M&A Carve-outs: Why the PC Landscape Matters During Diligence

It may seem like an unimportant topic during the diligence phase of a carve-out, but one of largest and riskiest projects during a carve-out is migrating the PC’s from the Parent systems to the NewCo environment. This includes migrating the domain, email, anti-virus, systems management agent, file shares, installing patches to current levels, and deployment of software applications that may be local to the PC.

This process can take as little as twenty minutes or as long as half a day per PC. Multiply that by hundreds or thousands of PC’s that need to be migrated during the transition to NewCo and you can see the hours start to add up! Since the migration is visible to the end user, it sets the tone for satisfaction with NewCo IT.
Here are some things to watch out for during diligence that can impact the effort, timeline, user experience, and cost of your migration:
  • For each PC, gather the following information during diligence:
    • Did Parent keep up with a standard refresh cycle? PC’s older than 3 or 4 years and with an older OS (e.g. Windows XP) will run much slower and thus provide more problems during migration
    • Did Parent maintain current patch levels? If not, installing patches and the manual intervention that is required to reboot the PC will take more time. Also, pushing these patches to the PC’s may need to be done via a local distribution point (as to not saturate the WAN)
    • Is there sufficient computer RAM? PC’s with generally less than 2 GB of RAM will migrate slower and present user productivity challenges to the users
    • What is the average C: Drive space available? PC’s with less than 3.5 GB of free space may present challenges during the migration and manual cleanup could be required – thus increasing the effort to migrate
  • If PC’s do not meet the recommended criteria above, these PC’s should be budgeted to be replaced in a refresh project that commences immediately after close and replaces the PC’s prior to the migrations so that there will be no issues
  • If the Parent will not allow a two-way forest trust for co-existence (i.e. security that allows both Parent and NewCo Active Directory to be in sync) this will impact your migration strategy and effort
PC migrations need to be executed during a narrow time window as to not impact business operations or end user productivity, so understanding this information up front in diligence, will help provide more clarity to project scope and drive a better understanding of the timeline, budget, and resources that will be required for a successful migration.

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Email: marketing@westmonroepartners.com
222 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
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