The culture of acquisitions

When I was at CA, they were pretty good at acquisition of companies. HP struggles. Look how the Compaq name/brand/image/culture/entity lives on within HP.

The comparison is perhaps unfair: CA was much smaller and more focused - software only. HP is this big sprawling giant that tries to sell everything from printers to IT consulting.

On the other hand IBM tries to do the same and I think manages to project a clearer, more unified culture and image - not much more but they do better at it. (...nowadays. They had similar challenges in the past).

William Vambenepe triggered my musing with this gem:

Two months ago, HP announced the acquisition of EDS...One month later ...“EDS Asia Pacific Standardises on BMC Software Atrium CMDB to Improve Service Delivery”.

CA was brutal. On day 1 of the acquisition, you had a job or you didn't. For those who did, the uncompromising message was "You are CA now. Here's how we do things". Over the next 3-6 months another tranche would leave when they found they didn't fit that culture. It was quick, it was clean, and it preserved a consistent cohesive culture. CA didn't do so well with later (larger) acquisitions, and they lost that culture later but not through acquisition.

Many criticised it. Me, I prefer that to six months or a year of uncertainty, wandering around after the acquisition wondering if you have a job or not.

HP needs to put its stamp on EDS and get control soon. Someone in EDS Asia isn't on board yet.


HP using BMC Atrium

I am not surprised about this, based on the fact that the introduction of Atrium might have started well before that (my guess is at least 6 months).
On the other hand HP Managed Services have used a tool based on Remedy as long as I remember. They might have changed it recently, but in 2006 it was still in place.
An investment in a service management tool is not something you should just throw away, even if it is coming from your competitor. But I agree that marketing it might not be the best idea.

Peter Lijnse

HP using Remedy

Last I heard they were still using it.

HP Managed Services (or how

HP Managed Services (or how it is called now as I still have a great mess in acronyms although working for HP already for 1,5 year) still use a tool based on Remedy, but it's constantly in the ramp-down (customers moving away from this tool) and should be completely decomissioned in about two years... Unfortunately, this tool is the best (and fastest) one from the ones I am using and many of us are crying due to being forced to use that crap (SC) by Peregrine...

BTW, many Indian support people already changed HP in their signatures to "EDS, an HP company" (they were very fast in doing it... at our site, the variety in signatures is such large, that one would think some people are from totally different organizations (although really are from the same team) ;-) )

Compare with IBM

Since Skeptic compares HP with IBM, I suppose this is interesting.

Before HP bought Peregrine, IBM was Peregrine's best partner, selling about half of the Peregrine software. IBM Global Outsourcing had spent a great deal of time and effort to create an Asset Management offering using Peregrine AssetCenter as the centerpiece of their CMDB strategy. They had one customer on that system and had many in the pipeline.

The very week HP announced purchase of Peregrine, that was halted.

And, IBM is rapidly moving their customers from the former Peregrine products to their Tivoli/Main Control.

Just a difference in philosophy and focus, I suppose.

Cary King
Minerva Enterprises
Managing Partner

Reverse takeover of C&W by Energis

The above takeover was a sort of mindf**k. Six months previously we were told C&W was on a sound financial footing ready to take on BT. Then six months later a new CEO appeared (Energis) and told us we were on dodgy financial ground and we had better shape up or ship out.
So which version of reality do you believe? Neither. Higher management have their own version or reality and ethics which has very little to do with quality of product or fairness.
Great blog. Keep going.
Rgds Rob.

the loser in a takeover was the one who got to keep the name

There's an old saying that the loser in a takeover was the one who got to keep the name. There are those who think Compaq took over HP (in some parts of the world at least - I've seen the world map with the red and blue [can't find it on the Web: anyone?]) and it may be the same with EDS - we'll see.

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