This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for July 2013. 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 July in previous years …
Five 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. Three years ago in July 2010, 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. July 2011 saw continued economic concerns in Europe and a game of political chicken in the US over the US debt ceiling, meanwhile M&A news was relatively low key in the pure tech world. 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. Last year in July 2012 the headlines included a then pregnant Marissa Mayer moving from Google to become the new CEO at Yahoo. On the M&A front Dell bought Quest Software for $2.4 billion, Apple picked up Authentec for $356 million and Socialcam acquired Autodesk for $60 million. Oracle was on a roll, buying (i) the assets of Skire (capital assets and facilities management software), (ii) Involver (a social marketing tools company) and (iii) Xsigo Systems (Network Virtualisation). Vmware was also busy, picking up Dynamic Ops (virtualisation software) and Nicira (a start-up in the networking software space). One interesting deal saw Digg bought for $500,000 by Betaworks, when Digg had been valued at $200 million just four years ago.
Which brings us back to the present …
July 2013 and while the M&A activity was not extensive there was some interesting activity, with the big deal involving perennial acquirer Cisco shelling out $2.7 billion for security vendor Sourcefire. There were someother big names out shopping with EMC buying identity management company Aveska, Intel making an acquisition in Israel (a trend) of Omek a company specialised in the perceptual computing arena. Apple bought Locationary, a Toronto company that is expected to be involved in improving Apples maps for iOS (remember when Apple dropped Google Maps!) Finally, Ottawa’s Shopify bought a Toronto based design agency Jet Cooper.
In other news Blackberry continues to battle, announcing 250 layoff in its “new product testing” department. Samsung appears to be the big winner in the latest quarterly report on mobile phones, with Apple slipping a little. On the PC front Lenovo and to a lesser extent Dell appear to be the “winners” amongst the PC manufacturers.
Generally there appeared to be a lot of good news coming from the various North American surveys and reports. Job growth is expected in the second half of the year, GDP numbers were decent, unemployment numbers are not bad and sentiment among CEOs and workers appears positive. I can’t remember the last time that so many indicators were positive … let’s all keep that positivity going!
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 2013 industry news in just about a month’s time.
Walk Fast and Smile.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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