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Mergers and acquisitions: How data can help smooth the transition

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Mergers and acquisitions: How data can help smooth the transition

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Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are big business, and those big business deals haven’t slowed down much even with a global pandemic taking center stage. M&A megadeals, transactions exceeding $5 billion, are increasing. This is evident in MGM’s acquisition by Amazon in an 8. 45 billion deal and Google acquiring Mandiant for $5.4 billion. Companies are under pressure to maximize the transition and payback, due to the rise in M&As. But is it possible to have an organization that works efficiently and effectively from the beginning?

With technology it is

When two companies join forces – each with their own data and applications, their processes, and their own people – things can get complicated. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and low-code tools – just to name a few – have made the transition from two entities to one a lot more transparent. Companies can also adapt and overcome labor shortages today, which can slow down the M&A process. Low-code tools that don’t require significant human resources are essential.

It is crucial to make use of these resources and tools when each company has its own data, applications and data criteria. Data criteria could include objectivity, relevancy, measurability, completeness and others. It may differ from one company to the next. Without the use of technology, merging that data is a long, tedious process, especially when it comes to tracking progress and coordinating activities between the acquirer and the acquiree.

Merging disparate data and applications is a major obstacle to any M&A. Most companies have different legacy systems and mission-critical applications. Before deciding on what to integrate, it is important to understand what data exists, where it is located, and who has access to it.

Companies must secure consumer data and offer frictionless customer experiences throughout the mergers and acquisitions process. They also need to avoid penalties for missing transition service agreements deadlines or outages/downtime caused by possible lags in service. This can lead to customer churn and revenue loss, which could potentially cause damage to the overall brand.

At the beginning of any M&A deal, all parties need to develop a plan and then drive momentum.

Mergers and acquisitions: Momentum is everything

Many leaders are well aware that if something isn’t moving forward towards achieving a goal or an object, it can be very difficult to get it back on track. The key to a successful M&A deal is momentum. Data fuels that momentum.

M&A starts with accessing the acquiree’s data. Next, you need to identify the objectives and determine the types of data and definitions that should be used. All data integrations, transformations and reporting must use these agreed-upon definitions to ensure everyone is on the exact same page and has a common understanding about what’s happening and what risks and opportunities need to be addressed. This will ensure data consistency and accuracy across different applications and stakeholder groups.

Making previously separate systems (and companies) work together is crucial. Momentum can make or break mergers. This can seem impossible without a flexible IT infrastructure.

Collaborative integration

Integration doesn’t mean combining all systems into one. Having technology available for teams to access and share data is just as good, if not more. Two newly combined sales teams must be able collaborate and go to the market together. They need access to all data, including customers, employees, and partners, so they can cross-sell to ensure consistent customer experiences. You can do this in a central cloud location.

Cloud applications are a great way to quickly get a newly merged business up and running and provide the data people need. Cloud applications can be created quickly, are easily configurable, and data can be moved to them fairly quickly. This strategy is made easy by modern integration platforms, which provide standard connectors for popular cloud applications. It drastically reduces the amount of time and effort needed to implement an alternative approach.

Companies are subject to additional liability when they merge with or acquire another company. They face major regulatory risks related to information security because they don’t know where their data is, and therefore are not able to protect PII. These situations are where cloud platforms can be a great help. It is possible to create and integrate a cloud application with other systems within a matter of days or weeks.

While the ultimate goal of any mergers or acquisitions is to get the company running efficiently and quickly, data integration, access, and data protection are key components for a smooth transition. Keep in mind that M&As are changes for multiple organizations.

And, to overcome any type of change, you need to demonstrate momentum towards the goals set out in the initial investment, which is, in this case, data. These objectives can be achieved by using tools like AI, ML, and low-code.

Organizations should identify the data sources and visibility required by stakeholders as part of their integration plan. They must also ensure they have the integration and transformation technology necessary to create connections that meet and exceed customer expectations.

Chris Port serves as the COO at Boomi.

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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