January 2018 saw the continuing saga of cities bidding to win Amazon’s second headquarters, now down to 20 finalists. The Meltdown and Spectre hardware bugs are causing major headaches for tech companies and their clients, with the potential for hackers to take advantage. On the M&A front, 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. After some good indicators in 2017 Canada lost 88,000 jobs in January. The U.S. numbers are still looking good, adding another 234,000 jobs in January. Global CEO confidence is up and indicators around the world still seem positive. A stock market correction in mid-January is, however, causing some concern.
IT Industry News – December 2017
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. The Canadian economy had some positive indicators, adding jobs and reducing the unemployment rate to 5.9%. The US also continued its growth rate, albeit at a slightly reduced pace although the announced tax changes for business are going to provide a significant stimulus. Generally, reports from around the globe were fairly positive, with job growth and reduced unemployment in most countries. There was a cautionary report about ransomware in Canada that might suggest up to 44% of SMBs were hit with ransomware in a 12 month period.
IT Industry News – November 2017
November 2017 saw some interesting information from countries round the world. China’s growth slowed a little, India is struggling in the IT jobs space and there are some negative effects from the upcoming Brexit that are affecting the UK and EU. The US is looking strong again following a hurricane affected dip and Canada added 35,000 jobs in October. The Big M&A activity for the month sees investment firm Thoma Bravo pay $1.6 billion for Barracuda networks. McAfee also made an acquisition of Skyhigh Networks now that they are no longer a part of the Intel group of companies. Smaller deals saw Talend buy Restlet and Qualys buy Netwatcher. Other companies in the news include Lenovo, a struggling hardware company in a declining PC market and laying off 2% of their workforce. The other company of interest was Uber who revealed a massive security breach which they had neglected to mention when it happened a year ago!
IT Industry News – October 2017
October 2017 continues a recent trend of reduced big ticket M&A activity, although there was certainly some action. Not yet a done deal, but Broadcom is chasing Qualcomm pretty hard and if it goes through it will be the biggest tech deal yet. The latest rejected offer was north of $100 billion (some reports said $130 billion), but watch that space. In the meantime, Cisco is shelling out $1.9 billion for Broadsoft which improves Cisco’s software capabilities. The final significant deal saw Telus beef up its service provider capability with a $250 million purchase of Xavient. The other company in the news was Amazon (a) because of its much publicized search for a site for its second headquarters which has 239 cities around the world excited at their prospects; (b) because they also announced a second presence in Vancouver, bringing another 1,000 jobs and (c) for its growing influence in the AI world, announcing a research center in Germany.
IT Industry News – September 2017
September 2017 saw Google splash out $1.1 billion to acquire HTC’s pixel team, IKEA bought gig economy company TaskRabbit, HPE bought Cloud Technology Partners, and Edmonton company F12.net bought Vancouver’s ONDeck Systems. HPE was also in the news, announcing yet another round of layoffs and Equifax hit the news retroactively announcing a huge cyber breach affecting 143 million customers. CareerBuilder also announced 120 layoffs and IBM continues to take heat for the Canadian Federal Government’s Phoenix Project. The Canadian economy has been performing well; however, some are concerned that storm clouds are gathering with observers suggesting that we might face a Government induced recession in 2018. Elsewhere, the US economy continues to perform well and generally worldwide economies and job prospects are improving.
IT Industry News – August 2017
August 2017, as has been the case for most of this year, was relatively slow on the M&A front. Symantec is selling its website security business to DigiCert for $1 billion, plus a stake in the larger entity. Cisco paid $320 million for hyperconvergence company Springpath, CGI bought consulting company in Pittsburgh, Summa Technologies and Accenture bought a Toronto consulting company VERAX. While not a pure tech play, the biotech world saw Aclaris pay $100 million for Confluence. There was some drama at Samsung, as Jay Y Lee was jailed for 5 years for bribery. There was also some internal drama at Infosys that saw their CEO Vishal Sikka resign. The Canadian economic indicators were mixed, but new proposed tax reforms, NAFTA negotiations, new labour laws in Ontario and an impending carbon tax that will hurt clearly have a negative impact on the Canadian economy. Meanwhile, the US economy seems to keep adding jobs and have fairly positive indicators.
IT Industry News – July 2017
Cincinnati Bell Inc. is buying Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Inc. for $650 million and OnX for $201 million. Mitel announced its acquisition of ShoreTel as well as Toshiba’s unified communications business. In Toronto, digital signage solution provider, Dot2Dot, acquired Pixel Point Digital. PNI Canada Acuireco Corp. has purchased Sandvine Corp. and plans to merge Sandvine with Procera Networks. Reports indicate Microsoft plans to cut up to 3,000 jobs while streaming platform, SoundCloud has laid of 40% of its employees, and data storage provider, Seagate, plans more staff cuts due to weak financial performance. According to threat intelligence provider, Risk Based Security, the number of publicly-reported data breaches in Canada this year is up to 59. In a study conducted by Forrester Data, it is projected there will be 5.5 billion smartphone users around the world by 2020. In other news, there has been a recent increase in investments in European startups according to Invest Europe.
IT Industry News – June 2017
The largest deal of the month was Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion or $42 a share. Westcon-Comstar’s American business is being bought by Synnex for approximately $800 million. US fintech provider, Fiserv purchased British financial services technology firm, Monitise for $88.7 million. Microsoft has purchased Israli cloud startup, Cloudyn, for a price between $50 million and $70 million. Rackspace has acquired TriCore in an effort to increase Rackspace’s business from customers who want help running their critical applications. Ebix Inc. has entered into a joint venture with Essel Group. while acquiring a majority stake in ItzCash for $120 million.
IT Industry News – May 2017
The most significant purchase in May 2017 was the $1.86 billion sale of CenturyLink’s data centres and colocation business to a consortium led by BC Partners, Medina Capital Advisors and Longview Asset Management. Cybersecurity startup, Hexadite, was bought by Microsoft for $100 million. Goldman Sachs entered the BI space by purchasing a minority stake in Information Builders of New York City. Apple acquired Beddit, a Finnish sleep sensor product, for an undisclosed amount. Finnish cybersecurity firm, F-Secure acquired British security consultants, Digital Assurance also for an undisclosed amount. In other news, increasing smartphone sales around the world are not coming from tech giants like Apple and Samsung. Chinese smartphone makers are on the rise and gaining significant market share at home and in other densely populated countries.
IT Industry News – April 2017
In April 2017, it was reported that Microsoft plans to purchase Israeli cloud-monitoring and analytics startup, Cloudyn. Flipkart, one of India’s larger ecommerce companies, has acquired the Indian division of eBay (eBay.in) as part of eBay’s $500 million investment in Flipkart. VMware’s vCloud Air unit will be acquired by OVH, a French hosting and cloud company. Global professional services provider, Accenture, purchased the UK-based automation services provider, Genfour. Toronto-based startup, Turnstyle Analytics, has been acquired by Yelp for $20 million. California-based Coupa Software purchased Swedish software company, Trade Extensions for $45 million. Montreal-based financial technology provider, Alithya acquired big data solution provider, Systemware Innovation Corporation. In other news, the demand for PCs continues to decline reaching a low that has not been experienced since 2007. In Q1 of 2017, PC shipments fell by 2.4%, which signifies the 10th quarter of decline. The ride-hailing company, Lyft, has raised $600 million in additional investments bringing the company’s valuation up to $7.5 billion. BlackBerry has won a binding arbitration case against Qualcomm for $815 million.