Talent Development Centre

IT Industry News for October 2020

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee, Co-Founder of Eagle

This post first appeared on the Eagle Blog on November 10th, 2020

This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for October 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 previous year’s Octobers

 Five years ago, in October 2015, Dell paid $26 billion to buy storage company EMC. Interestingly, 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.

October 2016 did not see 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.

Three years ago, 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.

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. On the M&A front, IBM paid $34 billion for Red Hat to increase its game in the cloud systems arena. 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 paid $173 million for security startup Redlock; Computacentre paid $70 million for FusionStorm to grow its consulting business in North America; GTT Communications paid $40 million for Access Point to add to its network; and Fortinet paid $18 million for ZoneFox to improve its threat analytics capability. There was plenty more M&A activity with big names involved. Some of them included: Google (chatbot company Onwards); Accenture (DAZ systems); DXC (agodesign); Samsung (Zhilabs); CapGemini (June 21); and NTT Data (Sierra Systems).

Last year, in October 2019, the largest deal was in the data center space, with Digital Realty paying $8.4 billion for Interxion; there was a smaller data centre deal that saw Equinix pay $175 million for 3 data centres from Axtel; and a third datacenter deal involved ServerFarm buying SNINES. Another big dollar deal saw private equity company Thoma Bravo offer $3.4 billion for security platform company Sophos. Big name companies out shopping included Intel buying Pivotal’s Edge Computing platform; Accenture bought Bow & Arrow, a company that helps its clients find new markets; Microsoft bought Mover, a company that helps clients move to the cloud; and Telus paid $700 million for ADT’s Canadian Security Services business. Some other deals included network company Cienna buying performance and analytics firm Centina; Sailpoint paid $37.5 million for two cloud security startups: Tech Data bought DLT Systems; and Trend Micro picked up security company Cloud Conformity.

Which brings us back to the present

 There was plenty of activity in October 2020. The world is still in recession but there are indicators that things are improving. Employment numbers around the world are getting better, although they still have “a ways to go”. The prospect of a vaccine brings some optimism and the US election has resulted in some positive sentiments around the world, although the US is still a divided entity and we will see what comes next.

In a pandemic it may be surprising to some, but the acquisition space has been quite active as companies continued their strategic initiatives or took advantage of struggling assets. This month there were some big deals, with AMD’s $35 billion purchase of semiconductor company Xilinx being the biggest deal of the month. Another semiconductor deal saw South Korea’s SK Hynix pay $9 billion for Intel’s NAND flash memory division; and Juniper shelled out almost half a billion dollars ($450 million) for an AI startup, 128 Technology.

Other deals saw Veeam pay $150 million for backup and security company Kasten; and Cisco paid $100 million for application security company Portshift. Accenture continued its 2020 acquisition blitz with several buys: Houston-based Myrtle Consulting Group, AWS consulting company Enimbos; old Ottawa consulting friends Avenai; and New Zealand cloud migration company Zag. Cognizant bought AWS & IoT company Bright Wolf; Ping Identity bought block-chain security startup ShoCard; and ride sharing company Via bought Fleetonomy, a fleet management software company.

That is what caught my attention in tech news for October 2020 … until next month, walk fast and smile … wash your hands and MASK UP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *