IT and managed storage services provider Incentra Solutions has acquired yet another Sun Microsystems solution provider as part of a move to increase the base of customers it can reach with its services.
Incentra, Boulder, Colo., on Thursday said it acquired SSI hubCity, a Metuchen, N.J.-based Sun solution provider, in a deal worth about $6 million, including $4.75 million in cash, 1.37 million restricted shares of stock, and an unsecured three-year note for $250,000.
A CRN report late last year found an acceleration of solution provider acquisitions this year as vendors, service providers, and other VARs look to beef up their channel expertise. SSI brings Incentra a team of 20 people headed by Tom Kuni, president of SSI and one of two co-presidents of Sun's VAR council in 2006. "But more than that, it's the volume of work they do," said Thomas Sweeney, Incentra chairman and CEO. "They don't just fill orders, but bring full solutions." While Incentra, which in addition to its managed services offerings is a major Sun solution provider, can leverage SSI's personnel and customer base to increase product sales, that customer base is also ripe for more services, Sweeney said. "We can broaden the amount of services SSI offers, including first call services and our own managed storage services," he said.
Incentra will also help SSI and its customers tackle IT issues of a number of enterprises with operations spanning the Atlantic , Sweeney said. "SSI has customers with requirements to work across the ocean, but they haven't been able to do it before," he said. "Incentra has offices and people in London , and Tom (Kuni) can extend our capabilities to his customers."
SSI had revenue of about $40 million for the 12 months ended June 30, and is itself the combination of two solution providers. That happened back in late 2003, when Sales Strategy Inc. (SSI), a Sun hardware solution provider, acquired a majority stake in Hub City Media, a software developer. The acquisition gives Incentra a revenue run rate of about $240 million, a size that Sweeney said makes it easier for companies like his to offer a wide range of products and services to enterprise customers. The acquisition of SSI and Helio continues a consolidation of the Sun channel, a move that Sweeney called both good and disconcerting.
"From my perspective, it doesn't bother me in terms of product selling," he said. "It's been happening with many vendors' channels. But for services, I'm not worried. We have better services offerings than 99 percent of our competitors. When we talk to customers about solutions, we can give them real-world experience."
Funding for both the SSI and Helio acquisitions come from a three-year, $12 million note Incentra put in place a few months ago.
The fact that the funding was already in place before the impact of the current credit crunch was too widespread helped the deals go through, Sweeney said. "The credit crunch had an impact on getting the funding," he said. "But what worked in our favor is, the companies we acquired had solid structures, so we were able to get an attractive rate. I wouldn't want to go and try to get it today. We were very fortunate. It will be more difficult going forward. If you want to get financing, and have a solid structure and plan, you will get it. But it will be more expensive going forward." SSI and Helio are only the latest in a string of acquisitions by Incentra as part of a push to bring its services capabilities to a wider part of the channel.
Barracuda Snaps Up Security Vendor NetContinuum
Mon. Sep. 17, 2007
Security vendor Barracuda Networks Monday revealed that it has moved into the Web application firewall market with the acquisition of NetContinuum. For Barracuda, best known for its anti-spam and Web filtering appliances, the acquisition adds a high-end product line that protects Web sites against unauthorized access and theft of customer data, said Ezra Hookano, vice president of North American sales at Barracuda, Campbell , Calif. Terms of the deal, which closed in mid-July, were not disclosed.
"Almost every big-name security issue that's come up in the last six to nine months [from companies such as T.J. Maxx, eBay and Monster.com], all of those things were caused because the Websites themselves were not secure," Hookano said. "We see a lot of smaller and mid-size companies getting pressure from Visa, MasterCard and the others saying that if you're taking credit card numbers and you're not securing that data, you're going to have the liability."
Another major driver for sales of NetContinuum's Web application firewalls is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which calls for e-commerce companies to either submit to a detailed audit or install an application firewall by June 30, 2008, said Stephen Pao, vice president of product management at Barracuda.
Historically, NetContinuum, Santa Clara, Calif. , has sold its security products to large enterprise and government customers through a channel cadre of less than 100 high-end systems integrators and VARs. In contrast, Barracuda's worldwide channel force of approximately 3,000 solution providers focuses primarily on small and mid-size businesses, giving Barracuda the opportunity to push NetContinuum products out through a broader channel base, Barracuda executives said.
While Barracuda is working now to integrate NetContinuum partners into its channel program and will continue to rely on them for sales to enterprise accounts, executives also said Barracuda will be looking at ways to make NetContinuum's technology easier and less expensive to deploy so that channel partners can roll it out to smaller customers.
