Based on data and my own experience as being part of the target company, a lot of emphasis and effort is given on the valuation and the closing of the deal. On paper there are synergies to be realized but because Post integration is not given a lot of effort, most companies do not realize the targeted synergies. The biggest variable and critical component on any merger is the culture and the people that provide the IP and performance needed to support growth. There has to be a proactive evaluation of the level of integration that is necessary, a strategy for integration, ensuring that the people have a positive morale, continue to remain with the company and contribute to its growth objectives. As with any change management, change metrics should be established and measured, and flexible enough to accommodate any course mitigation along the way.