F-Secure – acquisition integration of MWR Infosecurity
Finnish Cyber Security Company F-Secure acquired Britain-based MWR Infosecurity in June 2018 to widen its range on cyber security services globally and strengthen its position in detection and response solutions. The integration included adding more than 400 employees in several new locations, largest being in South Africa, Singapore, U.S. and UK, to the existing 1200 employee base at F-Secure. The deal was closed 2 weeks after the announcement. The selected integration approach was a hybrid, with a sharp balancing between integration and execution of the daily business operations in both sides. The external team worked for the first six months, until the end of 2018 of this multi-year program to support getting the integration on the right track and ensuring first successes. The program consisted of 10 streams covering back-office, sales and delivery functions and product/service offering integration.
Two experienced consultants joined the integration planning team before the acquisition announcements to structure the basic integration approach and plan and to establish management and steering practices for the integration program. The main role was to run the Project Management Office and support the internal stream teams in integration planning and execution, bringing the existing teams together without impacting the business operations. Tight progress monitoring, preparation of steering team, leadership team and board materials and supporting the prioritization of the integration activities were also key elements of the work. Operationally Midagon consultants facilitated team meetings, workshops and working sessions, challenging the approach and giving external view point to difficult topics rising from daily challenges.
One participant commented the integration planning workshop: “I have participated in tens of workshops during my career in F-Secure, this was by far the best one!”.
Program success and delivered benefits
After 7 months in the project and 6 months from the closing of the deal the integration execution was progressing well, with all critical Q3 and Q4 integration activities completed, despite a strong focus on business operations and growth. Jyrki Rosenberg, F-Secure Chief Marketing Officer and integration program sponsor: “Quite often there are serious issues in integration programs. In this case things have gone exceptionally well and we are well positioned to take this forward. I was amazed of the seamless teamwork of the Midagon consultants, where one always took on, where the other ended and no things were left hanging in the air.”
The integration program is on track and clear plans created for 2019, all PMO activities have been handed over to the internal team.