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This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Technology industry for December 2013. What you see here is a pr�is 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 2008 the recession was the big news, with layoffs announced by Sony, Yahoo, Adobe, Nokia and AT&T adding to the woes of a shrinking working population around the world. On the M&A front, private equity bought 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. December 2009 saw 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. 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. Two years ago 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. Last year 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 paid $635 million for Peer 1 Networks and NCR paid $635 million for retail software and services company Retalix. In the BYOD space Citrix 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.
Which brings us back to the present ...
December 2013 ... was a short work month given how the dates fell, and that was reflected in the generally slow activity. Also much of the media uses December as a focus on what transpired through the year, rather than specifically December.
On the M&A front Oracle pulled off a $1.5 Billion buy of marketing software company Responsys; Akamai paid $370 million for cloud-based security solutions provider Prolexic; JDS Uniphase paid $200 million for enterprise performance management company Network Instruments; IBM bought a "big data" file compression company Aspera and Hitachi expended its solutions capability with the purchase of Calgary based Ideaca.
In other company news Target, although not an IT company, had a major security breach involving details of 40 million debit and credit cards. Ottawa based Shopify raised another $22 million in investment and Cisco announced a joint deal with the Province of Ontario that might create another 1,700 jobs over the next 6 years.
There were not a lot of surveys or reports released, however employment numbers showed a continuing improvement in North America, perhaps a good sign for 2014!
So ends 2013, a year that continued the tepid economic recovery but never really boomed. I am optimistic that 2104 will be a good year ... may it be a great one for you!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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