Dell and EMC's big mergers, on the other hand, follow a different path Management's desire to avoid special training is subordinated to the need to protect the expensive assets that have been acquired. The first steps aren't to rationalize the processes between the firms but to identify the top human and physical assets (including customer relationships) and make sure they are first protected and then enhanced. This process was first developed at IBM after a huge string of expensive acquisitions that Big Blue destroyed, and Dell and EMC (including subsidiary VMware) have improved on the process. Dell's head of mergers and acquisitions even came from IBM.
The acquired companies either remain separate, managed as assets or merge into common entities if doing so will enhance then. The priority remains protecting and improving what has been purchased. It is an investment, after all. The companies avoid cross pollination of employees, except at most senior levels, and the focus here is not to change the acquired company but often, as was the recent case with VMware and Pat Gelsinger at EMC, to provide breadth to the executives changing rolls.
Dell and EMC have shown that, if focus remains on the assets, both companies' value will rise-and the kind of catastrophic results showcased by Palm's destruction and the recent $8 billion HP write-down of EDS can be avoided.
Samsung Acquiring RIM Would Make History
Its unlikely that Samsung would acquire RIM because of the amount of risk involved for Samsung. If it weren't for the fact that Samsung could lose the Apple litigation, I doubt the deal would happen. However, the Apple litigation appears to be forcing Samsung to look at ever more creative options, and buying RIM would likely top its list, given that settling with Apple-short of exiting the smartphones and tablet markets-is unlikely otherwise.
If it does buy RIM, Samsung is likely to destroy RIM unless it follows EMC and Dell's examples and protects what it buys. Given that the cost of failure would be catastrophic to Samsung and RIM, the company's leaders need to make the right choice. History, and Samsung's lack of experience with large mergers, tells me it won't. Either way, Samsung will make history.