This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the ICT industry for September 2019. 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.
A Little History of September in previous years …
Five years ago, September 2014 saw some big deals announced, including Microsoft’s $2.5 billion purchase of gaming company Minecraft, Lenovo’s $2.1 billion purchase of IBM’s x86 server business and Cognizant’s $2.7 billion purchase of healthcare company, Trizetto Corp. Hootsuite had an injection of cash and bought two companies, social telephony company Zeetl and social media marketing platform Brightkit. Google also made two acquisitions: biotech company Lift Labs and desktop polling company Polar. There were plenty more deals announced, including Yahoo’s $8 million purchase of cloud-based document hosting company Bookpad; Cisco’s purchase of private cloud company Metacloud; SAP’s purchase of expense software company Concur; Blackberry’s purchase of virtual identity software startup Movirtu and Red Hat’s purchase of mobile app company FeedHenry.
In September 2015, there was a fair bit of M&A activity but no blockbuster deals. Microsoft was very active, closing three deals, Adxstudio which provides web-based solutions for Dynamics CRM; app developer Double Labs; and cloud security firm Adallom. Accenture picked up the cloud services company Cloud Sherpas; IBM added cloud software startup StrongLoop; Netsuite paid $200 million for cloud-based marketing company Bronto Software; and Blackberry paid $425 million for competitor Good Technology. Hardware company Konica Minolta bought IT Weapons; Qualcomm bought medical device and data management company Capsule Technologies; Networking and storage company Barracuda Networks bought online backup and disaster recovery company Intronis; and Compugen bought some of the assets of another Canadian company Metafore.
September 2016 saw Tech Data pay $2.6 billion for the technology solutions group of Avnet, and HP made the biggest printer acquisition to date, paying $1.05 Billion for Samsung’s printer business. Other deals saw Google pay $625 million for Apogee, and restaurant company Subway bought online order taking software company Avanti Commerce. One investment that caught my eye, in the staffing world saw Accenture invest in crowdtesting company Applause.
Two years ago September 2017 saw Google splash out $1.1 Billion to acquire HTC’s pixel team, strengthening its own smartphone capabilities. In an interesting move IKEA bought gig economy company TaskRabbit. HPE bought Cloud Technology Partners, presumably to strengthen its capabilities in that area and possibly access new clients. Finally Edmonton company F12.net bought Vancouver’s ONDeck Systems as it pursues its goal to be a National IT Service Provider.
Last year, there were some big deals in September 2018. Adobe’s $4.5 million purchase of Marketo was the big deal of the month. Not a true tech play but Sirius XM paid $3.6 billion for Pandora, and with digital/media/tech convergence it seemed like a fit. Digital Realty is expanding its data centre footprint with the $1.8 billion purchase of Brazil’s Ascenty. SS&C paid $1.5 billion for Intralinks. Vonage paid $300 million for contact centre as a service company NewVoiceMedia; Microsoft added to its AI portfolio, buying Lobe; Intel bought a startup, NetSpeed to help with its IoT chips; Cognizant added to its Salesforce capabilities, buying Advanced Technology Group; Infosys also added Salesforce capability in Europe, buying Fluido; and Slack added an AI driven email client to its portfolio with the purchase of Astro.
Which brings us back to the present …
September 2019 was relatively busy in M&A with Qualcomm’s $3.1 billion acquisition of TDK’s share in a RF joint venture, the largest deal of the month. There were some big names out shopping in September, with Microsoft buying cloud migration company Movere; Facebook bought Wearables company Ctrl-labs (reputedly for big dollars); HP bought endpoint security company Bromium; Western Digital bought Kazan Networks; and Github bought developer tool Semmie. Commvault paid $225 million for cloud software company Hevig and there were a few more smaller deals.
Other companies in the news included YouTube who reached a $170 million settlement related to protection and privacy for children; Kik interactive shut down its messaging service; and DoorDash became the latest cyber breach casualty.
The jobs numbers were optimistic in Canada, and the US also had good jobs news although the ongoing trade war and potential impeachment have put a negative spin on some of the reports coming out.
That’s what caught my eye over the last month. The full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the October 2019 industry news in just about a month’s time.
Walk Fast and Smile
Kevin Dee is the founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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