The acquisition of a much smaller Rally Software adjusted to the who’s, how’s, and what’s of a much larger CA.
One of the most common trends in the technology industry is the art of the acquisition. Tech giants are acquiring and merging with smaller companies to further enhance their products, introduce themselves to new markets, obtain top employees, and continue growth.
CA Technologies recently acquired Rally Software Development Corp. (now CA Agile Central), a leading provider in Agile development software and services. Rally has users in over 135 countries in nearly every industry, and have worked with some of the world’s largest and most respected brands, including over 35 of the Fortune 100. Their customers have depended on their award-winning, cloud-based Agile development platform and the industry’s most experienced transformation consultants and Agile coaches, it’s no wonder CA became so interested in all that Rally had to offer.
As in most cases, the acquisition entailed a much smaller Rally Software adjusting to the who’s, how’s, and what’s of a much larger CA, and it can often cause uncertainty for the acquired. Job security is of course one of the biggest concerns, along with a fusion of cultures, changes in process, values, and goals. In order for an acquisition to be deemed successful, it is key to transition slowly and appropriately
Alanna McCowen is an Associate HR Operations Analyst for CA, but was a Recruiting Coordinator for the formally independent Rally, and was initially very nervous when the acquisition was announced in May 2015 during a Rally “All Hands” meeting. “I knew very little about CA and acquisitions as this [Rally] is my first job out of college. However, as time went on I started to learn the many benefits that could come from joining a company like CA. It really opened up opportunities for many people, myself included. As the transition progressed I met people from all across the organization.”
Another complication with acquisitions is the obvious divide between two different sets of employees coming together, literally, to collaborate and work towards a common goal. This can be quite difficult as emotions can come into play as the sheer reality of an acquisition is that some employees do not remain, causing tension. Luckily, this was not the case for the Rally and CA team as Rick Shipley, a CA Services Architect who was brought after the acquisition believes “The CA leadership has made great efforts to validate the importance of Rally as an acquisition for both technology and people. That goes far in closing any divide between organizations as they merge into one.”
Mike Sanchez, Digital Sales Manager in our Boulder office and former Rally employee explains the transition as “gradual,” appreciating the fact that “It was not an overnight transition and that CA listened to our concerns and worked with us to keep whatever was working well, and tweak what wasn’t.”
“Transitions are never simple and this was no exception,” says McCowen. “Of course, there were going to be pain points. One thing that I saw from both groups (CA and Rally) was an effort to “assume good intent”. As we progressed through the transition we really needed to dig into the nitty gritty of all of the processes that we do differently. ‘Assuming good intent’ allowed us to have an open discussion with our counterparts at CA regarding how/why something is done and how we could implement it at our offices.”
There is so much that goes into an acquisition, both for the business and for its employees. It can be both worrisome and complex, but also exciting and rewarding. The outcome is hard to predict but when the planning is proper and appropriate steps are taken, success is achievable. We at CA are proud of all that we have accomplished over the last forty years, and we look forward to continued growth in the years to come. “I really like the approach of CA and believe in the Application Economy,” says Shipley. “I think we are poised for great achievement ahead.”
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