Orchestra Software Mergers & Acquisitions

Study Guide
Orchestra Software Mergers & Acquisitions

Your task is to evaluate the strategic opportunities and cultural challenges of the newly merged Orchestra+Encompass+Handoff companies. The deliverable will follow the outline below, with you making recommendations and citing the appropriate readings from our course to support your recommendations.

The page limit for your recommendation is 8 pages (single spaced, 12-point font, one inch margins). You may also include graphs/tables/charts to support your recommendations and these will not count toward your page limits. You may either insert them directly into your document or put them in an appendix. You must also include a works cited list as the last page of your deliverable (an additional page, not counted in your eight pages). Please use MLA format for your citations.

  1. Title Page (not part of the 8 pages)
    a. Include a title for your analysis, your name, and date
  2. Executive Summary (~1 page)
    a. Use the first page to write an executive summary that includes the following
    i. Explain Orchestra Software’s rationale for merging with Encompass and their subsequent acquisition of Handoff. This should be about two paragraphs and essentially summarize the discussion we had with Orchestra CEO Brad Windecker about his motivations for making these deals.
    ii. Conclude the executive summary with a “roadmap” of the analyses you plan to showcase on the next couple of pages. You will probably need to write this part last…
  3. Analyze the resources and capabilities of Orchestra and Encompass from the perspective of the Resource-Based View – before they merged (1 page, use a table)
    a. Develop a graph/image of the beverage industry value chain and show how Orchestra served “Suppliers” and Encompass served “Distributors” and how the new software they are integrating with “DSLink” served retailers. Leverage Brad’s explanation from minute 17 of his webinar to customers. Try to accomplish this in under ½ page – Just report the facts and include an image of the value chain. Why does this merger make sense?
    b. “Test” the rationale Brad puts forward using Rumelt’s (1993) criteria for what constitutes a good strategy. Try to accomplish this in ½ to 1½ pages. Use Rumelt’s criteria as a framework, but incorporate at least 5 additional citations from the syllabus to support Rumelt’s (1993) framework.
    i. Consistency
  4. Suggested supporting citations (Capron & Mitchell, 2010; Christensen, 2001)
    ii. Consonance
  5. Suggested supporting citations (Pine & Gilmore, 1998; Navarro, 2005)
    iii. Advantage
  6. Suggested supporting citations (Collis & Montgomery 2008; Johnson et al., 2008; Holloway & Sebastiao, 2010)
    iv. Feasibility
  7. Suggested supporting citations (Williamson, 1991; Wiltbank et al., 2008; Shapiro & Varian 1999)
  8. Now let’s focus on the culture within the newly joined companies. The challenges of post-acquisition integration and the uncertainty of the market both in COVID and beyond. We also need to address the fact that these combined companies currently serve only the largest ~500 domestic breweries, and the domestic market includes 7,500 small breweries (plus ~20,000 small breweries worldwide). Where is the growth and new product development going to come from once they deliver on the value proposition to the large and mid-size companies they currently are well designed for? This analysis should fill up the remainder of your eight allowable pages.
    a. Spend about a page discussing Marks’ & Mirvis’ (2005) criteria for post-acquisition integration (absorption, preservation, etc.) Go over each one and also the critical success factors (See PowerPoint on Bombardier for suggestions).
    b. Discuss how the newly combined companies should approach the year 2021, which of Marks’ & Mirvis’ criteria work best in year 1
    i. Support this suggestion with at least 3 additional citations from the syllabus (I am not giving suggestions for additional citations anymore)
    c. Discuss how or whether this may need to change in years 2-5 as the market evolves post-COVID. Specifically address how can they plan for uncertainty?
    i. Support this suggestion with at least 3 additional citations from the syllabus
  9. Conclude your 8 pages by addressing important issues beyond the current opportunities that motivated the merger. Here are some potential ideas (choose 1 or 2, depending on your own interests and page limits)
    a. Designing a product for the majority of small breweries/wineries/distilleries/cideries worldwide. Consider price point challenges, value proposition differences, etc.
    i. Cite at least four of the readings from the syllabus to support your suggestions
    b. Addressing environmental sustainability
    i. Sometimes software companies or regulators can have big impacts on how businesses behave. If Orchestra+Encompass becomes the standard, they will have incredible influence to effect change and promote better behaviors – especially with respect to water usage, pollution, and other environmental issues.
    ii. Cite at least four of the readings from the syllabus
    c. Increasing diversity among consumers and industry workers
    i. Craft beer faces a huge challenge in that their current market is mostly white and mostly men. This limits growth in the short term, but also limits the impact and social wealth the industry could promote in the long term. If Orchestra successfully delivers on their “Single source of the truth” and becomes an industry standard, they will wield significant power to positive change the industry demographics for the better. Can you propose a win-win strategy that is good for the company and the industry? Consider Blue Ocean Strategy type thinking.
    ii. Cite at least four of the readings from the syllabus
    d. Some other strategy Sam hasn’t thought of?
    i. Cite at least four of the readings from the syllabus
  10. Include a works cited page

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