"What Barracuda hopes to do is bridge the gap between what used to be a difficult, enterprise-focused sale and make that available to the small and mid-size business, which in our opinion will open up opportunities for SMB-focused VARs," Hookano said. A "fair amount" of training will be required to educate solution providers on the new technology and the market it plays in, Hookano said.
In the meantime, Barracuda will work jointly with Barracuda partners that have sales opportunities for NetContinuum technology. The majority of NetContinuum's 75 employees have joined Barracuda. One notable exception is NetContinuum CEO Varun Nagaraj, who is "seeking to go do other things," Pao said. Barracuda will be branding the NetContinuum Web Application Firewall and NetContinuum Application Gateway under the Barracuda name, Pao said.
VAR Acquisition Glitter Is Not All Gold
Wed. Sep. 19, 2007
As increasing numbers of solution providers get acquired by vendors, equity firms, and their peers, many are asking themselves what they need to do when the time is right to acquire or to be acquired.
One solution provider, who just completed his first acquisition, wants to remind his peers that the process requires a lot of attention to details well beyond what is offered by the selling party. Dave Sobel, CEO of EvolveTech, a Fairfax, Va.-based provider of managed infrastructure support services to small and midsize businesses in the Washington, D.C. metro area, thought he had the acquisition of a small solution provider all wrapped up, but instead found out that there were a lot of issues that could have been avoided with a bit of experience. "The process was painful, but it exposed flaws in the acquisition process," Sobel said. "But I guess that's a positive. We learned a lot."
Sobel said he was approached in May by a small solution provider looking to sell its customer base and provide employment for its staff. "The deal sounded good," he said. "They had a good staff with some skills we didn't have." Never having done an acquisition before, Sobel started doing a lot of research on the process and hired a lawyer to help. One of the results from the preliminary research was to decide to do the deal based on realized revenue, which meant that the purchase price would be determined based on the estimated revenue that EvolveTech makes as a result of the acquisition. The payment for the acquisition was structured to be paid out over three years, with yearly audits of the incremental revenue potentially changing the payment terms. "So even if the deal totally went to Hell, we wouldn't pay for something we didn't get," Sobel said. "So on paper, it seemed like we did a pretty good job. The deal structure protected us."
Unfortunately, issues related to the acquisition started accumulating after the deal was signed, issues that should have been addressed as part of a more lengthy due diligence process, Sobel said. "The seller rushed the deal," he said. "It moved us through the due diligence faster than we wanted. The only way to learn these things is by doing."
One of those issues was the claim by the seller that EvolveTech would be acquiring its contracts and hiring its employees, but not any of the liabilities. The expectation, Sobel said, was that any liabilities to vendors or others that occurred before the day the deal was sealed would not be assumed by his company. "But this became a problem with a customer who owed a lot of money and had become a deadbeat," he said. "They had a track record of not paying before the acquisition, and it's hard to expect all of a sudden they'll start paying after the acquisition. It was only one customer, but it was one of the more valuable customers."
A second issue was EvolveTech's assumption that maintenance contracts related to the acquired customers would be handled in a similar fashion as those that EvolveTech handled in the past. But that ended up not being the case, Sobel said. "When we brought several customers into our regimented management style, we found them to be too chaotic in their maintenance," he said. "That caused a lot more customer churn than we expected." Sobel said that EvolveTech should have gotten involved in the HR issues earlier in the acquisition process.
"I didn't have any control over the HR part," he said. "The seller essentially told its employees that the company was sold. 'You are going to work in this new environment, isn't that great?' He put a positive spin on it, but didn't give the employees advance notice and prepare them. That led to a lot of employee churn. It would have been better if EvolveTech got involved earlier." The issues have made Sobel a bit gun-shy regarding future potential acquisitions. "But I still feel that if the right deal comes along, I'll be interested, but I will be more careful."
The experience also caused Sobel to see the value in smaller acquisitions. "Maybe I'll look at one-man shops, and hire the owner and bring on his customers," he said. Sobel is also not discounting the possibility of being acquired. "I think anyone is silly to say, 'not at all,'" he said. "I won't close the door. But that isn't my end game." Despite the issues, the acquisition was structured in such a way that it has paid off for EvolveTech. "But was it worth the pain and headache?" Sobel said. "Probably not, in the short term."
