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Category Archives: Tech Trends

The latest trends in technology and innovations that will benefit Canadian technology professionals by understanding upcoming demands to improve their chances of getting a job.

Predicting Key Trends in Cybersecurity

Predicting Key Trends in Cybersecurity

There is no shortage of tech trends to discuss. Regardless of your role or industry, changes are coming at a fast-pace, and keeping up with them is imperative to your career success. Knowing what’s on the horizon and predicting what clients will want, lets you keep the right skills and certifications up to date, as well as highlight the right sections of your resume to truly sell yourself.

One area seeing excessive growth world-wide, and across every industry, is Cybersecurity. It isn’t a secret nor should it come as a surprise to anyone that, although this area has always been growing, the COVID-19 pandemic propelled that growth. Thycotic’s 2020 Global Survey or Cyber Security Leaders, which checked-in with 900 senior IT decision-makers in large companies around the world, backed up this observation, saying it’s due to so many organizations adding technology and moving to cloud solutions. (Interestingly, that same survey showed that an overwhelming number of these companies don’t fully-utilize the security technology they implement, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Gartner is also observing security trends, which they recently highlighted in their Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021. First, they note that privacy-enhancing computation is going to play a big role for IT departments in the coming years. Noting the maturation of global data protection legislation as a main driver, they predict that by 2025, half of large organizations will implement privacy enhancing computation for processing data in trusted environments. Gartner also says that the Cybersecurity Mesh, the idea that anyone can access a digital asset securely, regardless of the location of the person or the data, is going to continue growing. They state that by 2025, half of all requests will be supported by the Cyber Security Mesh.

So, what are the best skills to build up in the coming year to ensure you can take advantage of these trends? This past October, Burning Glass released a report highlighting the fastest-growing Cybersecurity skills, and it’s packed with information for the IT Security professional or tech enthusiast looking to break into the field. They analyzed over a billion historical job records and projected 5-year growth rates for specific jobs. Overall, it shows a trend towards building secure digital infrastructure from the ground up.

The report highlights the top 10 growing skills, which are listed below, showing that Application Development Security and Cloud Security are the place to be. The top one, which includes sub-skills such as DevSecOps, Container Security, Microservices Security, and Application Security Code Review, is expected to see 164% growth over the next 5-years!

  1. Application Development Security (164% growth)
  2. Cloud Security (115% growth)
  3. Risk Management (41% growth)
  4. Threat Intelligence (37% growth)
  5. Incident Response (36% growth)
  6. Compliance and Controls (36% growth)
  7. Data Privacy and Security (32% growth)
  8. Access Management (164% growth)
  9. Security Strategy and Governance (20% growth)
  10. Health Information Security (20% growth)

Technology is connecting our world in incredible ways, but that means more and more sensitive data is flowing and protecting it is key in keeping products trusted and successful. What other Cybersecurity trends are you seeing, or expecting to see, in the coming year?

Sick of People Pronouncing Your Name Wrong? LinkedIn Built a Solution!

Sick of People Pronouncing Your Name Wrong? LinkedIn Built a Solution!

Do you have one of those names? When you were a kid, while the teacher took attendance, there was a slight pause before reading your name, followed by a complete mess of what you thought should be an obvious pronunciation. And then it continued through the years. MCs, announcers, even your own friends completely mutilate your name, and they always find new, unique ways to do it.

Your professional life isn’t immune to these awkward situations either. When a recruiter calls for the first time, they slowly try pronouncing it three different ways until you finally interrupt and correct them. In an interview, your client-to-be confidently calls you something completely wrong… how and when are you going to correct this? Do you accept that this is your name for the duration of the contract?

A hard-to-pronounce name will never rule you out of jobs or hurt your chances of getting an interview. It does come with some frustrating moments in your career, though, so what can you do about it? The first-place recruiters, clients or employers learn about you is typically your resume, so why not start there? Resume experts have recommended a number of tactics:

  • Including an easier to pronounce “nickname” (this only works for a first name)
  • Writing out your name fuh-nEt-i-klee underneath the actual spelling
  • Including relatable tips on how to say your name (ex. sounds like _____________ )

You can also just include the address of your LinkedIn profile because the professional social network has stepped in to save the day!

