This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for October 2018.
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 Decembers …
Five years ago, December 2013 Oracle paid $1.5 billion for marketing software company Responsys; Akamai paid $370 million for cloud-based security solutions provider Prolexic; JDS Uniphase paid $200 million for enterprise performance management company Network Instruments; IBM bought a “big data” file compression company Aspera and Hitachi expended its solutions capability with the purchase of Calgary based Ideaca.
December 2014 was not such a slow news month, with the political and technical ramifications of “the Sony hack” causing uproar, some very positive economic indicators out of the US and some big names making acquisitions, albeit not huge deals. Microsoft made two acquisitions, the $200 million purchase of mobile email app startup Acompli and mobile development company HockeyApp (which has nothing to do with hockey). SAP bought travel and expense management company Concur; Intel bought a Montreal based identity management company PasswordBox; Oracle bought digital marketing company Datalogix; Teradata bought data archiving company Rainstor; and MongoDB bought high-scale storage engine company WiredTiger.
Three years ago, December 2015 was not a busy M&A month but there was some interesting activity. The big deal saw Canadian telco Shaw make a big play into the cellular space with its proposed acquisition (subsequently approved) of Wind for $1.6 billion. Meanwhile Rogers was also out shopping and growing its Maritimes presence through the acquisition of Internetworking Atlantic Inc. Other deals in December were not large but did feature some of the big players. Oracle bought Stackhouse a cloud company with a specialization in “containers”; IBM boosted its video in the cloud capabilities with the purchase of Clearleap; and Microsoft picked up a mobile communications company, Talko. Other deals saw Ingram Micro buy the Odin Service Automation business from Parallels and in the storage world Carbonite bought Evault from Seagate.
In December 2016 Adecco sold its majority stake in Beeline VMS to GTRC, a private equity firm, for $100 million in cash plus a $30 million note; CRN solution provider SS&C purchased asset service firm Conifer for $88.5 million; solution provider QRX Technology Group acquired IT equipment provider Kerr Norton; networking solution provider, Juniper Networks acquired cloud operations management provider AppFormix; Uber bought start-up Geometric Intelligence Inc.; and Shopify acquired Tiny Hearts, a Toronto-based mobile product development studio.
Last year, December 2017 saw Atos enhance the footprint of their IT Services firm by paying $5 billion for Gemalto. Apple were busy, paying $400 million for music recognition app Shazam, plus they invested $390 million into optical communications components company Finisar. Finally, in a relatively quiet M&A month Ingram Micro increased its data protection capability through the purchase of Cloud Harmonics.
Which brings us back to the present …
December 2018 saw IBM sell off a portion of their software portfolio to HCL for $1.8 billion. Cisco paid $660 million for optical chip company, Luxtera; and OpenText paid $310 million for data management company Liaison Technologies. In other deals, Google bought “where is my train” app company, Sigmoid Labs; Corel bought desktop virtualization company Parallels; Trello bought Butler, whose product is a popular addition for Trello users; Kaseya bought IT documentation company IT Glue; and GE continued its restructuring efforts by spinning out its IoT subsidiary and selling its interest in Pivotal. Finally the end of December was the beginning of Dell’s return as a public company.
Other companies in the news include Huawei, who are facing bans in many countries with concerns over its relationship to the Chinese government; and Verizon announced some large scale layoffs, affecting 10, 400 jobs.
The economic and job news continues to be generally positive, with the US continuing to have impressive results and Canada having some good results (November jobs) and some tepid performance (GDP numbers). Around the world things seem relatively positive other than some notable spots, the UK with Brexit and Chine with some economic retraction.
That’s my look at the tech news for December 2018.
Until next month, walk fast and smile!
Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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