This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Technology industry for December 2013. 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 previous year’s Decembers …
IT news in December can be slow. Five years ago in December 2008 the recession was the big news, with layoffs announced by Sony, Yahoo, Adobe, Nokia and AT&T adding to the woes of a shrinking working population around the world. On the M&A front, private equity bought a Danish IT company (KMD) for $375 million; Sierra Wireless paid $277 million for Wavecom; and Wipro paid $127 million for the IT arm of Citigroup. December 2009 saw no big announcements … Microsoft had a couple of smaller (by their standards) acquisitions focused on different verticals, Opalis for the data centre business and Sentillion for the Health Care world. Google made a small acquisition (AppJet) and IBM added database security vendor Guardium. In December 2010 there was probably more activity than previous Decembers. Dell made two storage acquisitions, Compellent Technologies ($820 million) and Insite one. Siemens and Atos Origin formed a new European IT outsourcing company in a deal worth more than $1 billion. J2 global Communications bought (Ottawa based) Protus IP Solutions ($213 million); Juniper Networks bought Altor networks for $95 million; Salesforce.com bought a software development platform Ruby from Heroku for $212 million; Earthlink paid $370 million for One Communications; BMC Software bought GridApp Systems; and L&T infotech established a significant Canadian presence through the acquisition of Citigroup’s IT outsourcing arm. Two years ago in December 2011 Ottawa’s March Networks was snapped up by Infinova Canada for $90 million, and Toronto based Rypple was acquired by Salesforce.com! the BIG deal was SAP’s $3.4 billion purchase of SuccessFactors, who had also announced they were buying Jobs2Web for $110 milion. It was IBM that was the most active acquirer of the month, paying $440 million for DemandTec, also picking up Emptoris in the procurement world and Irish company Curam Software in the government sector. Last year December 2012 saw a fair amount of M&A activity with Oracle making two acquisitions, marketing automation company Eloqua ($871 million) and Dataraker which provides analytics for utilities companies. The big deal of the month saw Sprint pay $2.2 Billion to take full control of cellular competitor Clearwire. Montreal based Cogeco paid $635 million for Peer 1 Networks and NCR paid $635 million for retail software and services company Retalix. In the BYOD space Citrix bought mobile device management company Zenprise for $355 million. Finally, Redknee added 1200 employees and 130 new clients through the purchase of Nokia Siemens Business Support Network.
Which brings us back to the present …
December 2013 … was a short work month given how the dates fell, and that was reflected in the generally slow activity. Also much of the media uses December as a focus on what transpired through the year, rather than specifically December.
On the M&A front Oracle pulled off a $1.5 Billion buy of marketing software company Responsys; Akamai paid $370 million for cloud-based security solutions provider Prolexic; JDS Uniphase paid $200 million for enterprise performance management company Network Instruments; IBM bought a “big data” file compression company Aspera and Hitachi expended its solutions capability with the purchase of Calgary based Ideaca.
In other company news Target, although not an IT company, had a major security breach involving details of 40 million debit and credit cards. Ottawa based Shopify raised another $22 million in investment and Cisco announced a joint deal with the Province of Ontario that might create another 1,700 jobs over the next 6 years.
There were not a lot of surveys or reports released, however employment numbers showed a continuing improvement in North America, perhaps a good sign for 2014!
So ends 2013, a year that continued the tepid economic recovery but never really boomed. I am optimistic that 2104 will be a good year … may it be a great one for you!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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