LinkedIn’s Name Pronunciation Tool

Back in July, LinkedIn released a new tool that they say helps employers create a good first impression and build an inclusive workplace. As a bonus, it helps you minimize the many variations you hear of your name! The tool is extremely easy to use and quick to set-up, but you will need the LinkedIn mobile app to get started.

From the app, simply go to your profile and select to edit it. You’ll see an option by your name that says “Name Pronunciation”. From there, you can record yourself saying your name, slowly and clearly, as long as it fits within a 10 second timeframe. Now when anybody views your profile, whether in an app or a browser, a speaker icon will appear beside your name. When clicked, the user will hear exactly how your name should be said.

If you haven’t already, set-up your LinkedIn name pronunciation today. If you have one of those names, leave a comment in your resume or highlight in your LinkedIn profile, letting visitors know how easy it is to say your name properly.

LinkedIn's Name Pronunciation Tool

The Impressive Physical Security at a Google Data Centre

We all expect that Google has layers of cloud security to prevent hackers from accessing the exabytes of data it stores. As one of the world’s largest cloud providers, they need to stand by their name and protect their clients. But have you ever thought about the effort they put into protecting their physical facilities.

Google Cloud Platform recently shared a video highlighting their security systems and it appears that getting access to their servers is an impossible mission that would make Ethan Hunt nervous! With six layers of security starting the moment you approach the gates, and using technology you probably didn’t even know existed, these fortresses are locked down to the max. Check it out!

Regional Job Market Update for Toronto, Ontario

Brendhan Malone By Brendhan Malone,
Vice-President, Central Canada at Eagle

Toronto, Ontario CanadaCOVID-19 has spared almost no business and the IT job market in Toronto is no exception. While it has certainly been spared some of the devastating consequences of other industries like the airline, hotel, and hospitalities, it has not been without pain and hardship of its own.

We’ve seen a mix of reactions and strategies from organizations to get through this turmoil, and it all depends on the company’s individual circumstances. While some are able and willing to use this time to accelerate their digital transformation and IT systems others are simply not financially able to, depending on where IT fits within their business and the impact of COVID.

Overall, though, there are technology employment trends that are standing out, many of which are the result of COVID-19 adjustment strategies. For example:

  • There is an increased demand for security resources as companies deal with the challenges associated with a remote workforce and the security challenges associated with keeping data secure from so many remote locations.
  • The demand for resources skilled in data analysis and analytics is expected to continue, if not rise.  Companies are competing to better understand how their customers operate in this reality.  Data positions are in high demand and this looks to continue.
  • Web-based projects continue to be on the rise, with UI and UX developers being sought after throughout all industries.

As stated, the outlook for IT jobs in Toronto is rosier than many other industries and locations.  Jobs grew in Ontario in June and July and IT far outpaced the median here. Specifically in Toronto, employers are continuing to recognize the strength of talent that’s out there. Once again, CBRE ranked Toronto the 4th best city in North America for tech talent in 2020, citing an overall 5-year employment growth of 36.5% and 5-year wage growth of 11.2%.

Part of the city’s success is due to the thousands of immigrant tech workers choosing to come here rather than the US, and Toronto is benefitting from that trend. Policy south of the border is encouraging more immigrants from Silicon Valley to make the Great White North their home, and leading companies are following the talent, choosing Toronto for their headquarters.

As we all band together to get through these tough times, the future remains bright in the Toronto IT market.  The expectation that organizations will continue to invest in IT in Toronto means the demand for top talent will remain high. That said, competition for contracts is also strong, so if you’re an IT contractor navigating your way through tough times, my advice is to continue expanding your networks and talking to recruiters. Companies who are hiring are doing so quickly, meaning the contractors who are top of mind and keeping their skills fresh are the ones most likely to get the gig.

Top 10 Data and Analytics Tech Trends, According to Gartner

Top 10 Data and Analytics Tech Trends, According to Gartner

Data, analytics and artificial intelligence are some of the hottest topics today and there is little doubt that they are going to continue to grow throughout the decade. They present outstanding career opportunities, including a variety of paths for specialization.

