GlaxoSmithKline – Merger Integration

When SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome merged, to create the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, an extensive integration programme was kicked off.

i-Realise initially worked with SmithKline Beecham to help with merger preparations, after which the relationship continued with the new entity, both during integration and for several years post-merger.


We ensured that all projects we led in the Integration Programme were established with a Joint Team of relevant Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), to make sure that all angles were covered and that business / customer acceptance was smooth for implementation. The projects involved integration of one or more of the following: processes, policies, systems, and teams, and the SMEs represented all relevant stakeholders such as process owners, IT, compliance, suppliers and so on.

Examples and Outcomes of Business Integration Projects

There were many projects that i-Realise delivered during the integration and here are a few examples, some of which were relatively straightforward and others more complex:

  • Pre-merger SmithKline Beecham asked i-Realise to do some work on ‘As-Is’ process and system documentation. This had to be prepared to a tight deadline and was achieved through an intensive period of cross functional workshops and interviews with SMEs. This put SmithKline Beecham in a strong position for one of the initial merger activities, which was to compare systems from each company and decide which best supported the business processes for each functional area.
  • Once the merger was agreed a high priority was to be able to interact with customers as one entity. An example of this was where a division of each business had a field-based sales team and a central call centre. They needed to quickly present to the customer as one organisation with one sales rep, one number to call and one invoice for payment. The first stage was to develop processes and procedures for the merged team, initially still using the systems from the individual companies in the background but presenting one way of doing business with the customer. By the end of full integration all teams were working from one system that met the requirements of the merged business.
  • Prior to the merger each company had its own Business Systems Team and within it a team of Business Analysts (BA). Having observed the i-Realise approach to requirements gathering and business change the Head of Business Systems for GSK asked i-Realise to provide training for the integrated team of BAs, based on our own XRM methodology and techniques. As a result of this the newly merged team shared a common set of skills, approach and terminology for use in all future projects.

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