Synoptek Helps Take the Pain Out of Integrating a Newly Acquired Healthcare Subsidiary

Customer: AccentCare, Inc.Profile: AccentCare, Inc. is a national post-acute healthcare provider with 45 years of industry experience. They thrive on providing patient-centric care and a warm and personalized experience within our local communities.

Services: M&A services

Size: 10,000+ employees
Region: Dallas, Texas
Industry: Hospital and Health Care

Business Need

AccentCare acquired the subsidiary of a large healthcare company. The post-merger integration represented a significant challenge. They faced the challenge of decoupling the company from the existing parent company and then integrating them into their organization both from a business process and systems perspective. This was not something that could be done a little at a time. Accentcare wanted to complete the actual cut-over of the systems integration within 90 days and in one weekend on the last day of the year.

Solution

Synoptek used the twelve weeks for planning and testing the migration process as well as validating the post-migration data, then accomplished the migration itself over the course of one weekend.

Results

The successful technology integration allowed enterprise leadership to move forward with the cultural and business process integration necessary to realize business synergies.

AccentCare was one of the nation’s leaders in home healthcare. The company has been providing patients, clients and their families with compassionate, quality care in the comfort of their home for over 10 years. These services range from physical therapy and grooming to catheter changes and nutritional counseling.

Recognized as one of the fastest-growing healthcare companies in the country, it has locations throughout California, New York, Ohio, Washington, Arizona and Oregon. That fast growth led the company to acquire a rather substantial division of SunHealth Plus—one that was approximately half the size of AccentCare itself.

Under the terms of the acquisition, AccentCare was required to complete the integration and migration of all IT-related systems in a 12-week window or face significant penalties from the parent company.

The Right Partner is Hard to Find

Due to a lack of staffing and depth of skills internally, the company decided to contract out the integration project. Accentcare did not have the resources to accomplish this task without support and they wanted a partner to help them develop a plan and leverage the best tools. But finding someone to take on the tough assignment wasn’t easy. Chris Marusin, at AccentCare, said that after outlining the project and the tight timeframe to a handful of integration partners, “Two of them came back and said ‘it can’t be done,’ two came back and said ‘yes, it can be done but here’s what it’s going to cost you.’ Then Synoptek came in and said ‘yes, we can do that’ and they were way lower than everybody else and didn’t seem to have any problem with anything we were trying to accomplish. That made it pretty easy. They also seemed to have the most stable talent to support their claims.”

A complex assignment

The project involved integrating the network, all the active directory data, email data, building out infrastructure to support multiple new back-office systems, and some financial systems integration to get the newly acquired division set up in AccentCare’s Great Plains financial system. Also involved were the implementation of VMWare, Alteris, and the integration of the PCs of the acquired company into AccentCare’s end-point management solution, which at the time consisted of Alteris and Symantec Anti-Virus.

“It was nice that we were able to work alongside the Synoptek team in a lot of respects,” says Marusin. “Part of the real challenge of all this is, somebody comes in and builds a bunch of stuff and then hands you the keys and leave, and you have no idea how to run the thing yet. That didn’t happen with Synoptek since we were able to work alongside them on many elements of the project. Synoptek also worked well and closely with other talent working on the project including Quest and Microsoft.”

Planning, planning, and more planning

During the planning process the team completed a number of test integrations to validate all the methodologies. The actual cutover was scheduled for a weekend in mid-December, the plan being to go dark at 5 p.m. Friday night and go live Monday morning. “It was a bit of a rough weekend,” says Marusin, “and of course with any large project there were a few changes in scope along the way as well. But the Synoptek team took all that in stride and said, ‘Well, that’s fine, we’ll do that too, no problem.’ They were very agreeable to everything we were asking for.”

Clearing the way to reap the benefits of business synergies

The technology integration was just the first step in bringing the new company into the fold, but it was an essential one. Says Marusin, “You know, when you do an acquisition, there’s a reason that companies buy each other. And typically, it’s because there are synergies to be had. If you don’t consolidate the companies right away, then you’re basically forestalling the realization of those synergies. If we didn’t accomplish the technology integration quickly, we would have had to build some sort of a bridge solution which would make it all the more difficult to integrate them later on.

“Also, just because you’ve integrated two companies doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve integrated the two companies. We had to get the technology integration out of the way so we could work on integrating the companies both culturally and business process-wise. The implementation was critical to enabling the enterprise leadership to really start looking long and hard at that, and being unfettered by any constraints to move down that path.”

Marusin is proud of the project’s success. “I think everybody won in the end. We got a pretty amazing project done. It was kind of like climbing a mountain. It’s hard, but when you’re done you go ‘Wow, that was pretty cool!’”

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