Now as we are a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner monitored how companies have been using the technologies and recently published some trends they’re seeing, as well as predictions for where the industry will go in the next few years. Here’s a brief summary of their top data and analytics tech trends:

  1. Smarter, Faster, More Responsible AI: Machine learning, optimization, natural language processing, reinforcement learning and distributed learning are all helping companies through the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s just the start. Gartner predicts that by 2024, 25% of organizations will shift from piloting to operationalizing AI.
  2. Decline of the Dashboard: Rather than static, predefined dashboards, users will be working with dynamic data stories to see the most relevant insights based on their context, role and use.
  3. Decision Intelligence: This brings together several disciplines, including decision management and decision support, and Gartner predicts that by 2023, more than a third of large organizations will have analysts practicing decision intelligence.
  4. X Analytics: Referring to a range of different structured and unstructured content (ex. text analytics, video analytics, audio analytics, etc.), X Analytics will help identify, predict and plan for future crises.
  5. Augmented Data Management: These products will continue to improve as machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques help optimize operations, and metadata is used for powering dynamic systems.
  6. Cloud is a Given: Gartner predicts that in two years, 90% of data and analytics innovation will depend on public cloud services. They note that “Data and analytics leaders need to prioritize workloads that can exploit cloud capabilities and focus on cost optimization when moving to cloud.”
  7. Data and Analytics Worlds Collide: As the two lines between data and analytics blur and their capabilities continue to interact and collaborate, we’ll begin to see new roles for the people and processes that support them.
  8. Data Market Places and Exchanges: More and more organizations are either selling or buying data using formal online data marketplaces, and these platforms will consolidate third-party data offerings to reduce costs.
  9. Blockchain in Data and Analytics: Gartner expects that ledger database management systems will provide a more attractive option for single-enterprise auditing of data sources. In fact, they estimate that by 2021, most permissioned blockchain uses will be replaced by ledger DBMS products.
  10. Relationships Form the Foundation of Data and Analytics Value: Graph technologies and analytics are expected to help more leaders find unknown relationships in data, easier than they can with traditional analytics

Data and analytics are possibly some of the most exciting and fast-moving areas we’re seeing in technology today. Organizations world-wide, across all industries, are investing in different capabilities in order to compete and the need for talent in these areas is increasing. Understanding the trends and where they’re going can help you plan your professional development roadmap and get access to the best contracts in the future.

IT Industry News for June 2020

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee, Co-Founder of Eagle

This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the ICT industry for June 2020. 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 June in previous years … 

Five years ago, in June 2015, Intel paid $16.7 billion for semiconductor company Altera Corp. Cisco paid $635 million for security firm OpenDNS in addition to picking up OpenStack company, PistonCloud Computing. Microsoft bought 6Wunderkinder, maker of task management app Wunderlist; Ricoh Canada bought Graycon Group a professional services firm headquartered in Calgary; and finally, IBM bought OpenStack company Blue Box Group.

June 2016 saw Microsoft buy LinkedIn for a whopping $2.6 billion. There were other billion dollar deals this month too, Salesforce paid $2.8 billion for e-commerce platform maker Demandware and Amazon announced an extra $3 billion investment in its India operations. Other significant deals included Daetwyler Holdings AG paying more than $877 million for Raspberry Pi maker Premier Farnell Plc; Red Hat paid $568 million for API management software company 3Scale; and OpenText paid $315 million for HP’s Customer Communication Management products. Other noteworthy deals included an investment group’s purchase of Dell’s software arm; Microsoft bought natural language start up Wand Labs; and Samsung bought cloud computing company Joyent. Also, Google Capital announced its first investment in a public company, investing $46 million in Care.com, an online personal services marketplace platform.

Three years ago, in June 2017 Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Westcon-Comstar’s American business was bought by Synnex for approximately $800 million. US fintech provider, Fiserv purchased British financial services technology firm, Monitise for $88.7 million. Microsoft purchased Israeli cloud startup, Cloudyn, for a price between $50 million and $70 million. Rackspace bought TriCore to increase Rackspace’s business from customers who want help running their critical applications.

