This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for February 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 March in previous years …
In March 2013 Oracle continued its move into the telco space with the purchase of Tekelec; Google bought the small Toronto University-based company DNNresearch in the machine learning vertical; Microsoft sold Atlas Advertiser Suite to Facebook; and Yahoo bought Summly. In March 2014, Facebook made a somewhat surprising $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR. Intel also expanded its horizons with the $150 million acquisition of smart watch maker, Basis Science. SAP added to its purchasing software suite with the acquisition of Fieldglass and TELUS made a couple of buys, Enode, a management consulting company out of Quebec and Med Access, an addition in British Columbia, to their healthcare division. Three years ago in March 2015 HP paid $3 billion for Aruba Networks; Lexmark paid $1 billion for customer management software company Kofax; eCommerce company Rakuten paid $410 million for ebook marketplace Overdrive; Cheetah Mobile paid $58 million for mobile ad network MobPartner; TeraGo Networks paid $33 million for cloud provider RackForce; IBM bought natural language and image processing company AlchemyAPI; and in the cable TV world Charter Communications paid $10.4 billion for Bright House Networks. In March 2016, we saw the $3 billion sale of Dell Services to NTT, a direct result of Dell’s restructuring following the recent purchase of EMC. IBM was out bolstering its services business with a couple of acquisitions; the first was Optevia, a UK-based integrator focused on Microsoft Dynamics; and the second was Bluewolf Group, a global Salesforce consulting partner. Montreal-based Yellow Pages picked up Toronto-based Juice Mobile, primarily for its mobile marketing capability. Another Toronto company, Influitive, raised some cash ($8.2 million) and bought a couple of mobile app companies, Ironark Software and Triggerfox; and Netsuite bought IQity solutions, a cloud-based manufacturing software company. Last year in March 2017 Intel bought Israeli computer vision company, Mobileye, for a hefty $15.3 billion. HPE bought storage solution provider, Nimble, for $1 billion. Amazon Web Services, a public cloud infrastructure provider, acquired Thinkbox Software, a company that provides software for managing media rendering workloads. Mozilla acquired Pocket, a startup that developed an app for saving articles and other content.
Which brings us back to the present …
In March 2018, there was a significant amount of M&A activity. The deal of the month saw Salesforce pay $6.5 Billion for cloud integration company Mulesoft. Plantronics is paying $2 Billion for unified communications company Polycom; and Amazon is paying $1 Billion for smart home company Ring. Other deals saw eBay shell out $700 million for the commerce platform Qoo10; Cognizant is buying Bolder Healthcare Solutions; HPE Aruba is buying Cape Networks; VMWare is buying security company E8; and Deloitte is buying API Talent in New Zealand. It is also nice to see Avaya buying Spoken Communications after leaving Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Facebook received a lot of attention around the world this month with questions about improper use of client data and their potential role in major political situations like the US election and the Brexit vote.
The Canadian economy has enjoyed a reasonably decent run in 2017, but 2018 is starting to look less than rosy. Indications are that GDP and employment growth will slow down as the year progresses. Obviously NAFTA negotiations and inter-provincial spats will have some influence, in addition to new labor laws and the carbon taxes beginning to take effect. The US economy is benefiting from the recent tax decreases and the general tone around the world is focused more on positive employment numbers and skills shortages rather than high unemployment.
That is my monthly look at what was happening in the technology space over the last month, compared to the same month in previous years. I’ll be back in about a month’s time, until then … walk fast and smile! ——————————————————————————————————————————
Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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