on working.

Emails are migrated, user accounts deleted, and everything happens using automated offboarding workflows.

Smart Teams

We understand that just because you’re under one domain, doesn’t mean you’re automatically one company or one brand. Smart Teams, CloudM’s dynamic group functionality, allows you to act as two until you decide otherwise. Plus, it’s all automated, so no more wasted time in IT on manual groupings.

You can, of course, treat your merger as one if you choose, but the option is there to divide groups of people into their own categories and work groups.

Perhaps both Marketing teams could be added together, while separate Sales teams is the more prudent option.

Whichever path suits you best, Smart Teams allows you to set up your new merger exactly how you want.

Email Signatures

Bringing in a new staff member always comes with a long to-do list, but bringing in multiple people at the same time? Setting up new email signatures for everyone is at least one thing that’s made easy with our Email Signature Management solution.

We've designed a tool that is simple to configure, works across desktop and mobile, and integrates with CloudM Smart Teams to automatically allocate signatures for joiners, movers and leavers.

If you’ve just merged with another company and taken on a bunch of new employees, then consider their email signatures one less thing to worry about.


Taking on another company’s data also means taking on a lot of information that you won’t necessarily use, but still need to keep to comply with GDPR/HIPAA regulations.

Our Archive option allows you to keep the data, but get rid of the licenses.

When the merger happens, you can migrate to cloud storage in bulk first for instant saving, and Archive as time goes on through offboarding.

All the data you archive is secured, searchable and retainable at any time.

Let us handle everything

Mergers and acquisitions are incredible opportunities for businesses to grow, but like anything worth doing, they aren’t easy. One way to take the stress and hassle out of a migration process is to let us handle everything for you.

There’s a lot of risks involved with a migration, from losing data to complying with international regulations, but letting the experts do it minimises those risks.

Alongside our hosted and self-hosted migration options, we’ve also performed successful Serviced Migrations for a decade. We’ve overseen thousands of migration projects, with millions of users. Companies have relied on us and our expertise to get the job done quickly, efficiently and securely.

Your in-house IT team may be good, but we can do a migration better. We’ve seen it all before and we’re ready for any issues that might arise unexpectedly.

We take on the responsibility, meaning you have one less thing to worry about, and let’s be honest, if you’ve just merged with another company, you’ve got enough on your plate to be dealing with.

If a merger is in your future, then give us a call and let’s have a chat about what you can expect. One of our friendly advisors will be happy to have a no-obligation chat and answer any questions you may have.

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