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.
IT Industry News – October 2015
October 2015 brought some big deals, with the biggest seeing Dell offer $26 billion to buy storage company EMC. VMWare, was also out shopping, as well as Western Digital, IBM, Cisco, LogMeIn, Trend Micro, Red Hat, Vasco Data Security, and Apple, who is buying a speech processing startup, VocalIQ. Other companies in the news include Twitter who announced 336 layoffs; Apple lost a patent fight with the University of Wisconsin to the tune of $234 million (of course they also recorded record profits of more than $5 billion); and, Google are launching a neat project to bring the internet to 100,000 Indonesian people using balloons. The US economy continues to impress, adding another 200,000 jobs and having generally positive indicators from surveys and reports. There are signs that the growth is slowing but this is just to be expected. Canada added 12,100 jobs in September but the unemployment rate rose to 7.1%. A new Liberal government was voted in, so we will watch how that works out.
IT Industry News – September 2015
September 2015 saw a reasonable amount of M&A activity, but no blockbuster deals. Microsoft was very active closing three deals, Accenture picked up the cloud services company Cloud Sherpas; and IBM added cloud software startup StrongLoop. Other companies making deals included Netsuite, Blackberry, Konica Minolta, Qualcomm, Barracuda Networks and Compugen. Also in the news in September were HP and Samsung. Almost all of the US economic surveys and indicators were positive with the jobless rate edging down to 5.1% and the only cloud on the horizon being labor shortages in the construction industry. Canada on the other hand continues to struggle. After enduring a “technical recession” through the first half of 2015 there might be some positive signs for the second half based on a sharp increase in GPD in June. The unemployment rate rose to 7%; however Canada, did add 12,000 jobs in August.
IT Industry News – August 2015
August 2015 was an exceptionally slow month in the M&A space; however, there were two billion dollar deals. Symantec sold Veritas (which it paid $13.5 billion dollars for 10 years ago) to a group of investors for $8 billion. IBM also paid “big bucks”, shelling out $1 billion for Merge Healthcare. A small deal saw Calgary-based Above Security bought by Hitachi; Transcomos bought 30% of Vietnamese daily deals site Hotdeal; Freshdesk bought live-chat company 1Click; and PLDT bought ecommerce startup Paywhere. Other companies in the news were HTC for laying off 2,250 people and Lenovo who laid off 3,200 people. Both companies have been struggling in the hyper-competitive smartphone space. On the economic front, there is much debate about Canada’s latest “recession” following reports of two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. Certainly the West is suffering because of the price of oil; however, Canada is still adding jobs and consumers are spending. There is no panic, but it certainly isn’t the US, which seems to be going from strength to strength. Almost every indicator there was positive again this month, and another 185,000 jobs added! (Note: By the time you read this the August figures may have been released, so bear in mind this update is based on July numbers released in August.)
IT Industry News – July 2015
July 2015 saw no billion dollar deals, but there was some activity with some big names out shopping. Microsoft made two acquisitions, paying $320 million for cloud security company Adallom and also picked up customer servicing software company FieldOne Systems .The Canadian indicators were not as good with a loss of 6,400 jobs in June and a continued unemployment rate of 6.8%. A Federal government report also suggests that Canada is headed for an IT skills shortage of approximately 182,000 people by 2019.In other news Microsoft, already mentioned for two acquisitions this month, also announced layoffs of 7,800 people related to its phone hardware business. Final word goes to online “marital affair” dating site Ashley Madison, which suffered a major hack and the hackers have threatened to “out” its users. I guess that slogan “Life is short” could be seen differently for those who get outted!
IT Industry News – June 2015
This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for June 2015. 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.
IT Industry News – May 2015
May 2015 saw some very large deals on the M&A front, with the biggest seeing Charter Communications spend $55 billion to buy Time Warner Cable and a further $10.4 billion to buy Bright House Networks. The “billion dollar club” also saw French Telco Altice pay $9.1 billion for another US cable company Suddenlink Communications. Keeping with the billion dollar deals involving telcos, Verizon paid $4.4 billion for AOL to bolster its mobile video capabilities. Another billion dollar deal saw HP unload 70% of its stake in its China server, storage and technology storage unit to Tsinghua Holdings for $2.3 billion. The final billion dollar deal saw EMC pay $1.2 billion for cloud service provider Virtustream. Apple was out buying a couple of companies in May, snapping up mapping company Coherent Navigation and augmented reality company Metaio. In other deals, Avaya bought cloud technology company Esna; and Cisco bought cloud programming interface company Tropo. Another company in the news was Blackberry, but for the wrong reasons, announcing another layoff as it continues the journey back to significant market share in the smart phone world. A Trend Micro security and threat report had Canada scoring quite high as a target for online threats. Clearly not a report in which you want to score high! There was another report highlighting the growing IT skills gap in Canada. Canada’s economy took a bit of a beating primarily due to the low price of oil; however, things look better later in the year. Part of that optimism is the uptick in the US economy and almost all indicators, reports and surveys for the US were positive in May.
IT Industry News – April 2015
At first, April 2015 seems like a month where not too much happened, but when we look at the facts, there was plenty of action! Nokia was the biggest story, paying $16.5 billion for telecom company Alcatel-Lucent, but there was also a $4 billion deal that saw Capgemini buy services firm IGATE and LinkedIn made its largest acquisition ever, paying $1.5 billion for training portal Lynda.com. LinkedIn also bought a predictive insights startup company, Refresh. Netsuite paid $200 million for ERP and commerce software company Bronto Software and Blackberry reputedly shelled out $150 million for file sharing security company Watchdox. Salesforce was also out shopping, picking up mobile two-factor authentication startup, Toopher. In another deal involving billions, Informatica decided to follow in DELL’s footsteps and go private for a $5.3 billion price tag.
IT Industry News – March 2015
March 2015 saw some significant M&A activity with HP paying $3 billion for Aruba Networks; Lexmark paying $1 billion for customer management software company Kofax; eCommerce company Rakuten paid $410 million for ebook marketplace Overdrive; Cheetah Mobile is paying $58 million for mobile ad networkMobPartner; 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 is paying $10.4 billion for Bright House Networks.