August 2016 saw a fair bit of M&A activity. The largest deal saw global staffing company Randstad buy one of the larger job boards, Monster. A similar sized deal saw Intel shell out $408 million for artificial intelligence company Nervana. Other companies buying included Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Apple, Salesforce, and ScanSource. Cisco was in the news for more layoffs, announcing 5,500 people, approximately 7% of their workforce, will lose their jobs as the company switches its focus from hardware to software. Economic indicators around the globe were not too bad, with the US still talking growth, albeit slightly slower than previously expected. Other markets generally saw positive numbers on employment, except perhaps Mexico and Canada (which lost 31,000 jobs in July). A number of reports looking at emerging tech markets suggest that IoT, Cloud services and Video as a Service are all areas of growth and thus possible areas for investment.
IT Industry News – July 2016
July 2016 saw some large deals, with Verizon making two multi-billion dollar acquisitions. Oracle were also out spending big dollars, paying $9.3 billion for cloud-based ERP company, Netsuite. Softbank paid a whopping$32.2 billion for chip designer ARM Holdings. Also joining the July billion dollar club was security vendor Avast, who bought AVG for $1.3 billion. Other deals this month saw Salesforce pay $582 million for cloud-based startup Quip; Google bought video company Anvato; Terradata bought training company Big Data Partnership; and Opentext bought analytics company Recommind. Other companies in the news in July were Microsoft for their continuing layoffs associated with their Nokia purchase and Facebook’s internet drone program reached a milestone with its first flight. Oracle also lost a $3 billion lawsuit to HPE going back to a 2011 decision to not support HP Itanium servers. Things are slow here in Canada, and the US continues to create jobs and show positive signs.
IT Industry News – June 2016
June 2016 saw the Brexit vote upsetting the markets and causing uncertainty; plus there was plenty of M&A activity. The big deal was the Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn for a whopping $26 billion. More billion dollar deals included Salesforce paying $2.8 billion for e-commerce platform maker Demandware and Amazon announcing an extra $3 billion investment in its India operations. There were other significant deals by Daetwyler Holdings AG for Raspberry Pi maker Premier Farnell Plc; Red Hat for API management software company 3Scale; and OpenText for HP’s Customer Communication Management products. Additionally, an investment group bought Dell’s software arm; Microsoft bought natural language start up Wand Labs; and Samsung bought cloud computing company Joyent. Google Capital announced its first investment in a public company, investing $46 million in Care.com. The US economic news was less buoyant and Canada continues to show little sign of booming.
IT Industry News – May 2016
May 2016 saw some M&A activity, with the largest deal seeing HPE merge its services arm with CSC. In another large deal, Vista Equity Partners is acquiring customer service and marketing cloud provider Marketo. Other big names making deals included Oracle, Google, Infor, and ARM. Microsoft ended an unhappy period by divesting its feature phone business to FIH mobile and GoDaddy picked up cloud-based phone company FreedomVoice. New Signature picked up another Microsoft solution provider, Dot Net Solutions; and Edmonton based F12.Net bought Calgary-based professional services company XCEL. Other companies in the news included Apple who invested into the Chinese “Uber” and Microsoft announced another 1,850 job cuts related to its mobile phone business. One security report suggests that two thirds of large businesses have suffered cyberattacks and another IDC report suggests the big data and analytics market will expand by 50% over the next 4 years.
IT Industry News – April 2016
April 2016 saw some big deals, the biggest was Bell’s $3.8 billion bid for Manitoba Telephone System. Other large deals saw a Chinese conglomerate bid for Lexmark; and Mitel shell out for Polycom. Oracle paid $663 million for cloud-based construction software company Textura. Nokia continued to evolve their business model, this time into the wearable tech arena with the $192 million purchase of Withings. Other deals saw Autodesk acquire Solid Angle; and Dimension Data bought Ceryx. Nokia announced layoffs, as well as Intel with major layoffs of 12,000 staff. There were some interesting reports about growth in the emerging markets for robotics and Internet of Things security while there is also a projected decline in general IT spending for 2016. This quarter also saw the first decline in smartphone sales as that market reaches saturation; however, China is expected to grow its technology spend this year.
