Kansas City Power & Light: Comprehensive Migration Plans Provides a Successful Acquisition
A comprehensive migration plan enables newly acquired employees to work and communicate on behalf of their new employer on “day one.”
Kansas City Power and Light experiences successful "day one" for 900 employees with remote access and mobile connectivity.
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Operating from headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light ("KCP&L") is a full-service energy provider and resource. The company was founded in 1882 and has become one of the Midwest’s most affordable energy suppliers through leadership in fuel procurement, plant technology and efficient power generation, transmission, and distribution.

Facilitating a fast, efficient transition.
For many acquisitions, it may take six months or more to integrate people, processes, and technology. For KCP&L and its holding company, Great Plains Energy, a fast, efficient transition was a strategic imperative—including establishing the ability for the 900 new employees joining the company as part of its acquisition of Aquila to represent themselves as KCP&L employees on the closing date. Consequently, KCP&L would need to establish Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange services for those employees and activate the services literally overnight.

Adding to the complexity of the deal was the simultaneous carve out of Aquila operations outside of the metro Kansas City area and the sale of those operations, along with Aquila’s former e-mail domain, to a third-party utility, Black Hills Corporation. In addition, regulatory issues prevented the parties from sharing data prior to closing—a requirement that would make it difficult to test the new services thoroughly in advance. For assistance with developing a migration solution, KCP&L turned to West Monroe Partners, which was supporting its overall IT transition and offered extensive experience with Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange migrations.

Managing a successful transition .
West Monroe Partners worked with KCP&L to identify and manage critical success factors:

  • Maximizing available network bandwidth to ensure fast data transfer
  • Selecting and implementing automated migration tools to simplify processes and facilitate the transition
  • Building out the data center, including physical space and other hardware required to support additional users
  • Facilitating communication and planning among three organizations
  • Streamlining and accelerating collaboration among the various functions involved
  • Conducting sufficient testing, while preventing the sharing of sensitive data prior to closing

As a result, KCP&L achieved its communication objectives for “day one”:

  • New employees from Aquila had immediate access to and use of KCP&L’s corporate Exchange e-mail and Active Directory log ins
  • Users were able to access and synchronize e-mail, calendars, and contacts using mobile devices
  • Remote access was available for all employees who required it
  • All users had access to Active Directory-integrated applications
  • The company’s IT team had immediate leverage of Group Policy Object management
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