Signatures for Office 365 for Company Mergers
Loryan Strant - Microsoft MVP - Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)
Recently, my company Paradyne was acquired by Generation-e. Both of us have strong businesses, are Microsoft partners, have many customers, and funnily enough both use Exclaimer Cloud - Signatures for Office 365 (but in different ways – more on that later).
As with such a big change, we had a number of ways to get the word out – press release, social media, blog posts etc.
The most important thing was to get the word out to our customers as quickly as possible so that they would not have any concerns about a loss of service, interruption to projects, and overall continuity of their relationship with our business and people.
Naturally, we sent out a communication to all of our customer contacts. However, this often isn’t enough as any marketer will tell you. The reason is simple: your contact database is only as good as the data in it. And the reality is that unless your business has the email address of every single user in it, chances are the data in your database is stale.
What do I mean by this? Have a look at the average project you may have with a customer. Generally, the contacts for the customer in your database will be the relationship owner, project manager, and maybe some of the project resources that were involved in the initial meeting(s) – if you’re that thorough.
So, it’s not uncommon for the people that your staff actually deal with to not exist in your CRM system, and as such have no idea that M&A has taken place and that things are going to change.
You can’t rely on the primary contact(s) forwarding around the official communication that you send to them, or for your own staff to bring this up in general communications.
During a M&A there are many things that change – this is where Exclaimer Cloud - Signatures for Office 365 comes in to reach people that corporate communications simply can’t.
As part of our acquisition, we changed over IT systems fairly quick as both Paradyne and Generation-e used mainly the same suite of technologies. To ensure that our customers weren’t concerned when our email addresses suddenly changed, we used Signatures for Office 365 to notify them of this impending change by simple modifying the banner at the bottom of our signatures.
Here is what our signature looked like with the updated banner:
We chose thick bold text to make it stand out and be quite eye-catching so as to draw the reader’s attention there. The signature was in place for some time before we actually made the change to minimise the potential impact of the actual change.
With Signatures for Office 365, you can choose to have something more visually appealing and graphical, or whatever you like. The banner can even be linked to a particular page on your website explaining the M&A or a press release - it’s your choice.
Ultimately, what Exclaimer Cloud - Signatures for Office 365 allowed us to do was to ensure that every person we dealt with at the customer saw the communication and was not surprised when it finally happened.
About Loryan Strant
Co-founder of Paradyne and the Cloud CTO for Generation-e, Australia’s leading provider of cloud services and unified communications, and a high profile Microsoft Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) MVP, Loryan Strant has over 20 years in the IT industry and has been at the forefront of Australian cloud deployments in major metropolitan areas.
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