This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for September 2016.
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 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.
Three years ago 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.
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.
Last year in September 2015 there was a fair bit of M&A activity but no blockbuster deals. Microsoft was very active, 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 bought IT Weapons; Qualcomm bought medical device and data management company Capsule Technologie; Networking and storage company Barracuda Networks bought online backup and disaster recovery company Intronis; and Compugen bought some of the assets of another Canadian company Metafore.
Which brings us back to the present …
September 2016 was a slow month for M&A but there were a couple of large deals. Tech Data paid $2.6 Billion for the technology solutions group of Avnet, and HP made the biggest printer acquisition to date, paying $1.05 Billion for Samsung’s printer business. Other deals saw Google pay $625 million for Apogee, and restaurant company Subway bought online order taking software company Avanti Commerce. One investment that caught my eye, in the staffing world saw Accenture invest in crowdtesting company Applause.
Economic news was generally positive around the world with a few exceptions, Brazil being the most obvious having had 17 straight months of job losses. The US was, surprisingly to me, fairly positive in most indicators despite the upcoming election and their “interesting” potential presidents. The Canadian outlook seemed generally positive, of course these reports were prior to announcements of carbon taxes. The economy certainly doesn’t “feel” positive.
Yahoo had some more bad press, this time for a security breach that happened two years ago affecting 500 million accounts and Blackberry announced that it was getting out of the hardware business.
A couple of studies looking at emerging technologies saw increasing investment in big data analytics and IoT in the manufacturing sector and a suggestion that robots might only replace 6% of jobs in the future. (I wonder if a robot could become President? Or Prime Minister? OR Premiere? Pretty sure right now I might vote for them!)
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 October 2016 tech news in just about a month’s time.