Blockbuster IT Acquisitions of 2011
Filed under: News and Trends
Every large, established company in the IT marketplace knows that it is time to get in the cloud or die trying. That means it's also time for the big fish to gobble up the small, or the old guys to snap up the startups. With competition heating up, the amount of money it takes to get hold of these innovators has pushed past the clouds, well into the stratosphere. Some acquisitions were steals, others, career-enders. In the end, the big players all dipped deep in their wallets this year with the hope of being the best positioned for the year ahead. Here's a look at the blockbuster deals of 2011
HP Buys Autonomy
The acquisition of British company Autonomy is just one of the surprising moves that got former HP CEO Leo Apotheker run out on a rail last September. HP paid an unbelievable $12 billion dollars for the "Meaning Based Computer" leader, infuriating shareholders and putting smirks on the faces of tech analysts everywhere.
Dell Buys SecureWorks
It never formally announced the figure, but Dell's SEC filings this spring showed that it coughed up $612 million to gobble up SecureWorks for the cloud and SaaS capabilities, not to mention adding a major MSP to its roster.
Compuware Buys Dynatrace
Compuware dropped a huge (and probably not coincidental) $256 million to buy up competitor Dynatrace, consolidating the attractive APM market. The move should give Compuware a bigger capability to help customers dynamically manage workloads. As for Dynatrace's workload, it will continue to be distributed across its 180 employees worldwide, who will stay with the new company.
CA Buys ITKO
CA Technologies laid out a cool $330 million in cash to pick up Interactive TKO, a provider of largely cloud-focused service simulation solutions. The intention is to lock down the whole service delivery lifecycle and increase productivity by eliminating silos and other centralized data locations.
Oracle Buys RightNow
Oracle bought a $1.5 billion piece of the cloud by acquiring RightNow Technologies. The move is likely a response to SalesForce and its tear of acquisitions this year. Oracle should be better poised to compete in an increasingly SaaS marketplace as a result of the deal.
Microsoft Buys Skype
Microsoft, becoming more innovative in its attempts to stay relevant, bought Skype for $8.5 billion dollars. Charles Songhurst and other Microsoft executives have quietly suggested that the core VOIP function will probably stay free, while more business-oriented features could now come with a price tag.
Apple Buys C3 technologies
Easily the sexiest mega-acquisition of the year, Apple paid anywhere from $240 million to a possible $1 billion for C3 Technologies. The buy should let Apple navigate away from its custom Google-build mapping iOS and toward a slick, maybe even 3D, interface.
SAP Buys SuccessFactors
Stumbling giant SAP announced that it will buy SuccessFactors for a whopping $3.4 billion. Chasing after Oracle's lead, SAP is staking a lot on adding better cloud presence. The cloud provider is expected to keep its own name and identity, but expectations of the move's likelihood of success are guarded at best.
Best Buy Buys mindSHIFT
Big-box retailer Best Buy continues to make a play as a SMB solutions provider with its purchase of mindSHIFT Technologies. The purchase of the company gives a greater cloud and data center presence to the global electronics chain. The deal went down for $167 million. The service plan will cost you extra.
Thoma Bravo Buys Blue Coat
As more information floats around the cloud, content security becomes increasingly important. This month private equity firm Thoma Bravo shelled out $1.3 billion to take Blue Coat private and nurture the purportedly ailing vendor back to health.
Symantec Buys Clearwell
Security powerhouse Symantec ponied up $390 million to shore up its archiving and backup business with the necessary eDiscovery tools to help customers know where the important data is when the lawyers come knocking.
IBM Buys DemandTec
IBM has announced an agreement to purchase data-analytics company DemandTec. The $440 million purchase puts IBM at the reigns of a cloud-based retail price and promotion product, currently in use at retail mega-chains Wal-Mart and Target.
Salesforce Buys Assistly
In September, Salesforce picked up Assistly for $80 million, mostly in cash. The cloud-based business services company is combining resources, gaining the ability to crawl social media sites, mining all discussions that refer to the client's brand.