The Eagle Blog

August 2009 – IT Industry News

This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for August 2009. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which is available in more detail at the Eagle website. You will also find back issues on the website.

Three years ago in August 2006 IBM was busy buying four companies ISS ($1.3B), FileNet ($1.6B), MRO Software ($740M) and Webify; Sandisk bought M-Systems ($1.6B) and LogicaCMG bought WM-data Nordic ($1.5B). There were also a number of announced layoffs at CSC, CA, AOL and Sun. Two years ago in August 2007 Acer paid $700M for Gateway and Wipro bought Infocrossing for $600M. Hackers were in the news having scooped 1.6 million records from Monster and a study suggested hacking attempts on banks were up 80%. Last year in August 2008 Ricoh paid $1.6B for Ikon Office Solutions, Bae (UK) bid $1B for Detica Group (UK), and Compucom bought Getronics (former Wang) to form a $2.1B company. Hard on their heels was a big move by Indian outsourcing company Infosys, paying $750M plus for Axon group in the UK. A biggish one for Canada was the private equity buy of Q9 networks for $360M by CDC . we had lousy Summer weather last year too and the only thing worse was the economy! Worker confidence was down and both Canadian and US employment numbers fell.

So … here we are looking at August 2009, the weather is lousy again but there is some optimism about the economy in the air, even though news is still bleak. In the US July saw unemployment greater than 10% in 15 States, a 40% increase year over year in mass layoffs and GDP decrease 1%, making it a 6.4% decrease in the first quarter. Here in Canada we lost 44,500 jobs in July and 15,400 of them were part time jobs in Ontario . you have to ask whether McGuinty’s Bill 139 has played a factor there! On the positive side a KPMG survey of top executives showed a focus on growth and optimism for an economic recovery in the near term. The US Conference Board also reported increased consumer confidence.

Microsoft had a shock this month when a Texas court ruling could ban the sale of Word in the US . more to come on that! Mike Zafirovski became the latest lame duck Nortel CEO to skulk away from the once shining star and Facebook was forced to address privacy concerns from the Canadian Privacy Commissioner.

On the M&A front no big deals this month, but some familiar names and interesting moves. In the social network world Facebook is buying Friendfind (perhaps more for the friendfind team than the technology), and Myspace bought iLike which has ties to Facebook. Google enhanced its video capability with the purchase on On2 Technologies; Rim bought a mobile browser company Torch Mobile; and Fluke Networks improved its wireless capability with the purchase of Airmagnet. CSC grew its Brazilian operation through the purchase of bankrupt Bearingpoint’s local operations. Global Knowledge grew its operations with the purchase of Nexient and Verisign divested its messaging business to Syniverse Holdings.

Another interesting month on the long road to economic recovery! Hope this has been of interest to you.

Until next month!

That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition is available on Eagle’s website. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the September 2009 news in just about a month’s time.

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