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IT at the Table.

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Introduction

PART A Have to use Nolan's Growth Model PART B IT at the Table Involving the IS professional in the merger and acquisition team early is essential. During initial meetings between the two entities, many of the general legal and business issues discussed could have potentially devastating effects on information system scope and design development. Being present to determine the language of the acquiring or ceding company is important for the IS executives. Items as mundane as provider networks can become cumbersome during implementation if one company's definition of a provider network differs from the other's. Clearly defining operational terms during the early stages helps IS executives incorporate them into a commonly understood scope document. The resulting design document will reflect a more realistic timeline and personnel estimate to be included in the overall economic analysis of the new formation. Information system assessment procedures greatly enhance the probability of a successful implementation. The need to integrate new systems quickly can be an extremely difficult task for a number of reasons: 1. Corporate planning does not always include IS personnel in the planning process. In addition, IS integration - related planning typically does not occur until the merger is over, thus delaying the process (Stylianou et.al., 1999). ...read more.

Middle

� Customer service -Analyze customer service requirements for members and providers, which is essential to retention of both. Customer service needs escalate during a consolidation of business and automated systems, and proper response is a must to ensure inquiries are met. Telecommunications-Determine if customer service representatives will be centralized or decentralized and figure the resulting call volumes associated with the alternatives. Determine if existing equipment and software can handle the solution and the decision trees associated with consolidated business. Voice response units-Investigate the level to which this technology is used within the merging organizations, establish plans to unify the technology, and try to accommodate the best practices of each existing plan within the solution. Internet capabilities-If interactive customer service capabilities exist, calculate whether the new systems solution will be able to support the existing Internet capabilities or if they will require new methods. 1.2 ... SYSTEM NEEDS Hardware capacity-Depending on the systems architecture, expanding hardware capacity may be easily accomplished. Consulting the hardware vendor for assistance is essential. Software capacity-Work with your software vendor to identify their clients of like size to your new operation and evaluate their experience against your needs. This is harder to accomplish because much of the software available has not been stressed to the levels of activity required in major mergers. ...read more.

Conclusion

It also eliminates the growth of information staff to support the migrating solution, produces a common IS infrastructure to support economies of scale, and establishes a budgetable IS expense into the future for planning and pricing products. The downside includes conversion requirements and training all staff on a new system. However, rather than having a reticent employee population, it promotes a team atmosphere in that employees from both organizations are going through the same process. 8. Avoid the Crises Most of these issues have direct impacts on the overall merger evaluation process. Therefore, IS executives must be involved in the research and planning from the initial stages of feasibility determination. Fines levied for slow payment, in creasing administrative costs and declining profitability, and provider and member dissatisfaction highlight the symptoms of an ill-equipped information infrastructure to handle consolidation and expansion. Using a good IS assessment tool and developing multiple infrastructure alternatives during a merger is essential to ensure an organization is capable of adding new business without interrupting the quality of service provided to its members, providers and employers. Source: Health Management Technology, Feb2000, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p26, 3p Figure 1: The Strategic Triangle (source: Walton 1989) Figure 2: Influences on IS integration success (source: Stylianou et.al.1999) Figure 3: Merger management cycle (modified from McKiernan & Merali, 1995) PART C Have to use Earl's Audit Grid ...read more.

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