As we move into the new year and, hopefully, new beginnings, we reflect on lessons learned from our past. Something we’ve been thinking about recently is what we’ve accomplished in the last two years. Specifically, the successful merger of Tangoe and MOBI. Even before we made the merger announcement, we made a concrete decision to present ourselves as one organization. To move forward, together. A unified team, a unified platform, a unified company.
We learned a lot through it all. Here are other strategies that made our merger a successful one.
We Made Communication a Priority
With our decision to present ourselves as a unified organization, we knew communication was key. For our customers, it meant engaging with them early and often. We emphasized that even with the change, they would still receive the same level of dedicated service and commitment from us. Concerns and questions were addressed immediately, and all feedback was treated equally. We also outlined our plans to enhance their current applications and provide even more tools to help them with their technology expense management and mobility services. Our promise to deliver more value, while keeping the functionality, visibility, and control they were used to, was communicated and fulfilled.
Internally, we provided regular updates through email, monthly town halls, and merger check-in meetings. Messaging remained consistent, clear, cohesive, and reassuring. This enabled us to build alignment and momentum for a successful transition. We also provided tools and messaging for our customer-facing employees, so they understood how to talk about the merger and best support customers through the changes. And, we always took the opportunity to regularly communicate our appreciation to our employees for all their efforts during the merger. As a result, they felt valued and engaged which allowed them to go the extra mile for customers,
Importantly, none of these conversations were one-and-done. Communication for both employees and customer was an ongoing process. Our goal was to communicate what was happening and what to expect and communicate that story consistently across all channels.
We Created a Great, Unified Culture
It’s not unusual to hear the phrase “legacy [insert company name]” and to have employees identify more with one company or the other after a merger. But, we knew that creating a unified company meant creating a unified culture. We had to purposefully and vigorously work to create an environment where employees at all levels understood that. This is notoriously difficult to do but we knew that it was going to take much more than words to make it happen: we needed action and we needed nurturing.
Our first order of business was to integrate executive leadership teams from each side. This enabled us to take a “best-of-both-worlds” approach. Employees also got to see and understand that the integration was not about imposing one set of principles over another. We were truly devoted to bringing the very best ideas and strategies to a banded company. The very best people were promoted to managerial positions, regardless of which company they started with and all questions were welcome.
Culturally, we celebrated diversity of thought and people and readily encouraged everyone to participate. We retained many cultural aspects of MOBI culture, like giving colleagues a PowerUp card to recognize great work. Different ideas and strategies were readily accepted and nurtured. Our challenges were embraced as a team and we celebrated our wins as a team. The message of unity and togetherness was woven throughout every department and everyone was encouraged to band together.
As a result of our efforts, the merger invigorated everyone. Our super engaged employees were willing to go a step further, which fueled faster innovation and grassroots development. In turn, this increased customer satisfaction and allowed us to share our vision for the future.
We Can Better Meet All Customers’ Needs Now
Before the merger, MOBI customers requested fixed/telecom expense management (TEM) to manage their fixed lines. However, their expertise lay in other areas. Meanwhile, to get the power of MOBI’s managed mobility services, Tangoe customers had to use Tangoe as one provider, and use MOBI as a separate provider.
The merger allowed us to give our customers the best of both worlds. Existing customers in both companies got a bigger, better, more efficient organization to support their technology stack. They also were able to take advantage of more services — not just TEM, but also cloud expense management, bill pay, Tangoe Advisory Services, and Tangoe’s global experience.
Tangoe customers gained an award-winning, industry-leading mobility management service. We’ve heard customers say they were hoping to get one or two extra features following the MOBI merger, but in fact, they say they gained dozens more.
More Work Left to Do
We’ve all heard horror stories of what happens when good intentions (and mergers) go bad. Customers, employees, and the companies at large can be devasted, both financially and culturally. The good news is that the Tangoe and MOBI integration was successful. While we’re two years past the merger itself, the work will never be done. We still have to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our employees and our customers. Innovation and enhancements to our products and services must continue. Complacency must never be in our vocabulary and we must always strive to move forward.