Streamlining core operating platforms at the UK's largest technology firm
In 2017, Micro Focus merged with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's software business and brought together two leaders in the software industry. The combined company became the world’s seventh-largest software company, the largest UK technology firm, with a revenue of US $4.4 billion.
Post-merger, Micro Focus engaged in a three-year transformation programme to integrate core IT systems, ways of working and improve performance.
As part of the Micro Focus Change and Transformation team, we needed to work through a series of stages to move iteratively towards the end goal of operating as an efficient, streamlined global team.
Stage 1: Research
Stage 2: Change and transition planning
Stage 3: Change, communications and engagement delivery
Stage 4: High-level narrative and positioning
Stage 5: Engagement app development
Stage 6: Focus on culture
Stage 7: Focus on high performance
Focus on (multi)culture
From our research, we found that most teams agreed that Micro Focus’ existing culture fitted the Goffee and Jones cultural model category of ‘mercenary or focused culture’ – that the company focuses strongly on outcomes and results (more than spending time on the relationship or the underlying social network). We worked with teams to consider company culture and what this might mean for them.
Another dimension we considered was multicultural. The recent merger had brought together two companies from different national cultures: UK and USA. These teams were also working with technology and development teams usually based in India.
We worked across the Micro Focus teams to consider what this transformational change would require in practice: agility, flexibility and a company-wide commitment to new ways of working together across different countries, time zones and cultures.
Focus on high performance
We also worked with teams to look at Whitmore’s performance curve model and consider how this could help them take on the challenges of post-merger integration.
Specific challenges we needed to consider were:
How can we successfully bring different companies and cultures together to achieve future success?
How can teams and individuals work together more effectively to transform the business and focus on joint IT systems, platforms and ways of working?
Teams understood the need to move from an independent culture (with ‘I am a high performer’ attitudes) to an interdependent culture (with a ‘We are truly successful together’ mindset).
The results: As it is ...
By the end of the project, we’d helped Micro Focus to streamline and upgrade its core operating platforms; and then move all employees and customers to this new operating model.