IT Industry News – March 2016
March 2016 saw the $3 billion sale of Dell Services to NTT, a direct result of Dell’s restructuring following the recent purchase of EMC. In addition, IBM was making a couple of acquisitions, as well as Yellow Pages, Influitive, and Netsuite. IBM was also trimming staff, along with SurveyMonkey and Pebble. Cisco was making significant investments into India’s digital connectivity initiatives and a smart city initiative in Berlin. In other news, the tech world lost a couple of icons. Andy Grove, founder of Intel passed away, as did Ray Tomlinson the inventor of email. On the economic front, the US added another 200,000 jobs in February and the various surveys were generally positive. Canada on the other hand lost 2,300 jobs and the unemployment rate hit 7.3%.
IT Industry News – February 2016
February 2016 saw some action in the M&A world, with the biggest deal being by HNA Group of China. There were two other billion dollar deals, including one by Cisco and another by a consortium of Chinese internet firms. Microsoft and Alibaba Group were both busy with acquisitions, as were IBM and Blackberry. In other news, Apple is in a battle with the US government about privacy concerns after being ordered to develop a back door into its operating system. It was also interesting to see the projected growth in the mobile space with 5.5 billion users expected by 2020. There wasn’t much good news on the economic front as both Canada and the US had a bit of a slow month. Canada lost about 5,700 jobs and the unemployment rate jumped a little to 7.2%. Various US indicators were down but everything is relative and general consensus is that things overall are still positive for the US economy.
IT Industry News – January 2016
January 2016 saw the continued challenges in the Canadian economy. Canada did add 23,000 jobs in December but the unemployment rate remained at 7.1%. The US continued to add jobs, although there are also some signs that the growth is slowing down. On the M&A front, there were some of the household names out shopping. IBM bought video service provider Ustream; Microsoft bought game-based learning tool MinecraftEdu; Apple bought “emotion recognition” company Emotient; and Oracle bought media web tracking firm AddThis. Toshiba bought an ERP solutions company Ignify, and there were a number of smaller deals including Juniper Networks, Fireeye, Acceo Solutions, and Smartprint. Last month had interesting funding announcements by Foresight Technologies, Malwarebytes, and EiQ Networks. In other news, Xerox announced it would be splitting into two separate public companies; Microsoft announced a one billion dollar philanthropic endeavor, and worldwide IT spending took a bit of a dive in 2015.
IT Industry News – December 2015
The big deal this month saw Canadian telco Shaw make a big play into the cellular space. Also, Rogers was growing its Maritimes presence through the acquisition of Internetworking Atlantic Inc. Other deals in December featured Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Ingram Micro, and Carbonite bought Evault from Seagate. Other companies in the news include the venerable Toshiba, where layoffs might reach 10,000; Oracle announced an investment in Austin, Texas to build a campus attracting new grads and Samsung; and Apple might have settled a five year patent dispute. An IDC report was bad news for Blackberry, as it forecasts that iOS, Android and Windows will be the top smartphone platforms for the foreseeable future. On the economic front, the US economy shows no sign of slowing down but Canada, however, is another story. The unemployment rate did edge up to 7.1% and the economy continues to sputter. Having said that, demand for professionals is increasing faster than supply.
IT Industry News – November 2015
November 2015 saw a number of M&A deals, but not much in the way of mega-deals. The largest was by Expedia, who purchased HomeAway as a vehicle to better compete with Airbnb. Zayo Holding Group became the first foreign company to own a Canadian telco after buying Allstream; Apple bought Faceshift, a motion capture company whose technology was used in the latest Star Wars movie; and Lightspeed POS bought SEOshop, increasing its size as a competitor to Shopify. In other news this month, if you do not understand the impact of “blockchain” then you should read up on it, a disruptive technology that will impact the financial sector for sure. It was also interesting to see that 2016 is predicted to bring a 30% increase in the number of “things” on the “Internet of Things”, making it a $235 billion market next year. November also saw Blackberry take one on the chin in Pakistan and will need to exit that market before year end, otherwise they would need to share user data with the government.