Every month I take a 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry. This is my overview of September’s news, with a brief reminder of what was news in September the last couple of years! What you see here is a precis of the monthly report I produce, which will is available in more detail at the Eagle website. You will also find back issues on the website.
A year ago in November 2007 the big news, particularly here in Ottawa, was IBM’s $5 Billion purchase of Cognos. There was a fair bit of M&A activity, with AOL being very active, Telus buying Emergis, Randstad buying Vedior to create the second largest staffing company in the world and DELL making a couple of acquisitions.
The world in November 2008 is a very different place as we accelerate into the economic maelstrom that seems to be front and centre whatever we read! There were a number of studies and surveys this month that reflect the mood of the times . job openings down, economic indicators at an all time low, forecasts of reduced IT spending and even a survey telling us that as bosses we are the primary reason that our staff leave. Ouch!
A number of companies announced layoffs related to the economy including Nokia, Nortel, Palm and Circuit City. There was however movement in the M&A world which is probably a reflection of strong companies looking to get stronger. AT&T paid $944 Million for Centenial Communications and Fujitsu paid $575 Million to buy out Siemens from a joint venture. There were a number of other deals, involving such names as Oracle, Microsoft’s Razorfish, Intel, Amdocs, Satyam, Citrix and Perot Systems. It also looks like Sanyo will be swallowed up by Panasonic, which is likely to be a big deal when it happens.
Across the IT staffing world in Canada we are seeing a slowdown in orders and customers are being very careful with their spending. For the first time in probably five years Western Canada is seeing layoffs and project cancellations, driven largely by the dropping price of a barrel of oil. We are quickly moving from a sellers market to a buyers market and we are advising contractors to be cognisant of the changing market, try to get longer terms on their contracts and be willing to settle for a little less.
That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition is available by going to the appropriate part of Eagle’s website. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with October’s news in just about a month’s time.