IT Industry News

IT Industry News – November 2018

November 2018 was a busy month in the M&A space, with lots of action! Among the many deals, the largest saw SAP shell out $8 billion for experience management company Qualtrics. Not far behind was Commscope paying $7.4 billion for telecommunication equipment maker Arris. Vista Equity partners paid $1.94 billion for cloud software company Apptio; and private equity fund CVC paid $1.8 billion for a global IT and managed services provider, ConvergeOne Holdings. The final billion-dollar deal saw Blackerry make its largest acquisition to date, paying $1.4 billion for AI cybersecurity startup Cylance. If that wasn’t enough action for one month, Amazon announced it would be investing $5 billion into its new headquarters in New York City and Arlington Virginia; Marriott announced a data breach that affects 500 million guests; and Facebook also announced a security breach affecting 50 million users!

IT Industry News – October 2018

October 2018 was an interesting month, with some significant M&A activity and the sad passing of yet another tech pioneer, Paul Allen, who cofounded Microsoft with Bill Gates. On the M&A front, IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat was a game changer, overshadowing $2 billion deals by Thoma Bravo for Imperva and Twilio for SendGrid. Other deals saw Honeywell paying $493 million for Transnorm; Palo Alto Networks paying $173 million for Redlock; Computacentre paying $70 million for FusionStorm; GTT Communications paying $40 million for Access Point; and Fortinet spending $18 million for ZoneFox. There was plenty more M&A activity with big names involved. Other companies in the news include Google who are closing their Google+ social network amid security concerns and Amazon who announced 1,000 new jobs in the UK. On the economy and jobs front, the news was generally positive around the world.

IT Industry News – September 2018

September 2018 saw some big deals with Adobe’s $4.5 million purchase of Marketo being the big deal of the month. Sirius XM paid $3.6 billion for Pandora and Digital Realty is expanding with the $1.8 billion purchase of Brazil’s Ascenty. SS&C continues on its acquisition path with the $1.5 billion acquisition of Intralinks. Vonage paid $300 million for NewVoiceMedia; Microsoft was adding to its AI portfolio buying Lobe; Intel bought NetSpeed; Cognizant added to its Salesforce capabilities with the Advanced Technology Group buy; Infosys bought Fluido; and Slack purchased Astro. Other companies in the news were Facebook for announcing its first Asian datacenter and Verizon is in cost cutting mode. Not surprisingly, the US economy continues to hum along, with CDG growth rate of 4.2%, strong hiring outlooks and all indicators showing positive. An interesting report from South Korea highlights the growing phenomena of senior citizens working because the social systems are not strong.

IT Industry News – August 2018

August 2018 saw a fair amount of M&A activity. The big deal of the month saw Cisco pay $2.35 billion for access security company Duo Security. In other deals, VMWare paid $500 million for cloud management company CloudHealth; and HP splashed out $500 million for Apogee. Apple snapped up Augmented reality startup Akonia; Accenture made two small acquisitions in the digital space, Mindtribe and Pillar Technology; Intel picked up a small AI company Vertex.Ai and Vonage paid $35 million for video company TokBox. Apple was also in the news because it became the first public company to reach a $1 trillion valuation, and they were quickly followed by Amazon. General job indicators were good in Canada and even better in the US. There were several reports indicating a growing skills gap for key roles, particularly in tech, both in Canada and the US. On a final note, “digital” continues to be hot, with Canadian firms expected to spend more than $16 billion on digital tech and services this year.

IT Industry News – July 2018

July 2018 was busy in the M&A world, with the biggest deal of the month being a somewhat unlikely $19 billion acquisition of CA Technologies by Broadcom, who are clearly planning to expand beyond the semiconductor world. Solution provider, Atos is paying $3.45 billion for Syntel, creating a large North American presence. Fortive is paying $2 billion for physical resource management software company Accruent, and the last billion dollar deal of the month sees SS&C pay $1.45 billion for investment technology company Eze Software. Other deals saw AT&T buy cybersecurity company Alienvault; Hitachi bought AWS integrator Rean; Intel bought specialty chip maker eASIC Corp; Accenture continued its acquisition spree with the purchase of AI company Kogentix; and Getronics re-entered the North American market with the purchase of Pomeroy.

