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Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are complex processes that require meticulous planning and flawless execution.

A Project management is essential to ensure the success of these transactions, from evaluation and negotiation to post-merger integration, as assessed by Guilherme Tossulino, M&A Director at Softplan.

Graduated in Information Systems, Tossulino began his career as a software developer. Over time, he realized that project management was a viable path for someone with his technical profile, which led him to dedicate himself to this area and specialize.

In 2016, he joined Softplan as development manager. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to lead the innovation process in the company. This transition led him into the world of mergers and acquisitions, culminating in his responsibility to coordinate the company's inorganic growth strategy. Softplan from 2020. 

In this report, he shares his M&A expertise, offering insights into:

  • The importance of project management at each stage of the M&A process;
  • The experience of Softplan in mergers and acquisitions, including challenges and lessons learned;
  • The crucial role of organizational culture in the integration of companies.

Project management: one of the pillars of mergers and acquisitions

Project planning is fundamental to the success of business initiatives, especially in complex processes such as mergers and acquisitions. According to a Wellingtone study, 58% of companies emphasize the importance of building a clear project scope as an essential part of any planning.

With this strategic approach, it is possible to establish clear goals and, at the same time, ensure efficiency in executing the steps necessary for successful integration.

The M&A process, as Tossulino describes, is made up of distinct phases. "At Softplan, it is divided into two major moments: the pre- and post-deal”, explains. Project management manifests itself from the very beginning.

No pre-deal, a specific team conducts all activities until the contract is signed. This phase is crucial, as defines the terms of the transaction and the way in which the integration will be carried out, whether total or partial.

After formalizing the business, the phase of post-deal, led by another team, which consists of the integration of the acquired company.

Tossulino explains that this process can take months or even years, depending on the complexity of the businesses involved. “When the transaction is completed, it is like a new beginning: the integration and operational transition begins, and then challenges arise that, sometimes, are only discovered along the way, and can be even more complex than the initial transaction itself” , he states.

The integration project, as Tossulino highlights, is extensive and involves multiple teams and business areas. Project management is essential in coordinating schedules, deliverables and preparing internal teams to welcome the new company. 

This also includes strategic communication with employees, the market and customers. Tossulino highlights the importance of calibrating these messages according to the integration objectives, whether maintaining the structure of the acquired company or implementing significant changes to leverage synergies.

This approach, guided by deliveries and structuring, reflects the vision of Softplan in conducting mergers and acquisitions as complex and detailed projects, where each step is meticulously planned and executed to ensure smooth and assertive integration. 

Integration is the main challenge of project management in acquisitions

Regarding the challenges faced in project management during the acquisition phase, Tossulino recalls the strategy adopted by Softplan in 2019 to create a new vertical. He points to the complexity in acquiring not only a business, but also the required expertise to build and develop this new area of ​​activity.

The central challenge also resided in the competence to consolidate and expand this vertical within the Softplan. Tossulino talks about the importance of guarantee the participation of founding partners in the management of this new business, differentiating this process from traditional acquisitions, where management is assumed by the purchasing company.

He also emphasizes the importance of having a key company as a starting point to build a complete ecosystem. Guilherme Tossulino reinforces the success of the strategy in maintaining the growth of the acquired company, integrating new products into the ecosystem and positioning the vertical as a set of integrated solutions and not just an isolated product.

During acquisitions, complexity goes beyond the financial transaction and involves the construction of new business areas, integration of teams and products, and the guarantee that strategic objectives will be achieved efficiently and sustainably over time.

Also see this report by Guilherme Tossulino about the challenges and opportunities of M&A for SaaS companies!

Mergers and acquisitions in Softplan

Na Softplan, the mergers and acquisitions process is a structured journey that unfolds on several fronts. The strategy MultiSaaS, based on specialized segments, guides the actions of the Softplan in the market.

Tossulino explains: “We are a company that specializes in what we do. Knowing the business is important so that we can be successful within the areas in which we operate.” This specialized focus is reflected in the prioritization of verticals, each aligned with the company’s expertise and strategic vision. Softplan.

In this context, Softplan adopts an integrated approach, looking at administrative and cultural fronts, followed by governance advice and technological analysis. This strategic sequence aims to integrate acquired companies efficiently, while seeking to optimize operations and maximize value for customers.

A crucial aspect in this process is cultural fit. Tossulino highlights that it “is a decisive factor in the success of acquisitions in the company’s M&A process”.

A Softplan values ​​the compatibility of values ​​and beliefs between the parties involved, recognizing that this harmony is essential for aligning objectives and building long-term productive relationships.

Caring for cultural fit is not limited to objective criteria: it also covers subjective and qualitative aspects, such as synergy with the people involved, their beliefs and the ability to collaborate. Tossulino highlights the importance of understanding these aspects from the first approaches, as this contributes significantly to the success of integration.

In the context of mergers and acquisitions, the Softplan not only seeks to grow across different business verticals, but also strives to build strong partnerships based on shared values ​​and aligned visions.

This approach is a reflection of the commitment of Softplan in promoting sustainable and harmonious growth in its business ecosystem.

Results-oriented innovation

A Softplan is recognized for its approach to results-oriented innovation, a value that is reflected both in its daily operations and in its merger and acquisition processes.

Tossulin explains how the Softplan incorporates this project mindset into all aspects of its initiatives, including M&A. For him, “it is essential to treat innovation as a structured project, with a beginning, middle and end”.

This “designed approach” facilitates the efficient execution of innovation initiatives and guides the merger and acquisition process.

Another important point according to Tossulino is that innovation should not be seen in a dispersed or abstract way, but as a tangible initiative focused on concrete results. “I know that innovation is intrinsic to the company because it is connected to the market and the customer. We are always creating and looking at the segment”, he highlights, highlighting the importance of aligning innovation with market needs. 

Na Softplan, results-oriented innovation is a core value which also manifests itself significantly in the context of M&A. Tossulino illustrates this with the example of the native integration of solutions such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) with CRM (Customer Relationship Management). He even highlights the additional value generated for customers through this integration.

This project-focused mentality, combined with the company's long-term strategic vision, Softplan, boosts the creating continuous innovation cycles. Through this synergy, the company identifies growth opportunities. 

The results-oriented approach is therefore a mainstay that drives the Softplan in its innovation and sustainable growth efforts in the MultiSaaS market. 

This philosophy permeates all stages of the M&A process, from the selection of strategic targets to the complete integration of operations, ensuring that each action is guided by a clear and measurable objective.

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