The Eagle Blog

IT Industry News – July 2011

This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for July 2011. 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.

In July 2006 AMD bought ATI for $5.4B, HP bought Mercury Interactive for $4.5B and EMC paid $2.1B for RSA Security.  A year later, in July 2007 HP paid $1.6B to buy Opsware, Steria paid $1B for Xansa, IBM paid $160M for BI company Datamirror and Google paid $625M for Postini.  Three years ago in July 2008 the big deal was the purchase of Foundry Networks by Brocade Communications for $3B but we were on the brink of what would be one of the worst economic periods in a long time.  In July 2009 the economy was suffering and unemployment was high.  There was however some brisk activity on the M&A front with Ericsson paying $1.1 Billion in a fire sale auction for Nortel’s wireless carrier assets.  That was not the biggest deal of the month however as EMC agreed to pay $2.4 billion for Data Domain AND IBM paid $1.2 Billion to add to its BI capability with the acquisition of SPSS.  Last year in July 2010, the iPhone 4 sparked the “antennagate” debate and Spain won the World Cup, the economy was recovering and it was a fairly busy month in M&A.  NTT paid $3.2 Billion for Dimension Data and Nokia Siemens paid $1.2 Billion for Motorola’s wireless network equipment unit. IBM bought data compression company Storwize and in the same space Dell bought Ocarina Networks. EMC bought data analytics company Greenplum, Google added to its semantic search capability with the purchase of Metaweb Technologies,  Adobe paid $240 Million for a Swiss web software maker, Day Software Holdings and SAS increased its presence in the US Federal market through its purchase of Vision Systems and Technology.  

That brings us up to date and July 2011 and most recently the news was dominated by the political debate over the US debt ceiling, a debate that played chicken with the world’s economies and brings us dangerously close to a double dip recession … not cool at all.  The EU still has its struggles too, but Germany continues to shine while other member countries struggle, Greece for example posted an unemployment rate of 15.8%, as opposed to Canada at 7.4% and the US at 9.2%. 

July’s M&A news was relatively low key in the pure tech world, however Adeccos’ purchase of Drake Beam Morin, and Randstad’s purchase of SFN Group (Spherion, Technisource, Mergis Group, Tatum, Sourceright & Todays’ Office Professionals) will impact the world of staffing … which affects us all.  Dell’s move into networking with the purchase of Force10 is possible the most significant tech deal, with Google (Punchd), Twitter (Backtype) and Adobe (EchoSign) all picking up smaller players to help move their agenda. 

Both Cisco and RIM announced layoffs, with RIM not having much fun at all these days, but you have to wonder why such a profitable and dominant company as Cisco would be cutting 10% of its workforce.  

Part of RIM’s woes are highlighted as its blackberry lost market share to Android in the mobile operating system world.  Android outpaced Apple iOS in the US market, asit continues to dominate in that space.

Google+ hit the street this month, as a potential competitor to Facebook and perhaps Twitter.  Early days yet, but there is a lot of interest in the tool and its potential when fully integrated with all of the other Google suite of tools. 

Here in Ontario we have been enjoying a long hot stretch of Summer, Canada’s economy has performed well with the Canadian dollar flirting with record levels and business has been good.  There is a general air of cautious optimism about the future, and once the US can get their recovery plan on track I believe we will see even better times ahead.  That will bring different challenges … full employment will mean skills and labour shortages, but that is a better problem than recession!!! 

Until next month, Walk Fast and Smile!

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 August 2011 industry news in just about a month’s time. 

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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