Other companies in the news included Google, who were fined $5 billion by European anti-trust regulators and Dell announced plans to go public again.

The US economy continues to have strong indicators in almost every category, with a growing concern about skills shortages in the tech space. The Canadian market added jobs, but most of them were public sector jobs and one report shows Canada’s ICT sector as performing poorly versus the other G7 countries. Employment indicators from most countries around the world were generally positive.

Other topics of interest include news that the Facebook group of companies have 2.5 billion people using their services at least once a month; the cost of data breaches to Canadian companies is on the rise; and people with blockchain expertise are amongst the most in demand resources.

IT Industry News – June 2018

June 2018 saw a fair bit of M&A activity, the biggest deal seeing Synnex pay $2.43 billion for call centre company Convergys and AT&T pay $1.6 billion for advertising tech company AppNexus. Palo Alto Networks is paying $300 million Evident.io; PayPal is shelling out $120 million for Simility; Splunk is paying $120 million for VictorOps; Ribbon Communication is paying $120 million for Edgewater Networks; and Sharp is paying $36 million for Toshibas PC business. Other companies out shopping include Cisco who bought WiFi analytics company July Systems; IBM bought maintenance and repair company Oniqua and Shopify bought app company Return Magic. Skills shortages were a theme around the world as hiring plans in most countries are positive. Confidence is high in many economies, including Canada’s despite the storm clouds surrounding NAFTA negotiations and the trade war with the US. Speaking of the US, their economy continues to roll along with very favorable indicators almost everywhere.

May 2018 IT Industry News

May 2018 was a very active month for M&A activity, with Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of GitHub leading the pack in size. Microsoft also bought AI company Semantic Machines. PayPal paid $2.2 billion for European payments company iZettle; Recruit paid $2.1 billion for Glassdoor; Investment firm KKR paid $2 billion for BMC Software; and Office Depot paid $1 billion for CompuCom. Other big names out shopping saw Oracle buy collaboration platform Datascience.com; Google bought cloud migration startup Velostrata; HPE bought Plexxi; Rackspace bought RelationEdge; and Splunk bought Phantom Cyber Company. There were a number of other deals, perhaps too many to mention.

IT Industry News – April 2018

IT Industry News – March 2018

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’s 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 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 interprovincial 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.

IT Industry News – February 2018

February 2018 was a very active month in M&A, with lots of deals. The biggest saw more consolidation in the telco space with US based GTT paying $2.3 billion for London headquartered Interroute, thus expending its global footprint. Security companies were a theme in this month’s acquisitions and you will spot several in the following list. Cybersecurity firm Phishme was bought with $400 million of private equity money; Splunk paid $350 million for Phantom Cyber Corp; and Proofpoint paid $225 million for Wombat Security Technologies. Other deals saw LogMeIn pay $342 million for Jive Communications; Carbonite pay $146 million for Mozy; and Red Hat paid $250 million for Core OS. Some of the household names that were also out making deals included Oracle, Google, Opentext, Avaya and Citrix. All in all the busiest M&A month I have seen in a while.

Samsung was in the news for passing Intel in size within the chip manufacturing market for the first time, which is much more positive press than the scandal from a year ago. The fourth quarter of 2017 saw the first decrease in smartphone sales since 2004. It is suggested that cybercrime is now costing $600 billion annually which is up about a third in the last three years.

The Canadian market took a hit in January, losing 80,000 jobs (50,000 in Ontario). The stark difference in tax treatment between the Canadian budget and the US tax reform moves, together with NAFTA negotiations are causing some concern in Canada. The US however continues to enjoy continuing job growth and almost every indicator is positive. Around the world most countries are enjoying job growth and positive indicators. One exception to all that positivity is in the UK where the uncertainly around Brexit seems to be having an impact.