This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the Tech industry for April 2020. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.
A Little History of April in previous years …
Five years ago, in April 2015 Nokia paid $16.5 billion for telecom company Alcatel-Lucent. A couple of other big deals saw Capgemini pay $4 billion for services firm IGATE and LinkedIn made its largest acquisition ever, paying $1.5 billion for training portal Lynda.com. LinkedIn also bought a predictive insights startup company, Refresh. Netsuite paid $200 million for ERP and commerce software company Bronto Software and Blackberry reputedly shelled out $150 million for file sharing security company Watchdox. Salesforce was also out shopping, picking up mobile two-factor authentication startup, Toopher. In another deal involving billions, Informatica decided to follow in DELL’s footsteps and go private for a $5.3 billion price tag.
April 2016 saw some big deals, the biggest was Bell’s $3.8 billion bid for Manitoba Telephone System, which closed in 2017. Other large deal saw a Chinese conglomerate bid $3.6 billion for Lexmark; and Plantronics shell out $2 billion for Polycom. Oracle paid $663 million for cloud-based construction software company Textura. Nokia, who were also in the news announcing layoffs, and continued to evolve their business model, this time into the wearable tech arena with the $192 million purchase of Withings. Other deals saw Autodesk acquire 3D animation software company Solid Angle; and Dimension Data bought Toronto based cloud services company Ceryx.
Three years ago, in April 2017 Microsoft bought Israeli cloud-monitoring and analytics startup, Cloudyn. Flipkart, one of India’s larger ecommerce companies, acquired the Indian division of eBay (eBay.in) as part of eBay’s $500 million investment in Flipkart. VMware’s vCloud Air unit was acquired by OVH, a French hosting and cloud company. Global professional services provider, Accenture, purchased the UK-based automation services provider, Genfour. Toronto-based startup, Turnstyle Analytics, was acquired by Yelp for $20 million. California-based Coupa Software purchased Swedish software company, Trade Extensions for $45 million. Montreal-based financial technology provider, Alithya acquired big data solution provider, Systemware Innovation Corporation.
April 2018 was not super busy on the M&A front although there were a few deals, including a $2 billion purchase of Ottawa based Mitel by Searchlight Partners, who will take the company private. Mobile payments company Square paid $365 million for website company Weebly; iconic photo site Flickr has been bought by SmugMug; Adobe acquired AI startup Uru; Indeed bought Canadian jobs site Workopolis; and HPE Pointnext bought Redpixie.
Last year April 2019 was an extremely slow M&A month with just two deals hitting my radar. Intel bought Omnitek, a company that produces programmable chips for the video space. This comes as Intel announced it was exiting the 5G modem space for smartphones, suggesting it was not a profitable business for them. The other deal saw the merger of two large US based MSPs, as Corsica bought EDTS to bring the level of scale.
Which brings us back to the present …
April 2020 continues to be dominated by COVID-19, with global efforts to fight the pandemic causing the economy to retract worldwide. The focus is on social distancing and flattening the curve … and the world is anxious to get back to work, and yet anxious about what that means. A strange time indeed.
Talking about the impact of the pandemic, IDC released projections on Canadian IT Spending and it wasn’t pretty. They suggest Canada’s annual spending will drop to minus eight percent for the remainder of 2020 … negative spending can’t be good!
There was some M&A activity in April. Apple picked up an AI voice company, Voysis that is expected to improve on Siri; Accenture beefed up its security practice with the acquisition of Revolutionary Security; and Cisco picked up Fluidmesh Networks to assist in their IoT strategy. Other deals included security company Zscaler buying cloud security startup Cloudneeti; mobile security company MobileIron bought Incapptic Connect, to assist in software releases; and Scopely scooped up another gaming company, this time PierPlay make of Scrabble Go.
Cognizant was in the news as it was hit by the Maze ransomware, affecting both it and its client’s systems. In other cyber security news, it appears that targeted attacks, such as spear-Phishing, now accounts for the 60% of cyber attacks.
That’s it for my look at what was happening in the technology space over the last month, compared to the same month in previous years. I’ll be back at the beginning of June, until then – don’t forget to wash your hands and social distance!
Kevin Dee is the founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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