Today's Best Companies are Horizontally Integrated

Harvard Business Review

In big companies, management teams focus on achieving the right level of vertical integration. Today, your management team should be giving more thought to horizontal integration. Customers' expectations have been raised by the handful of sellers, such as Amazon, Virgin Atlantic, and Apple, that manage to provide integrated experiences that are so distinctive and pervasive as to be branded—that is, uniquely associated with their names.

Why Companies Are Using M&A to Transform Themselves, Not Just to Grow

Harvard Business

The current cohort of acquisitions goes well beyond the typical defensive, synergy-driven, horizontal integration that marked previous M&A spurts. How realistic is leadership’s vision for the acquisition? However, back-office functions might be integrated. A symbiotic integration starts as a preservation model except that there is a greater interdependence between the strategies of the two companies. No operational integration is necessary.

Design as a New Vertical Forcing Function

Harvard Business Review

From Microsoft’s latest radical reorganization and subsequent purchase of Nokia’s devices unit to Google’s acquisition of Motorola , it’s clear that after decades of horizontal integration, high tech is in an age of increased verticalization. Design has emerged as a new forcing function in the historical cycle of business integration.