This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for July 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.
A Little History of July in previous years …
Five years ago, in July 2010, NTT paid $3.2 Billion for Dimension Data and Nokia Siemens paid $1.2 Billion for Motorola’s wireless network equipment unit. IBM bought data compression company Storwize and in the same space Dell bought Ocarina Networks. EMC bought data analytics company Greenplum, Google added to its semantic search capability with the purchase of Metaweb Technologies, Adobe paid $240 Million for a Swiss web software maker, Day Software Holdings and SAS increased its presence in the US Federal market through its purchase of Vision Systems and Technology. July 2011 saw continued economic concerns in Europe and a game of political chicken in the US over the US debt ceiling, meanwhile M&A news was relatively low key in the pure tech world. Dell’s move into networking with the purchase of Force10 is possible the most significant tech deal, with Google (Punchd), Twitter (Backtype) and Adobe (EchoSign) all picking up smaller players to help move their agenda. Three years ago in July 2012 Marissa Mayer became the new CEO at Yahoo and Dell bought Quest Software for $2.4 billion; Apple picked up Authentec for $356 million and Socialcam acquired Autodesk for $60 million. Oracle was on a roll, buying (i) the assets of Skire (capital assets and facilities management software), (ii) Involver (a social marketing tools company) and (iii) Xsigo Systems (Network Virtualisation). Vmware was also busy, picking up Dynamic Ops (virtualisation software) and Nicira (a start-up in the networking software space). One interesting deal saw Digg bought for $500,000 by Betaworks, when Digg had been valued at $200 million just four years ago. July 2013 was quiet for M&A activity but there were some interesting deals, with the big deal involving perennial acquirer Cisco shelling out $2.7 billion for security vendor Sourcefire. There were some other big names out shopping with EMC buying identity management company Aveska, Intel making an acquisition in Israel (a trend) of Omek a company specialised in the perceptual computing arena. Apple bought Locationary, a Toronto company that is expected to be involved in improving Apple’s maps for iOS (remember when Apple dropped Google Maps!) Finally, Ottawa’s Shopify bought a Toronto based design agency Jet Cooper. Last year July 2014 had a lot of M&A activity but no real blockbuster deals. Blackberry bought encryption company Secusmart GmbH; Oracle bought cloud services company TOA Technologies; Twitter bought a startup Madbits, a company that focuses on the media space; Yahoo also bought a startup Flurry in the mobile apps space; Teradata bought a couple of smaller “big data” companies, Hadapt and Revelytix; Apple bought a couple of smaller “books & podcast” companies Booklamp and Concept.io; Qualcomm bought education company EmpoweredU; and finally Nokia continue to rebuild after selling its devices and handsets business to Microsoft, this time buying Panasonic’s 3G and LTE base station operations division.
Which brings us back to the present …
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. IBM picked up database as a service company Compose; Cisco paid $139 million for sales automation company MaintenanceNet; HP is buying a cloud development platform Stackato; Blackberry bought AtHoc which is a crisis communication tool; and DropBox bought messaging company Clementine.
Other acquisitions saw Cisco as a seller, with Technicolor paying $600 million for Cisco’s set top box division; Level 3 bought security firm Black Lotus; Amadeus bought travel software company Navitaire (a subsidiary of Accenture) for $830 million; eBay sold its Enterprise unit for $925 million, having paid $2.4 billion for it 4 years ago. In the continued blurring of the lines between technology companies and other industries, Capital One bank acquired design, development and marketing firm Monsoon.
Almost every indicator from the US was positive again this month, with another 240,000 private sector jobs added in June. 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 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!
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 August 2015 industry news in just about a month’s time.
Walk Fast and Smile.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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