IT Industry News

IT Industry News – April 2019

Intel bought Omnitek, a company that produces programmable chips for the video space. This comes as Intel announced it was exiting the 5G modem space for smartphones, suggesting it was not a profitable business for them. The other deal saw the merger of two large US-based MSPs, as Corsica bought EDTS to compete at the next level. Another company in the press this month was Microsoft, who reached that magic valuation point of $1 trillion, becoming the third company to hit that milestone after Apple and Amazon. The general economic news was positive with the US continuing to soar with very low unemployment, rising wage rates, an annualised GDP growth rate of 3.2% in the first quarter, all suggesting the US boom will continue for a while yet. Canada continues its anemic growth rate, projected at 1.2% this year. Around the world unemployment is generally down except for pockets like the UK where the Brexit situation continues to be a mill stone around their necks.

IT Industry News – March 2019

In March 2019, the big deal of the month saw Nvidia shell out $6.9 billion for data centre solutions vendor, Mellanox. F5 Networks paid $670 million for up and coming competitor NGINX; and Juniper Networks paid $40 million for AI startup Mist Systems. Some other deals this month were Apple’s acquisition of machine learning startup LaserLike; Veritas’ acquisition of analytics company Aptare; Mastercard bought security company Ethoca; and Spotify added to its podcast capability with the purchase of Parcast. Other companies in the news included Lyft, SAP and SAS. The University of Toronto received a $100 million donation (largest ever) from Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz. Economic news around the world was generally relatively positive, although things are slowing down and forecast GDP growth in the US and Canada has been downgraded for 2019.

IT Industry News – February 2019

In February 2019, The biggest deal we saw was Carbonite’s $618 million acquisition of internet security company Webroot. Palo Alto Networks seems to be on a buying spree, closing two deals this monthThe money guys were out shopping too, with Thoma Bravo paying for Connectwise and Trive Capital paid $330 million for Windstream’s Earthlink telephone service provider assets. Spotify announced its podcast intentions with a couple of acquisitions and Witricity strengthened its hand in the wireless charging space with the acquisition of Qualcomm’s Halo business unit. There were some big names out shopping too, including Microsoft, Amazon, DXC, and Semantec. Other companies in the news include Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin, Cognizant, Monster and, of course, Amazon who rescinded its choice of New York as a location for a huge investment & additional “headquarters”. Around the world the jobs situation is generally positive, if not “as positive” as in previous months.

IT Industry News – January 2019

In January 2019, the biggest deal saw DXC pay $2 billion for Luxoft, DXC also bought EG A/S. Amazon Web Services made a couple of acquisitions: CloudEndure and TSO Logic. Accenture was another high-profile company making multiple acquisitions in January: Enaxis Consulting and Orbium. Dropbox splashed $230 million to buy HelloSign; Google bought DORA; Microsoft bought database startup Citus; AT Kearney bought consulting company Cervello; and Zix paid $275 million for email security company AppRiver. There were a number of companies announcing layoffs, including Tesla (7% of workforce); AT&T; Verizon Media (7% of workforce); McAfee (200 people) and SAP (4,000) although SAP suggest they will have net job growth in 2019. Canada added jobs in December and there is concern about Europe entering a recession. Generally, around-the-world job numbers look not too bad, with the US continuing to show strong job growth. The message of skills shortages is also being heard around the world.

IT Industry News – December 2018

December 2018 saw IBM sell off a portion of their software portfolio to HCL for $1.8 billion. Cisco paid $660 million for optical chip company, Luxtera; and OpenText paid $310 million for data management company Liaison Technologies. In other deals, Google bought “where is my train” app company, Sigmoid Labs; Corel bought desktop virtualization company Parallels; Trello bought Butler, whose product is a popular addition for Trello users; Kaseya bought IT documentation company IT Glue; and GE continued its restructuring efforts by spinning out its IoT subsidiary and selling its interest in Pivotal. Finally, the end of December was the beginning of Dell’s return as a public company. Other companies in the news include Huawei, who are facing bans in many countries with concerns over its relationship to the Chinese government; and Verizon announced some large-scale layoffs, affecting 10,400 jobs.

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.