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Tech Industry News for September 2015

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This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for September 2015. 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 September in previous years …

Five years ago in September 2010 HP bought 3PAR for $2.4 Billion and they also paid $1.5 Billion for Arcsight and 3M paid close to $1 Billion for Cogent.  RIM bought a substantial part of DataViz, Ericsson beat out a local Ottawa based group in an auction for another piece of the defunct Nortel empire, CA bought Hyperformix; and AOL bought TechCrunch. 


In September 2011 Broadcom paid $3.7 Billion for NetLogic.  Google was busy, buying restaurant reviewer Zagat plus acquiring 1,000 patents from IBM.  Ottawa’s Zarlink was bought by Microsemi for $525 million.  SAP bought Crossgate, Twitter bought Julpan and CSC bought Indian software testing company AppLabs, and Hitachi Data Systems continued the consolidation in the storage industry with the acquisition of BlueArc.  

September 2012 was a quiet month in M&A deals.  Infosys increased its management consultancy capability with the $330 million purchase of Lodestone. Lenovo bought Stoneware, a software company focused on the cloud, and Ericsson bought ConceptWave.  A couple of interesting investment moves saw Microsoft invest in Klout and Silicon Valley VC Chameth Palihapitiya invest in Xtreme Labs.

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In September 2013 Blackberry announced a quarterly loss of almost $1 million and laid off 4,500 people. Microsoft bought Nokia’s devices and services unit for more than $7 billion. Ebay paid $800 million for payment platform Braintree; Synnex bought IBM’s customer care division for $505 million; Rogers added to its data centre capacity with the $161 million purchase of Pivot Data Centres; Extreme Networks bought Entersys Networks for $180 million; and Manitoba Telephone Systems bought Epic Information Systems. 

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September 2014 saw some big deals announced, including Microsoft’s $2.5 billion purchase of gaming company Minecraft, Lenovo’s $2.1 billion purchase of IBM’s x86 server business and Cognizant’s $2.7 billion purchase of healthcare company, Trizetto Corp.  Hootsuite had an injection of cash and bought two companies, social telephony company Zeetl and social media marketing platform Brightkit.  Google also made two acquisitions, biotech company Lift Labs and desktop polling company Polar. There were plenty more deals announced, including Yahoo’s $8 million purchase of cloud based document hosting company Bookpad; Cisco’s purchase of private cloud company Metacloud; SAP’s purchase of expense software company Concur; Blackberry’s purchase of virtual identity software startup Movirtu and Red Hat’s purchase of mobile app company FeedHenry.

Which brings us back to the present …

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September 2015 saw a reasonable amount of M&A activity, but no blockbuster deals.  Microsoft was very active this month closing three deals, Adxstudio which provides web based solutions for Dynamics CRM; app developer Double Labs; and cloud security firm Adallom.  Accenture picked up the cloud services company Cloud Sherpas; IBM added cloud software startup StrongLoop; Netsuite paid $200 million for cloud based marketing company Bronto Software; and Blackberry paid $425 million for competitor Good Technology.  Hardware company Konica Minolta is expanding its services offering through the acquisition of IT Weapons; Qualcomm bought medical device and data management company Capsule Technologie; Networking and storage company Barracuda Networks is buying online backup and disaster recovery company Intronis; and Compugen is buying some of the assets of another Canadian company Metafore.

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Also in the news in September was HP, announcing another round of layoffs just prior to the November 1 split into two separate companies.  The smartphone industry is hurting, last month we heard from HTC and Lenovo, this month it is Samsung announcing cutbacks.

US Government

The US economy continues to impress, adding another 190,00 jobs in August (about the same as Canada has added in a year).  Almost all of the surveys and indicators were positive with the jobless rate edging down to 5.1% and the only cloud on the horizon being labor shortages in the construction industry … and we will see more of that in many industries.

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Canada on the other hand continues to struggle, having endured a “technical recession” through the first half of 2015 there might be some positive signs for the second half based on a sharp increase in GDP in June.  The unemployment rate rose to 7% however Canada did add 12,000 jobs in August.

That is what I saw in the tech news for September.  I will be back in just about a month.  Until then Walk Fast and Smile!