March 14, 2013

Strategic acquisitions will benefit companies and their customers

When entrepreneurs decide on an exit strategy, and have found the perfect business opportunity with another organization, it is important for them to not completely forget about their customers. As many recent mergers and acquisitions have centered around technology, consumers have been at the heart of many of these decisions, as mobile devices and personal computing options have become more popular.

Throughout the entire process, companies should try and keep their customers' interests in mind, working toward an agreement that will not completely alienate loyal shoppers. Otherwise, it could be much more difficult to guarantee that the newly formed organization can stay successful.

For example, Microsoft acquired MetricsHub, a startup focused on technology for automating cloud performance management, earlier this week. With that, Microsoft also announced that Windows Azure customers would receive a pre-release, no charge version of MetricsHub's Active Cloud Monitoring service.

"MetricsHub will now offer all Windows Azure customers our premium product as a pre-release, no charge, service available through the Windows Azure Store," the company said in a blog post. "We will also be converting all paying customers to this no-charge version of the service and MetricsHub technology will continue to keep your cloud applications running."

The move caused Windows Azure competitor Amazon Web Services (AWS) to put forth a similar deal, in which customers were offered a free trial in March for its AWS Trusted Advisor tools for comparing customers' cloud configurations against best practices. Normally, those tools are only available to shoppers who have signed up for business or enterprise levels of support.

An acquisition strategy must be comprehensive in that it accounts for the needs of the companies involved, but ideally, it will not abandon customers either.