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Service provider M&A, using digitisation to accelerate integration & realise competitive advantage



An increasing number of service providers are turning to acquisitions to accelerate their growth strategy. Typically acquiring complementary portfolio, technology platforms and opening-up new client verticals and geographies.


As a result, providers are facing the exciting but critical challenge of business integration. There is certainly a lot that can be gained from the integration of businesses, but also a lot that can be lost. Formulation of a quality integration strategy that provides clarity for all will work wonders in achieving your end state of an efficient operation that is stronger than the sum of all the parts, with happy staff, clients and investors.


While there is no doubt great technical prowess due to such acquisitions, to be an integration success that results in stable sustainable competitive advantage, companies must be savvy on how they apply their portfolio of services across the newer broader organisation. Those that truly succeed in this will be those with a clear and prioritised product to cash vision and more importantly have formed an engaged coalition of people targetted to achieve that common vision.


In forming such vision, companies must consider the application of digital technologies that both accelerate change as well as creating a foundation for which business can scale efficiently and effectively. Ultimately unburdening and better-enabled people to be great at what they do, improving

· Speed to quote client solutions

· The effectiveness of product and sales teams

· Client engagements and Client solution life-cycle management

· Deal sizes through the guided sale and improved ability to cross and upsell

· Handover into service delivery, operations, finance and invoicing

· Product management and sales launches

· Cost and pricing

· Revenue and profit


Companies must consider taking advantage of M&A events to transform into a digital product to cash capability. Accounting for process, systems, portfolio content and operating model, with special consideration given to configure price quote (CPQ) technology, a powerful capability that can boost bottom line performance.

The benefits of using such digital technologies are far reaching including


Portfolio consolidation

o Single window navigable view of standard portfolios

o Structured portfolios split by proposition lines and regions

o Vendor parts catalogues

o Bespoke product control

Unification of operating model

o Bringing together of teams and optimising roles

o Streamlining of defined standard processes

Governance & reporting

o Pricing governance, helping drive improved net profit

o Systemised quote financial approvals

o Automation of sales administration

o Improved sales pipeline and product revenue reporting

Brand consolidation

o Product Naming

o Automation of branded quote, order and solution documents


Be aware, there are many CPQ providers on the market both big and small, some are very generic others are built for specific industries and use cases, care must be taken in selecting the right provider for your needs. Consider tailored demos and gain insight into roadmap and vision to understand fit for purpose. CPQ is not a golden bullet, it will only be as good as

· Portfolio content, costing and pricing strategy

· The process from product management through sales and sales order processing

· Systemising a bad process will do one thing for sure, expose the bad bits

· Organisational operating model, having the right people doing the right job at the right time

· Results of end user engagement in defining the processes, outputs and product packaging

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