Forsythe Expands Footprint With IST Deal
Sep. 18, 2007
Solution provider Forsythe Solutions Group earlier this month expanded its security business and took its first international step with the acquisition of Information Security Technology (IST), a St. Paul, Minn.-based solution provider. IST gives Forsythe an expanded presence in the security markets of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and in Ohio , said Richard Zimmermann, vice president of network and security solutions for Forsythe, Skokie , Ill. IST also brings Forsythe its first international presence via offices in Winnipeg , Manitoba ; Calgary , Alberta ; and Vancouver , British Columbia .
"We've been contemplating an international expansion," Zimmermann said. "And we are considering expanding to other countries. It's certainly a part of our growth plan. We're looking to expand in the U.S. and internationally, both organically and through acquisitions."
IST is Forsythe's third acquisition of a security-focused solution provider.
A CRN report late last year found an acceleration of solution provider acquisitions this year as vendors, service providers, and other VARs look to beef up their channel expertise. Forsythe has four main technology focuses, including storage, servers, networking, and security, Zimmermann said. "However, we are finding more and more that security is cutting across all our business," he said.
IST will be known as IST, a Forsythe company, for the near-term, Zimmermann said. However, as was the case with NBG and Telenisus, IST will eventually be absorbed into Forsythe over the next couple of months. Dave Gustafson, president and CEO of IST, is now Forsythe's vice president of security solutions.
IST was a profitable company, Zimmermann said. He would not disclose either the price paid for IST or how the acquisition was funded. Forsythe is continuing to evaluate other possible acquisitions, either to expand its expertise or to expand its geographic reach, Zimmermann said. "We look for companies which are dealing with a lot of the same manufacturers we deal with, and which offer many of the same services we do," he said.
3Com to be acquired by Bain, Huawei for $2 billion: report Friday September 28, 8:34 am ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Communications equipment maker 3Com Corp (Nasdaq: COMS - News) has struck a deal to be bought by China's Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL) and private equity firm Bain Capital for more than $2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The offer values 3Com at more than $5 per share, the Journal said, citing a person familiar with the matter. 3Com shares rose 32.6 percent to $4.88 in pre-market trade. The shares are halted on the Nasdaq pending news.
In March, Marlborough, Massachusetts-based 3Com bought Huawei Technologies' 49 percent stake in H3C, a joint venture between the companies, for $882 million. That deal gave 3Com full ownership of H3C.
Bain Capital is one of world's largest private equity firms. Huawei is China 's largest communications equipment maker.
A deal would be a positive sign for private equity firms, whose deal-making activity has been sharply curtailed by the credit crunch. By teaming up with a corporate partner, Bain will be less reliant on banks for money to fund the deal. A representative of 3Com was not immediately available to comment on the newspaper report. A Bain spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
DAEMC snaps up Berkeley Data Systems
04 October 2007
By Tom Jowitt, Techworld
EMC has acquired Berkeley Data Systems, provider of Mozy Online backup and recovery services.
The move comes amid worries that the growing popularity of social networking websites and corporate demand for Web 2.0 applications, is putting increasing pressure on storage vendors to satisfy demand for online data storage and backup facilities.
EMC has traditionally shied away from the consumer storage market, but it now joins companies such as Seagate Technology, which acquired online storage provider Evault for $185 million last December. Prior to that, Iron Mountain purchased LiveVault for $50 million in 2005.
The purchase of Berkeley gives EMC a valuable foothold in the consumer, Soho (small office home office) and even the SMB space.
EMC did not disclose the purchase price, although it has been previously mooted the purchase price would be in the $76m region. All EMC would say is that the transaction would not have a material impact on its revenues or EPS (earnings per share) for 2007.
Privately-held Berkeley provides Mozy, which offers users a simple way to protect their data. Once it is installed and setup on a user’s computer, backups are automatically performed in the background. Data is transferred whenever the user is connected to the Internet to Mozy’s archive system. It encrypts all files on the user’s computer before transfer, and is able to perform incremental backups.
“Mozy’s technology and online delivery model has proven itself to be one of the industry’s most admired offerings for customers looking to safely and cost-effectively backup and recover their digital information stored on desktops, laptops, and remote office servers,” said Tom Heiser, EMC SVP, Corporate Development and New Ventures.
“We will continue to invest in Mozy’s full portfolio of online backup and recovery services and advance the Mozy brand in the marketplace,” he added.
The two companies inked the buyout agreement Sunday evening and expect to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of 2008. The deal is the latest in a wave of consolidation that's been sweeping the business intelligence industry this year, including Oracle's $3.3 billion buyout of Hyperion in April and Cognos' pending $339 million acquisition of Applix.
