This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the Tech industry for January 2020. 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 Januarys …
Five years ago, in January 2015, the biggest deal saw Yahoo looking like it might be remaking itself, spinning off its $40 billion stake in Alibaba to become smaller, leaner and either buy or be bought! Other M&A activity involving a “B” was Telco equipment company Commscope offering $3 billion for TE Connectivity’s network business. There were also a number of very well-known companies out buying, and in no particular order: Amazon paid something like $300 million (approximate) for chip designer Annapurna Labs; Expedia bought its online travel competitor Travelocity for $200 million; Samsung paid $100 million for Brazil’s largest print company Simpress; Google paid about $100 million for mobile payments company Softcard; Facebook bought Wit.ai a company that has a Siri like solution that can be embedded in other products; Dropbox bought CloudOn a document editing and productivity tools company; Twitter paid somewhere between $30 million and $40 million for Zipdial, an Indian company that does some funky marketing thing with phone hang ups; and finally, Microsoft made two acquisitions, startup text analytics company Equivo and, in a departure from its history, it bought open software company Revolution Analytics.
Four years ago, in January 2016, there was plenty of activity with some of the household names out shopping. IBM bought video service provider Ustream; Microsoft bought MinecraftEdu; Apple bought “emotion recognition” company Emotient; and Oracle bought media web tracking firm AddThis. Toshiba bought an ERP solutions company Ignify, and a number of smaller deals included Juniper Networks buying BTISystems Inc.; FireEye bought iSight partners; Acceo Solutions bought Groupe Techna and SmartPrint bought LaserCorp’s Toronto-based managed print services business.
In January 2017, the multi-billion-dollar deal of the month was Cisco’s purchase of app performance management company, AppDynamics for $3.7 billion. HP Enterprise purchased data center hardware provider, SimpliVity for $650 million. Microsoft acquired Montreal-based deep learning start-up Maluuba for an undisclosed sum. Google announced plans to purchase Twitter’s mobile developer platform Fabric. Trello, the startup behind a leading task-management app was purchased by Atlassian for $425 million. CRM giant, Salesforce bought Unity&Variety to enhance its productivity app service Quip. Managed Service Provider of data and database administration, Datavail, acquired Canadian IT channel leader Navantis.
Two years ago, in January 2018,the big deal saw investment management software company SS&C pay $5.4 billion for financial services software company DST Systems. Amazon Web Services increased its cybersecurity protection capabilities through the purchase of Sqrrl. ADP bought gig economy tool WorkMarket and TD Bank bought a Canadian AI company Layer 6.
January 2019 was another fairly busy M&A month. The biggest deal saw DXC pay $2 billion for digital consultancy Luxoft; DXC also bought another European services company EG A/S. Amazon Web Services made a couple of acquisitions, Israeli data migration company CloudEndure and Vancouver startup TSO Logic, a cloud migration company. Accenture was another high-profile company making multiple acquisitions in January: Houston-based consulting company Enaxis Consulting, and Orbium a company providing services in the banking sector. Dropbox splashed $230 million to buy electronic signature company HelloSign; Google bought DORA, a research firm; Microsoft bought database startup Citus; AT Kearney bought consulting company Cervello; and Zix paid $275 million for email security company AppRiver.
Which brings us back to the present…
The big M&A deal in January 2020 saw Insight Partners pay $5 billion for cloud data management company Veeam; Insight Partners also bought IoT security startup Armis. In other deals, another investment company, Mapletree, paid $557 million for 10 of Digital Realty’s datacenters. ServiceNow was busy, buying two AI companies, Loom Systems and Passage AI; Xerox (rumored to be chasing HP) bought UK solution provider Arena Group; VMWare bought network analytics company Nyansa; and Hitachi Vantara bought intelligent data cataloguing company Waterline Data. Other deals saw Fireye buy security startup Cloudvisory; Ahead bought its third solution provider in the last six months, Platform Consulting Group; AWS partner Effectual bought JHC Technologies; and Park Place Technologies bought Intellinet’s network operations center.
VMWare was also in the news for confirming its annual “workforce rebalancing” initiative which may involve hundreds of layoffs. Gartner tells us that 2020 IT spending is likely to increase by a healthy 3.4%. The world’s CEOs are a little concerned about a potential slowdown or even recession in 2020. The World Economic Forum announced the “Reskilling Revolution” with a plan to reskill a billion people around the globe by 2030.
In economic and employment news, both the EU and the OECD had positive employment numbers which were reflected in most of the stats from around the world. The US added 202,000 non-farm jobs in November which was the largest gain since last April. Even where the reports were less than positive, the underlying message was that the economy is doing OK.
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 February 2020 industry news in just about a month’s time.
Walk Fast and Smile
Kevin Dee is the founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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