It’s M&A time – consolidation, mergers, acquisition, exits and take-overs, and it’s all getting a bit technical! We have seen some horror stories and we know how inadequate technical due diligence at these crucial stages can lead to serious problems down the line. We help our clients, whether they are buyers or sellers, to ensure that they identify all the key risk areas, that there are no nasty surprises and of course that they are getting the best possible deal. We are also helping clients with internal due diligence when they are considering branching out into new business areas. As an impartial third party with years of practical operational experience, we are well positioned to help you look under all the right stones and work out what to do with what you find.
The essence of a Technical Audit, sometimes called a Technical Due Diligence, is a dispassionate and independent review by a trusted third party. Technical plans, service performance, processes and solutions may need to be assessed against their true merit, claims, perceptions or development viability. The key value we bring here is a truly independent assessment. Our specialist skills in mobile enable us to dig beneath the surface and provide a true reflection of the status, potential and pitfalls of a technical solution or process.
Our experience allows us to review technical solutions in a depth that few other consultants can match and encompasses technical matters, ranging from underlying strategy, through business planning, to design, development, planning, implementation, integration and operations. This gives us unique insight into the range of issues that can arise.
The Azenby Approach
Typically, we would target a particular risk area hence each case needs specific focus and attention with appropriately skilled expertise rather than a generic “one-size fits all” approach but in broad terms, the steps we follow are as shown below. Our aim is always to provide real and useful insights into business changes, from a product development plan through to full mergers or acquisitions. Our depth of experience and knowledge continues to prove valuable to clients where a truly independent view of technology plans, process or organisations are required.
Understanding the audit requirements is key to a successful outcome. This directs the focus and attention and needs to be tested and challenged upfront to ensure the rights areas are addressed. The range of a technical audit can vary enormously and will also be impacted by the technical capabilities of the client organisation.
The timescales involved for a technical audit vary significantly. We tailor or plans to fit the specific client need ensuring maximum value can be delivered in the time available. If a specific level of audit is required than we will also propose a schedule to achieve this.
We provide practical solutions not theory – no death by a thousand power point slides from Azenby. We cut to the chase and focus on the real world and practical solutions. Whether the technical audit is focused on the technology itself, costs, operational processes of any other aspect we will provide practical and actionable output.
We are committed to staying the course and making sure our observations and recommendations are useable and effective. We will never wash our hands of the problem once solutions are proposed. We stick around and deal with all the wrinkles and challenges of implementation until the promised results are delivered.
Audit of Network technology for a potential purchaser (Caribbean): A Caribbean operator was considering consolidation by purchasing another competing operator. An independent view was required of the target operator’s technology, site infrastructure and potential for integrating it with the purchaser’s network. Azenby, working with a partner, was engaged for a full audit of the technology, physical assets and resources of the potential target. In addition we worked with the client operational business to ensure any recommendations took account of their existing capabilities and development potential.
OUTCOME: Based on Azenby recommendations the potential acquisition did not proceed. Whilst the technology deployed was modern and reusable the fit with the client business was poor with significant overlap/duplication hence the value to the client was relatively low.
Audit of MVNO core technology with a view to purchase: In this case we were working with a leading European broadcast, communications infrastructure and media services company with revenue in excess of €1bn. The business had been considering setting up a “thick MVNO” business line and was presented with the opportunity of purchasing a previously deployed solution that was no longer required by the existing owner. Working closely with the client, Azenby participated in a deep review of the available solution including the technology, how it was implemented and what would be needed to make it suitable for our clients use.
OUTCOME: Whilst the technology solution was both relatively modern and upgradable it was not a good fit with the client’s business model and would have presented a high level of technical risk to modify to the client’s specific requirements.
Review of network plans for an investor: This case was a potential merger of mobile operators in a European market that required external investment. A potential investor required an audit of the business plan. Working with a large consultancy as technical and network specialist Azenby conducted an audit of the planned network merger from both a technical and cost perspective. Detailed cost and viability analysis was undertaken as well as benchmarking with other similar solutions.
OUTCOME: The technical and network plans were credible and achievable in the timescales planed. The network cost savings planned were reasonable and the key problem areas had been effectively addressed. The client decided to go ahead with the investment.
If you would like to talk to us about Technical Audits or Due Diligence please contact us