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IT Industry News for October 2018

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on November 3, 2018
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This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for October 2018.

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 Octobers …

Oracle logo a large software company originally noted for its databaseFive years ago in October 2013 Oracle announced two acquisitions, both “cloud-based companies: Big Machines (pricing and quote date for sales and orders) and Compendium (a content marketing company).  Other “names” out shopping included Avaya buying the software division of ITNavigator for its call centre and social media monitoring software; Rackspace bought ZeroVM a tech company with a software solution for the cloud; Intuit bought consulting company Level Up Analytics, primarily to acquire its talent; VMWare bought “desktop as a service” company Desktone; Netsuite bought human capital software company TribeHR; and Telus enhanced its mobile offering with the purchase of Public Mobile.

HP logoIn October 2014 we saw a new trend, with two public companies both choosing to split into smaller entities.  HP announced it was creating a business service focused Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and personal computing & printer company HP Inc.  Symantec also chose to split into two independent public companies, one focused on business and consumer security products, the other on its information management portfolio.  Other interesting news saw IBM pay $1.5 Billion to GlobalFoundries so it would take away its money losing semiconductor manufacturing business.  NEST bought competitor Revolv; EMC bought three cloud companies: The Cloudscaling Group, Maginatics and Spanning Cloud Apps; and in Korea, Kakao and Daum merged to form a $2.9 billion internet entity.

dell logoOctober 2015 brought some big deals with the biggest seeing Dell offer $26 billion to buy storage company EMC.  Interestingly, an EMC subsidiary, VMWare was also out shopping, picking up a small email startup, Boxer.  In another deal involving “big bucks”, Western Digital paid $19 billion for storage competitor Sandisk.  IBM were also writing a big cheque, paying $2 billion in a big data/internet of things play for The Weather Network (minus the TV operations), and IBM also picked up a storage company, Cleversafe.  Cisco paid $522.5 million for cybersecurity firm Lancope; LogMeIn paid $$110 million for LastPass; Trend Micro paid $350 million for next generation intrusion prevention systems company HP Tippingpoint; Red Hat picked up deployment task execution and automation company Ansible; Vasco Data Security paid $85 million for solution provider Silanis; and Apple bought a speech processing startup, VocalIQ.  As industries converged, it was interesting to see Securitas pay $350 million for Diebold’s US Electronic Security business.

In October 2016 there was not a lot of M&A action but Qualcomm paid $47 Billion for NXP Semiconductor.  The only other sizable deal saw Wipro pay $500 million for IT cloud consulting company Appirio.  Google picked up Toronto-based video marketing startup FameBit and Pivot Technology Solutions picked up Ottawa-based Teramach.

Cisco logoLast year in October 2017 Cisco paid $1.9 Billion for Broadsoft to improve Cisco’s software capabilities.  The only other significant deal saw Telus beef up its service provider capability with a $250 million purchase of Xavient.

Which brings us back to the present …

October 2018 was an interesting month, with some significant M&A activity and the sad passing of yet another tech pioneer, Paul Allen, who cofounded Microsoft with Bill Gates.

IBM logoOn the M&A front, IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat was a game changer, leaping IBM to the top of the pack in the cloud systems arena… until the next mega deal!

It is a rare month when a $2 billion deal is eclipsed, but this month two of them look small next to the IBM deal!  In the red hot cybersecurity space PE company, Thoma Bravo paid $2.1 billion for Imperva.  Twillio also shelled out $2 billion to acquire email company SendGrid rounding out their API offerings.

Other deals saw Honeywell bolster its IoT offerings, paying $493 million for Transnorm; Palo Alto Networks is paying $173 million for security startup Redlock; Computacentre is paying $70 million for FusionStorm to grow its consulting business in North America; GTT Communications is paying $40 million for Access Point to add to its network; and Fortinet is spending $18 million for ZoneFox to improve its threat analytics capability.

ACCENTURE LOGOThere was plenty more M&A activity with big names involved.  Some of them include: Google (chatbot company Onwards); Accenture (DAZ systems); DXC (agodesign); Samsung (Zhilabs); CapGemini (June 21); and NTT Data (Sierra Systems).

Other companies in the news include Google who are closing their Google+ social network amid security concerns and Amazon who announced 1,000 new jobs in the UK.

On the economy and jobs front the news was generally positive around the world.  The US economy continues to steam roller along creating skill shortages and positive economic indicators; Canada’s economic indicators were generally positive and all around the world we hear of job growth and some areas of skills shortages.  Interesting that Japan is considering an incentive to bring blue collar labor to the country, and announced record numbers of women in the workforce among widespread labour shortages. Even when indicators drop, like the CEO confidence indicator it is still heavily in the positive … so CEOs around the world are generally confident, just marginally less confident than last month!

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 November 2018 tech news in just about a month’s time.

 Until then, Walk Fast and Smile!

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