June 2018 saw a fair bit of M&A activity, the biggest deal seeing Synnex pay $2.43 billion for call centre company Convergys and AT&T pay $1.6 billion for advertising tech company AppNexus.  Palo Alto Networks paid $300 million for Security company Evident.io; PayPal shelled out $120 million for fraud detection startup Simility; Splunk paid $120 million for incident management platform company VictorOps; Ribbon Communication paid $120 million for Edgewater Networks; and Sharp shelled out $36 million for Toshibas PC business. Other companies out shopping include Cisco who bought WiFi analytics company July Systems; IBM bought maintenance and repair company Oniqua and Shopify bought app company Return Magic.

Last year, June 2019 saw some significant M&A deals with the Salesforce acquisition of Tableau for $1.7 billion the largest deal of the month.  Infinion Technologies paid $10 billion for Cypress Semiconductor; Google paid $2.6 billion for data analytics company Looker; Capgemini shelled out $3.6 billion for engineering company Altran and in the robotics world, Blue Prism paid $100 million for Thoughtonomy.  Other companies with smaller buys included Apple picking up the assets of Drive.ai and Twitter buying machine learning startup Fabula AI.

Which brings us back to the present …

June 2020 was the fourth month into the pandemic and the fallout continues, the Canadian Federal government announced increased spending in the last 4 months that is higher than their usual annual budget, and Canadian debt passed $1 trillion … hence a recent downgrade in credit rating.  A quick look at reports around the world show unemployment levels and GDP impact that according to the OECD makes this recession the worst in nearly a century.

Companies are still making acquisitions and in June we saw IBM pick up cybersecurity vendor Spanugo; Apple bought device management company Fleetsmith: And here in Canada, Bell sold off 25 of its data centres to Equinox, to build its war chest for the upcoming Spectrum auction; VMware bought anti-malware company Lastline; and there were a couple of smaller deals that caught my eye in the full report.

Other companies in the news, include Deloitte, Accenture, DXC and At&T who are all announcing layoffs.  Dell seems to be strengthening its position as the #1 in the server business and Microsoft has decided to get out of the physical retail space, and sell its gear online only.

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 July 2020 industry news in just about a month’s time.

Walk Fast and Smile.

The Popularity and Salaries of Programming, Scripting and Markup Languages According to the Stack Overflow 2020 Developer Survey

Every year, Stack Overflow surveys tens of thousands of developers from around the world to get a feel on trends in the industry, including popular technologies, salaries and employment, as well as to learn more about developers’ intentions and behaviours. The 2020 Results were released recently and one could spend hours exploring the various numbers and statistics they report.

One topic that tends to be of high interest for our readers is trends about the hottest programming, scripting and markup languages, and Stack Overflow has no shortage of data there. So, here’s a summary of what we found most interesting in terms of language.

The Most Popular Languages Among Professional Developers

Stack Overflow surveyed those who both develop as a hobby and professionally, and these numbers were provided as a total, as well as just for professionals. Among professional developers’ responses, there was no surprise that JavaScript remains at the top of the list, followed by HTML/CSS, SQL, Python and Java.  Stack Overflow also noted “moderate gains for TypeScript, edging out C in terms of popularity. Additionally, Ruby, once in the top 10 of this list as recently as 2017, has declined.”

Most Popular Programming Languages
Stack Overflow 2020 Developer Survey: Most Popular Programming Languages

Most Loved, Dreaded and Wanted Languages

Another common section in the annual Stack Overflow survey is where they go beyond the most used languages and understand what developers actually enjoy working with. Stack Overflow defines a “Loved” language as one that developers are currently using and express interest in continuing to use. Dreaded languages are the opposite — developers are using it but did not express interest in continuing to use it. And, wanted languages are those developers are not using, but would like to.

A few interesting observations Stack Overflow makes are that Rust continues to be the most loved and it also jumped up in the list of most wanted languages. More notably, TypeScript surpassed Python this year, taking the #2 spot in the Most Loved list, and Go jumped five spots on that list compared to last year.

Most Loved, Dreaded and Wanted Languages
Stack Overflow 2020 Developer Survey: Most Loved, Dreaded and Wanted Languages

The Programming, Scripting and Markup Languages with the Highest Salaries

The charts below show global salary averages of respondents who use each language, as well as the average salaries in the United States. Globally, Perl tops the list, which Stack Overflow points out may be related to the fact it’s also one of the most dreaded languages, and employers need to compensate for that. It’s interesting to note that salaries in the United States are significantly higher than global averages — the top language in the United States (Scala) brings in a salary almost double that of the top language globally.

