This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for December 2012. 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 previous year’s Decembers …
IT news in December can be slow. Five years ago, in December 2007 the big deal was in the gaming space with Warcraft maker Vivendi Games merging with Activision in a $9.85 Billion creation of a new gaming entity, there were a number of other deals but nothing huge. In December 2008 the poor economy was the big news. Sony, Yahoo, Adobe, Nokia and AT&T all announced layoffs. Mass layoff numbers were up and various studies were cautious about hiring plans for 2009. On the M&A front the biggest deal involved a couple of private equity companies buying a Danish IT company (KMD) for $375 million; Sierra Wireless paid $277 million for Wavecom; and Wipro paid $127 million for the IT arm of Citigroup. In December 2009 there were no big announcements … Microsoft had a couple of smaller (by their standards) acquisitions focused on different verticals, Opalis for the data centre business and Sentillion for the Health Care world. Google made a small acquisition (AppJet) and IBM added database security vendor Guardium. Two years ago in December 2010 there was probably more activity than previous Decembers. Dell made two storage acquisitions, Compellent Technologies ($820 million) and Insite one. Siemens and Atos Origin formed a new European IT outsourcing company in a deal worth more than $1 billion. J2 global Communications bought (Ottawa based) Protus IP Solutions ($213 million); Juniper Networks bought Altor networks for $95 million; Salesforce.com bought a software development platform Ruby from Heroku for $212 million; Earthlink paid $370 million for One Communications; BMC Software bought GridApp Systems; and L&T infotech established a significant Canadian presence through the acquisition of Citigroup’s IT outsourcing arm. Last year in December 2011 Ottawa’s March Networks was snapped up by Infinova Canada for $90 million, and Toronto based Rypple was acquired by Salesforce.com! the BIG deal was SAP’s $3.4 billion purchase of SuccessFactors, who had also announced they were buying Jobs2Web for $110 milion. It was IBM that was the most active acquirer of the month, paying $440 million for DemandTec, also picking up Emptoris in the procurement world and Irish company Curam Software in the government sector.
Which brings us back to the present …
December 2012 saw a fair amount of M&A activity with Oracle making two acquisitions, marketing automation company Eloqua($871 million) and Dataraker which provides analytics for utilities companies. The big deal of the month saw Sprint pay $2.2 Billion to take full control of cellular competitor Clearwire. Montreal based Cogeco continues to build out its data centre capability, paying $635 million for Peer 1 Networks and NCR paid $635 million for retail software and services company Retalix. In the BYOD space Citrix has bought mobile device management company Zenprise for $355 million. Finally, Redknee added 1200 employees and 130 new clients through the purchase of Nokia Siemens Business Support Network.
Economic and labour market news was generally pessimistic around the world, although Canada continues to have decent data, the US news seemed relatively positive. There were other pockets of good news in places like Ireland and non-EU European countries, however the general message was gloom around the globe, including India, which has previously been a positive story.
So ends 2012, a year that was expected to bring economic recovery but failed to deliver. Let’s hope 2013 is a better year for the world’s economies … Happy New Year!
Until next month, Walk Fast and Smile!