Although the United States economy represents approximately 20 percent of total global output, its real gross domestic product (GDP) grew only 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016 and 2.1 percent in 2015. It’s surprising, then, that 2015 marked the busiest year ever for mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The U.S. M&A volume increased 43.3 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, accumulating approximately $3 trillion in activity from 15,922 announced deals.
Mergers and acquisitions involve more than just buildings and employees – they also entail consolidation of substantial amounts of data and potentially disparate IT infrastructures that collect, contain, synthesize, and distribute that data. When I get a call from an executive for a company that is merging with another business or has acquired one, they have questions such as the following on how to best account for the increased need of data center capacity as they plan to consolidate.
- How can I consolidate data centers with limited business interruption?
- How quickly can I start deploying?
- What if my data centers need change?
- Can you connect me with my preferred network provider?
Businesses involved in global mergers want to know how they can incorporate multiple facilities in multiple markets under a single Master Services Agreement (MSA). They are interested in having those facilities interconnected , into one virtual contiguous footprint. They are curious about consistencies of standards across that footprint or across multiple data centers because they don’t want to have to worry about inconsistencies in uptime, operational reliability, access and certifications.
Companies that merge bring together multiple IT strategies. One of the entities may have more of a need for managed services, while the other may be more interested in pure colocation services. Therefore, it’s important for colocation providers to provide customers the flexibility to access a variety of services, change the level of services based on need or roll services into Hybrid IT solutions.
Though most mergers and acquisitions don’t happen quickly, some businesses need to consolidate their data and IT infrastructure in a short time frame. At CenturyLink, our standard install timeframe for customers once we receive an order is 30 days for caged environments. That involves a lot of scheduling and planning for customers, so it’s important they work with a provider that’s able to leverage its to help companies align their IT and data center strategies.
We’re able to help speed along and make the entire process of consolidation more efficient, and consistently working with the same team of data center professionals is beneficial for customers. We work with them to help them understand why a third-party data center is going to be more beneficial for them in the long run and how they can rely on us to handle their mission-critical data while they focus on other areas of their business.
If your business is going through a merger, acquisition or some other kind of consolidation, our executive brief, Data Center Expansion Options, outlines the pros and cons of building a new data center, retrofitting existing space or contracting with a trusted provider. Also, our Build vs. Buy tool provides a personalized cost savings analysis that enables users to input company-specific data to obtain a detailed report outlining the costs of each approach.