With nearly $90 billion in assets and thousands of retail locations, one of America’s leading consumer and small business banks had recently acquired another major financial institution’s mortgage banking business. While the acquiring bank was generally adept at integrating outside entities – it had grown its footprint in large part through M&A – there were certain characteristics of this transaction that were unlike any other they had completed in the past. In particular, the acquisition agreement mandated that the acquiring bank disconnect IT systems from the previous owner’s technical environment within a 12-month window.
Five months into the integration process, it became clear to the bank’s management that they would not be able to complete the requisite projects following their current plans and approaches. Failure to meet the specified terms could result in multi-million dollar penalties. Compounding this time sensitivity were additional factors:
- This was the first major acquisition where they had to migrate IT systems and build a new interface to connect the acquired company’s front-end to the bank’s existing back-end.
- The two entities operated across two time zones and more than 1,100 miles, further complicating the process.
- The acquiring bank’s IT organization had limited experience with the newly acquired company’s technology.
The bank brought in E78 Partners’ IT professionals to perform a rapid IT assessment and identify key opportunities to successfully accelerate integration. Following this, our team executed an extensive program of activities, actions that resulted in on-time delivery that avoided substantial penalties and generated $4 million in IT integration value.
- Identified a range of deficiencies, including inadequate staffing, incomplete or missing transition activities, gaps in the ways that issues were processed, broken down communications between entities, a lack of effective governance and failure to escalate issues in a timely manner.
- Built a new project plan, delineating key risks and issues, resolution recommendations and risk migration plans.
- Established systems to eliminate communications barriers and facilitate more effective information exchange.
- Implemented streamlined issue management processes and the technology to support the capture, tracking, prioritization, escalation and closeout of issues.
- Re-scoped time and budget requirements to cover requisite testing that was missing from the original project plan.
- Instituted project management techniques that were adopted by the client, resulting in sustainable IT department performance improvements.
- Implemented a new change control process that reduced the number of defects migrated into the production environment by 30%.
The IT integration technology was exceptionally challenging but by building a new interface, desired results were achieved.