This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for July 2013. 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 July in previous years …
Five years ago in July 2009 the economy was suffering and unemployment was high. There was however some brisk activity on the M&A front with Ericsson paying $1.1 Billion in a fire sale auction for Nortel’s wireless carrier assets. That was not the biggest deal of the month however as EMC agreed to pay $2.4 billion for Data Domain AND IBM paid $1.2 Billion to add to its BI capability with the acquisition of SPSS.
Four years ago in July 2010, NTT paid $3.2 Billion for Dimension Data and Nokia Siemens paid $1.2 Billion for Motorola’s wireless network equipment unit. IBM bought data compression company Storwize and in the same space Dell bought Ocarina Networks. EMC bought data analytics company Greenplum, Google added to its semantic search capability with the purchase of Metaweb Technologies, Adobe paid $240 Million for a Swiss web software maker, Day Software Holdings and SAS increased its presence in the US Federal market through its purchase of Vision Systems and Technology.
July 2011 saw continued economic concerns in Europe and a game of political chicken in the US over the US debt ceiling, meanwhile M&A news was relatively low key in the pure tech world. Dell’s move into networking with the purchase of Force10 is possible the most significant tech deal, with Google (Punchd), Twitter (Backtype) and Adobe (EchoSign) all picking up smaller players to help move their agenda.
Two years ago in July 2012 the headlines included a then pregnant Marissa Mayer moving from Google to become the new CEO at Yahoo. On the M&A front Dell bought Quest Software for $2.4 billion, Apple picked up Authentec for $356 million and Socialcam acquired Autodesk for $60 million. Oracle was on a roll, buying (i) the assets of Skire (capital assets and facilities management software), (ii) Involver (a social marketing tools company) and (iii) Xsigo Systems (Network Virtualisation). Vmware was also busy, picking up Dynamic Ops (virtualisation software) and Nicira (a start-up in the networking software space). One interesting deal saw Digg bought for $500,000 by Betaworks, when Digg had been valued at $200 million just four years ago.
Last year July 2013 was quiet for M&A activity but there were some interesting deals, with the big deal involving perennial acquirer Cisco shelling out $2.7 billion for security vendor Sourcefire. There were some other big names out shopping with EMC buying identity management company Aveska, Intel making an acquisition in Israel (a trend) of Omek a company specialised in the perceptual computing arena. Apple bought Locationary, a Toronto company that is expected to be involved in improving Apple’s maps for iOS (remember when Apple dropped Google Maps!) Finally, Ottawa’s Shopify bought a Toronto based design agency Jet Cooper.
Which brings us back to the present …
July 2014 had plenty of positive news including positive growth in PC sales after 8 years of decline!. In Canada the manufacturer’s index, retail sales and projected IT hiring were all good news stories, however the unemployment rate edged up and Canada lost 9,400 jobs in June. Most indicators coming out of the US were positive, including strong GDP growth, job growth, confidence indicators (except CEOs) and the US leading index. There was even a positive economic outlook for Mexico … so lots of good news.
On the M&A front there was a lot of activity but no real blockbuster deals. After a long period of struggle, and another positive sign, saw Blackberry announce an acquisition, of encryption company Secusmart GmbH. Oracle bought cloud services company TOA Technologies; Twitter bought a startup Madbits, a company that focuses on the media space; Yahoo also bought a startup Flurry in the mobile apps space; Teradata bought a couple of smaller big data companies, Hadapt and Revelytix; Apple bought a couple of smaller books & podcast companies Booklamp and Concept.io; Qualcomm education company EmpoweredU; and finally Nokia continue to rebuild after selling its devices and handsets business to Microsoft, this time buying Panasonic’s 3G and LTE base station operations division.
Speaking of Microsoft buying Nokia’s devices and handset division, the company announced that they would be laying off 18,000 people related to that deal. July also saw an fairly interesting partnership, with IBM and Apple combining to offer enterprise solutions … who knows maybe we’ll see Google and Amazon collaborating next?
Two more interesting tidbits in July; the UK has agreed to allow self-driving cars on the roads starting next year, which could probably be the start of a few jokes. And in another look into our future, Amazon requested permission from the FAA to test drone deliveries around Seattle … part of their desire to be able to fulfill orders within 30 minutes of being placed! Who says that we are not living in a time of change?
That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the August 2014 industry news in just about a month’s time.
Walk Fast and Smile.