This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for October 2014. 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 Octobers …
Five years ago in October 2009 news was mixed as the recovery was under way. Cisco paid $3 Billion for Tandberg, $2.9 Billion for Starent and $183 Million for ScanSafe. Adecco paid about $1.1 Billion for MPS Group (includes Beeline); Emerson Electric beefed up its datacenter capability paying $1.2 Billion for Avocent and Sprint Nextel avoided some legal issues by shelling out $831 million for iPCS.
October Twenty-Ten saw Bell Canada buy a data center in Montreal (Hypertec) and pick up xwave from its subsidiary Bell Aliant. Rogers paid $425 million for Atria networks and IBM picked up Toronto based Clarity Systems.
Three years ago in October 2011 an industry icon, Steve Jobs passed away and IBM announced Virginia Rometty as their first female CEO. On the M&A front Oracle made a couple of buys, including RightNow Technologies ($1.5 Billion) and Endeca Technologies; Sony bought Ericsson out of their Sony Ericsson joint venture ($1.5 Billion); Red Hat bought storage company Gluster ($136 million); and Cisco bought BNI Video ($99 million).
October 2012 news was dominated by Hurricane Sandy and the US presidential election. The big deal of the month was a $1.5 billion merger of two US cell carriers, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. There were also a number of smaller deals, with EMC beefing up in the security area (Silver Tail), Telus expanding its medical solutions portfolio (Kinlogix Medical) and Avnet improving its IBM capabilities (BrightStar and BSP). In the social networking world Yelp bought its European competitor Qype in a $50 million deal.
October 2013 was not a dynamic M&A month, although there was certainly some activity. Oracle announced two acquisitions in October, both “cloud based companies. The first company is Big Machines which provides pricing and quote date for sales and orders; and the second is Compendium, a content marketing company. Other “names” out shopping include Avaya buying the software division of ITNavigator for its call centre and social media monitoring software; Rackspace bought ZeroVM a tech company with a software solution for the cloud; Intuit bought consulting company Level Up Analytics, primarily to acquire its talent; VMWare bought “desktop as a service” company Desktone; Netsuite bought human capital software company TribeHR; and Telus enhanced its mobile offering with the purchase of Public Mobile.
Which brings us back to the present …
October 2014 brought a new trend, with two public companies both choosing to split into smaller entities. HP created business service focused Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and personal computing & printer company HP Inc. Symantec is also choosing to split into two independent public companies, one focused on business and consumer security products, the other on its information management portfolio. Other interesting news saw IBM pay $1.5 Billion for GlobalFoundries to take away its money losing semiconductor manufacturing business. NEST bought out competitor Revolv, just to eliminate competition; EMC bought three cloud companies, The Cloudscaling Group, Maginatics and Spanning Cloud Apps; and in Korea, Kakao and Daum merged to form a $2.9 billion internet entity.
In other news Panasonic is teamed with Tesla on the development of new battery technology; Microsoft continued with its planned layoffs, shedding another 3,000 jobs this month; and the Canadian Federal Government reported that there were 228 data breaches in the last year, twice as many as reported the previous year. JP Morgan revealed that they lost personal information on 83 million accounts in the same month that a British survey revealed that more than half the people in Britain have been the victim of online crime (maybe they were JP Morgan clients)!
Surveys and economic data in North America suggest that generally things are going well, good GDP results, decent employment reports and fairly positive sentiments in surveys would suggest that something is going right. Overall the US results seemed more positive than the Canadian results, but the general tone was good.
That is my update on tech news for October 2014 … until next month, stay positive, walk fast and smile!