When two organizations merge, chances are a Microsoft 365 tenant consolidation will be in order. A panel of Enablers with experience in M&A consolidations share some important success factors in this video. A written summary of the takeaways can be found below the video, and in-depth step-by-step starts at https://blog.enablingtechcorp.com/office-365-consolidation-lessons-learned-part-1.
1. Consider culture when preparing end users for what they could expect after the merger. Overcommunication is better than undercommunicating.
2. Strive to ensure acquired employees are not feeling left behind, or like they're losing some control. This applies to IT and business personnel.
3. Don't underestimate the amount of data that's in your tenant. Leaving behind some of the under-the-radar content in OneDrive or Planner, for instance, will cause user disruption.
4. The biggest technical consideration in a consolidation is that your domain name can only live in a single tenant in an active state at a time. This leads to
5. A second consideration is that only one Azure AD Connect server can exist in the interim or end state. This may mean a WAN connection needs to be set up beteween the orgs to connect both forests to the same AAD Connect server.
6. Don't oversimplify the change. Embark on the intentional process to develop what the compelling story is to help end users truly understand why this is happening getting leaders to align with that message.
7. Yes, it's important to combine email systems, but employees can benefit from being invited to common Teams and accessing the combined org's intranet, on SharePoint or in Viva Connections.
8. During strategic planning, consider compliance & regulatory impacts of the acquired org, and prepare to make changes if they're more restrictive than in the acquiring org. We've recently seen an org split a tenant out specifically for their Chinese employees.
9. Take a staged approach, being intentional with how you transition which employees and enable them for what capabilities and when. Try not to throw everything at them at once.
10. Communication, communication and communication. Have different layers of communication since M&A deals with different factors in different areas.
10a. For instance, business leaders of both entities need to be onboard for a go/no-go meeting on that Thursday or Friday morning before migrating people.
10b. Similarly, communicate the roles of the acquired orgs IT team, so that they feel safe in their roles in the new org.
We hope this kind of outline is useful for M&A planners, from the people, process, AND technology perspective. Feel free to reach out to get advice about your situation.