Salaries Based on Language Used
Stack Overflow 2020 Developer Survey: Global salary averages of respondents who use each language

The Federal Government’s Incredible Tech Accomplishment and What It Means for the Future

David O'Brien By David O’Brien,
Senior Vice President, Business Development at Eagle

The Federal Government's Incredible Tech Accomplishment and What It Means for the Future

Government projects can go off the rails, creep over budget, miss delivery dates, and result in both unhappy clients and vendors. Unfortunately, these are the IT stories that make the headlines over and over and yes, with projects like the Phoenix Pay system, they rightfully infuriate taxpayers everywhere, and nobody suffers more than the civil servants who miss cheques and spend countless hours “fixing” their pay. However, nobody ever hears of the many, successful and game changing Government projects that are implemented on time and within budget. They suffer media-wise from what I call the headline we never see “Plane Lands Safely” syndrome.

There have been a number of pandemic-related positive tech stories and we featured a selection of them on the Talent Development Centre. But perhaps there are none more impactful than that of the Federal Government’s ability to get benefits, most notably CERB and others related, in record time into the hands of many desperate Canadians as the economy screeched to a halt and layoffs mounted.

Hearing the stories from executives from both SSC and CRA about the incredible path towards getting benefits to Canadians in time of need in a record time, I feel the need to share that from an IT project implementation perspective, efforts like the CERB, wage subsidy and others would normally take at least 9-12 months. Instead in this case, they were mandated to be done in less than 3 weeks. These are just a few of the facts, stories and lessons learned in a huge government tech initiative that took place in people kitchens, basements and rec rooms, complete with the background sounds of dogs barking and kids crying as remote teams and resources got under way. The primary departments involved were SSC, CRA and CBSA.

  • Starting on March 13th, CRA had to work with partners like Cisco to get 20,000 then 40,000 and finally 60,000 employees plus many consultants secure remote access. Having just finished building the tax year platforms, they now had to build what they thought initially would be digital access to maybe 2 million people in 16 days.
  • With geography and workday in mind, work would begin early in the morning in the Maritimes, and then throughout the day to Ontario and Quebec, then the Prairies and BC, and back at night to workers in Ontario and Quebec. It was an all-out push to maximize effort.
  • With a primary team of 153 and many of their partners like IBM, Cisco, Oracle and many independent consultants, they would work in teams throughout the day with many meetings/calls focused on how to build system capacity to go from maybe 2 million people and then 4 million people. In reality, they had no idea how many would ultimately need to connect for the various benefits and subsidies.
  • 23 different war rooms with 124 people were set up for conference calls and meetings representing the different service lines from SSC and all the applications needed with a common but near impossible goal of going live by April 6th!
  • Teams would literally build all day and test all night, working 24/7 and leveraging infrastructure from CBSA, performance testing to see if they could break the system.

Many went 2 months without a day off, working 16-hour days to deliver the biggest ever government program in 3 weeks. All of his was done in the middle of tax season where they had just built and were releasing new functionality, and all the while figuring out how to get everyone working from home securely.

What were some of the lessons learned by senior government executives intimately involved in this massive effort that were shared?

  • People — both consultants and employees — partners like IBM and other vendors, as well as sister departments SSC, CBSA were fantastic and true partners and are absolutely critical to success.
  • They learned they had a LOT of processes they did not need and dropped, focusing on making progress, not on mistakes. In doing so, they realized what processes were truly essential and which weren’t.
  • Massive cultural changes around, of course, the ability to work from home and collaborate seamlessly. Perhaps as we look to the future, the Feds may open hiring across Canada to get the best, as opposed to focusing on centralizing everyone in Ottawa and commuting to an office tower.
  • Secure remote access is now mission critical for nearly 100% of the Federal workforce and budgets will be moved towards that.
  • For many involved, it was a transformational and eye-opening experience and the most rewarding work they had ever done in their careers. It might change government for the good in the longer term.
  • Flattening the organization led to good and more critically quick decisions, adding trust and autonomy without adding risk.

