Last night I received a will-self-destruct email from someone apparently upset with my critique of Taleo’s buyout of Vurv. Perhaps it was from Taleo itself; perhaps it was from a competitor who wanted to make it seem like Taleo was acting insecure. Whatever…cute site, but why not just post an anonymous comment though?
The email pointed out that Taleo’s cash position was $90+ million. Ok, swell. What does that mean for the employees and customers of Vurv? Does it really mean that the two companies are “bonding” together to create “synergy” and the “greatest ever talent technology team”?
Maybe, but tech acquisitions rarely result in bonding. Instead, the event takes on the closing that it really is, with disruption and unpleasantness for all parties involved.
The acquirer might state that they are preparing a sound upgrade path for their affected clients, but software platforms do not mesh easily. Soon the cozy pillow talk of mutual benefits subsides, and the nasty task of porting a client from one environment to another begins. This is a very tough task since even the best IT people tend to have trouble handling two distinct platforms at the same time.
These incompatibilities do not always surface at the beginning of the merger. In fact, things may begin with a honeymoon period during which top management declares that the acquired company will continue to run as a separate business entity. After three months or so, the rumbling begins to get loud, and after six months, a complete management change and exodus of staff takes place. This may not happen here, but if it does fast moving competitors will move in to serve their neglected customers.
Finally, a suggestion for Taleo. If in fact you take offense or find the abundant negative commentary on the Vurv buyout unjustified, don’t waste time with self-destructing emails. Just get on YouTube or a blog and make your case in plain language.