This is my monthly very high level look at events in the ICT industry over the month of December … with a little commentary about 2007. More details will be available at the Eagle website over the next day or two.
As always the ICT industry saw a lot of change in 2007. The Business Intelligence market probably saw the most change with all of the largest companies snapped up by industry giants … first Oracle paid $3.3B for Hyperion in March, then SAP snapped up Business Objects for $6.8 Billion in October and last month IBM paid $5 Billion for Cognos. There are those who have considered the social networking phenomena to be a passing phase but there are many signs that it is a valid area of business not least when Microsoft invested in Facebook, essentially valuing it at $15 Billion! The PC world continues to be very competitive with Dell suffering a little, HP taking the top spot for desktop sales and Acer passing them in laptop sales … Acer also became the third largest player through its Gateway acquisition. Microsoft had a busy year with a number of acquisitions including its largest ever, paying $6 Billion for aQuantive; Microsoft also released Vista this year … not that I would call that a highlight given my personal experiences with it!
In December the big deal was in the gaming space with Warcraft maker Vivendi Games merging with Activision in a $9.85 Billion creation of a new gaming entity. Outside of that deal there were a lot of smaller deals, with a couple of Ottawa companies Nuvo Networks ($17 Million) and Cloakware ($72 Million) snapped up; one of our Western competitors RIS bought by Sierra Systems; Accenture expanded its US defence practice through the purchase of Maxim; Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Software AG and Intuit were also among the higher profile companies that were in a pre-holiday season buying mood.
December also saw a number of studies released in the US and Canada. The impression they give to me is that US workers are more concerned than their Canadian counterparts, but the “C” level decision makers are mildly optimistic for 2008. Monster polled people about email and internet monitoring at work and not surprisingly, people did not want to be monitored, employers however are increasingly concerned about legal liabilities, regulatory risks, lost productivity and security breaches so the writing is on the wall.