With a stable network and a full build in less than 3 weeks, the CERB alone saw 6000 applicants in the first minute on April 6th,1,000,000 applicants the first day and in the few days following over 7,000,0000 million Canadians receiving their emergency benefits in 3 -5 days!

A truly remarkable Federal Government IT project success story that needs to be heard. Perhaps now the story and headline is: “Full Plane with a Half Engine in Hurricane Atmospherics and Two Hands Tied Behind Their Back… Lands Safely”

Congratulations all.

Tech Wins at Companies Across Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tech Wins at Companies Across Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The news is full of depressing stories, political controversy and plenty of fear. Certainly, these are tough times and many people around the world are suffering in ways nobody would have predicted a mere few months ago. Still, there are good stories around the world, coming in all shapes and forms.

Companies are moving at a fast pace to keep up and adapt. Yes, there have been layoffs and the worst may still be ahead in some organizations, but when we look deeper, there are many encouraging, feel-good stories coming from this crisis.

Here at Eagle, we had a huge win within our back-office team. Most of the company has worked in a predominately electronic environment for many years with the ability to work virtually anywhere and an existing work-at-home program made the move from office to home seamless.  However, our Accounting Team still had a few processes that depended on paper, creating a reliance to work in a centralized location. This pandemic has been an opportunity to completely transition from paper. Impressively, the team built and implemented new processes in a matter of days! Not only does this result in a positive environmental impact, but the morale boost will be long-term. Even after offices open up, this team will now have the option to work-from-home, impacting their work/life balance in a positive way.

Eagle’s story is just one, minor example of using technology to make improvements in the wake of a crisis. Eagle’s founder, Kevin Dee, set out to find more examples and published a series of LinkedIn Posts highlighting tech wins across Canada. Here are examples from three very different Canadian organizations who all used technology to overcome unique, challenging situations:

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

It’s unusual to see the CRA in a good news story, but credit is certainly due given what these public servants pulled off for the country. When Justin Trudeau announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in mid-March, the news brought relief to millions of Canadians, but stress to the employees at CRA. There was no existing system to manage the volumes and speed at which this system needed to deliver.

Still, the CRA team was able to deliver a system in three weeks that not only processed the volume of applicants in a timely manner but also introduced direct deposit payments to banks, which the CRA had not done previously, other than as a pilot. In the end, this helped millions of Canadians and gave the government a high-profile story about a successful, fast implementation.

TD Bank

TD Bank also successfully used technology in two areas to lead the way through the COVID-19 crisis. The first comes from their Trader Group, which was housed on a massive floor of a high rise building, a situation screaming of health risks at the onset of the pandemic.

Trading was soaring as the markets responded to the pandemic so work had to continue. Most companies were sending their people home, or at least splitting teams into smaller groups, and TD Bank knew that they needed to act quickly and effectively in order to compete. They assessed all of the risks and obstacles of suddenly sending their teams home, including security, hardware options, process issues and communication issues. In the end, they managed to pull off the impossible and got 300 of 357 traders home, replicating a high-tech trading floor in hundreds of residential dining rooms and spare bedrooms.

The bank also pulled off a similar feat with its 15 call centres located across North America, employing 9000 people. They moved 95% of those people to a home office and kept the call center operations going.  The logistics involved were huge, but the bank was able to overcome all of them.

In both of these examples, TD Bank transformed the way they do business, which is rare in such a traditional industry. Similar to Eagle’s story, both their Trader Group and call centres have the option to work remotely long after this crisis is over, boosting employee morale and saving them real estate costs.

TC Energy

The final example comes from the Oil & Gas sector in Calgary and demonstrates how proper planning pays off. For the past couple years, TC Energy, which has approximately 8,000 employees – 50% of whom are in Calgary, has been working on a digital transformation project. The project embraced big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence while migrating systems to the cloud.

Because of this preparation and embracing the latest technologies, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, TC Energy was successful at moving to a work-from-home environment in just one weekend. Furthermore, their ability to hire and onboard staff has barely been affected, a major stumbling blocks for many large companies.

Adversity has potential to bring out the best in individuals and companies alike and these examples are a handful of the stories we can find all around us. As we work through tough times, continue looking for positive stories and recognizing those who are overcoming hurdles every day. It’s this attitude that will help you come out stronger on the other side.

IT Industry News for March 2020

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee, Co-Founder of Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on April 3rd, 2020

This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the Tech industry for March 2020. 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 March in previous years …

Five years ago in March 2015 HP paid $3 billion for Aruba Networks; Lexmark paid $1 billion for customer management software company Kofax; eCommerce company Rakuten paid $410 million for ebook marketplace Overdrive; Cheetah Mobile paid $58 million for mobile ad network MobPartner; 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 paid $10.4 billion for Bright House Networks.

March 2016 saw the $3 billion sale of Dell Services to NTT, a direct result of Dell’s IBM logorestructuring following the recent purchase of EMC. IBM was out bolstering its services business with a couple of acquisitions; the first was Optevia, a UK-based integrator focused on Microsoft Dynamics; and the second was Bluewolf Group, a global Salesforce consulting partner. Montreal-based Yellow Pages picked up Toronto-based Juice Mobile, primarily for its mobile marketing capability. Another Toronto company, Influitive, raised some cash ($8.2 million) and bought a couple of mobile app companies, Ironark Software and Triggerfox; and Netsuite bought IOity solutions, a cloud-based manufacturing software company.

Three years ago, in March 2017, Intel bought Israeli computer vision company, Mobileye, Amazon Web Servicesfor a hefty $15.3 billion. HPE bought storage solution provider, Nimble, for $1 billion. Amazon Web Services, a public cloud infrastructure provider, acquired Thinkbox Software, a company that provides software for managing media rendering workloads. Mozilla acquired Pocket, a startup that developed an app for saving articles and other content.

In March 2018 there was a significant amount of M&A activity.  The deal of the month saw Salesforce logoSalesforce pay $6.5 billion for cloud integration company Mulesoft.  Plantronics paid $2 billion for unified communications company Polycom; and Amazon paid $1 billion for smart home company Ring.  Other deals saw eBay shell out $700 million for the commerce platform Qoo10; Cognizant buy Bolder Healthcare Solutions; HPE Aruba buy Cape Networks; VMWare buy security company, E8; and Deloitte pick up API Talent in New Zealand.  It is also nice to see Avaya buying Spoken Communications after leaving Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Last year in March 2019, the big deal of the month saw Nvidia shell out $6.9 billion for data centre solutions vendor, Mellanox.  F5 Networks paid $670 million for up and coming competitor NGINX; and Juniper Networks paid $40 million for AI startup Mist Systems.  Some other deals this month were Apple’s acquisition of machine learning startup LaserLike; Veritas’ acquisition of analytics company Aptare; Mastercard bought security company Ethoca; and Spotify added to its podcast capability with the purchase of Parcast.  Other companies in the news included Lyft, which was the first of several high-profile tech companies with planned IPOs in 2019; SAP who announced a major round of layoffs and SAS who joined the growing number of companies investing big in AI, announcing a $1billion investment.

Which brings us back to the present …

In March 2020, the big news is all about the impact around the world of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The economic and employment fallout have been dramatic, and there is significant uncertainty about how quickly people can get back to work.  So the messages for the period are stay home, wash your hands and don’t touch your face!  Stay safe people!

There was some M&A activity worthy of mention, including the $34.9 billion bid for HP, and HP logosubsequent withdrawal by Xerox.  No doubt that will resurface at some point in the future!  Veritas Capital is buying DXC’s Health and Human Services business for $5 billion; Private Equity firm Hellman & Friedman is paying $1.15 billion for software security testing  company Checkmarx; Palo Alto Networks is buying CloudGenix  for $420 million; and Accenture is paying $139 million for security consulting company, Context Information Security.  Other deals saw Watchguard buy Panda Security and NetApp buy Talon Software.

In the wake of so many layoffs there are bright spots around the world as some companies are staffing up.  A couple of notable announcements include Amazon, who announced they would be hiring an additional 100,000 people and increasing wages for their hourly workers; and Walmart who announced they would hire 150,000 people.

That is it for my monthly look at what was happening in the technology space over the last month, compared to the same month in previous years.  I’ll be back in about a month’s time, until then … walk fast and smile!