Business Objects, headquartered in Paris with significant operations in San Jose , Calif. , itself offers technologies from a number of acquisitions of its own, including reporting software developer Crystal Decisions, performance management software developer Cartesis and financial planning applications vendor SRC Software. The acquisition will require approval from Business Objects' shareholders, as well as from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a number of regulatory agencies in Europe .
In a Monday morning conference call SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said Business Objects will operate as a separate business unit and Business Objects CEO John Schwarz will stay on in that position. SAP and Business Objects executives said a strategic reason for the merger is to help the companies accelerate their efforts to expand sales into midsize markets -- customers with sales less than $1 billion -- through the channel. Schwarz noted that each company has nearly 3,000 channel partners targeting SMB customers, "So the combined [number of] channel partners is more than 5,000."
Msnbc.com of Redmond has acquired Seattle-based news-sharing site Newsvine for an undisclosed price. Newsvine Inc., a startup launched in March 2006, aggregates news from The Associated Press and other media in one web site. It allows people to comment on stories and vote on their importance, which determines stories' placement on the site. People can also write their own columns on the site, which can in turn be read by others.
Many newspapers -- including The New York Times, The Seattle Times and the Seattle-Post Intelligencer -- allow online readers to post stories, with comments, to Newsvine by clicking a "share" button (many newspapers also allow posting to popular sites Digg, Facebook and del.icio.us).
Newsvine will continue to operate as a separate web site following the acquisition, said Charlie Tillinghast, President of MSNBC Interactive News LLC. Newsvine CEO Mike Davidson and his six-person staff will stay in place, he said.
This is msnbc.com's first acquisition of a startup, according to Tillinghast. He said Msnbc.com may be interested in adopting some of Newsvine's user features but said no decisions had been made yet. Newsvine also allows users to clip articles for later reading, create discussion groups around news topics, track online discussions, and get personalized story recommendations. Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Redmond-based Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and NBC Universal Inc. of New York .
BMC snaps up network configuration company 08 October 2007
BMC has acquired Emprisa Networks for its network device configuration technology.
The company said that it would use the Emprisa products to augment its IT process automation and business service management suites. For example, as part of a larger announcement around BMC's Service Automation software suite, the company introduced its Configuration Automation for Networks application, which is based on Emprisa's E-NetAware technology and couples it with BMC's other recent purchase, RealOps' Automation Management Platform.
"We have had partnership activities with them for some time and the technology is a really good fit for our customers," says Herb Van Hook, BMC vice president of business planning. "Emprisa technology is able to look at the network devices as though they are supporting some business services and is able to deal with them holistically as though they are part of a business service."
Industry watchers say the buy will give BMC the network expertise it needs to deliver on its business service management vision. BSM promises to manage the underlying IT infrastructure in such a way that it best supports critical applications and business services. And to do that, BMC needs a view into the network.
"Business services involve software, servers, networks and storage so if you want to control the configuration and capacity of your business services you need to have 'knobs' for each infrastructure area," says Jasmine Noel, principal analyst at Ptak, Noel and Associates. Emprisa gives them the control knob for networks, which BMC didn't have before."
"All the tasks that need to be completed for IT service management start in a different area of operations, and what has been lacking is an orchestration layer that links those different functions across those silos and something that understands the sequence in which they have to be done," says Rich Ptak, founder and principal of Ptak, Noel and Associates.
BMC did not disclose financial details of the deal that involves BMC acquiring Emprisa and its network change and configuration technology, E-NetAware.
Emprisa competes with the likes of AlterPoint, Intelliden and Voyence - as well as Opsware's Rendition Networks technology (now part of HP) - with software that automates the time-consuming and error-prone process of collecting network device configuration information and keeping a data repository updated as changes occur.
With SafeBoot Buy, McAfee Takes Another Shot At Encryption
Tue. Oct. 09, 2007
McAfee Tuesday announced plans to acquire SafeBoot, a privately held vendor of data encryption technology, for $350 million. The cash purchase, expected to close in the fourth quarter, would be McAfee's largest since at least 1998, and reflects the growing demand in the market for mobile data encryption and data leak prevention solutions.
SafeBoot's flagship Data Protection Suite lets users encrypt entire hard drives, or individual files and folders on laptops, smart phones, USB drives and PDAs. The offering can also encrypt file servers to prevent accidental or malicious data leaks. McAfee (then known as Network Associates) in 1997 acquired the staff and assets of PGP Inc., makers of the Pretty Good Privacy line of encryption products. But after PGP founder Phil Zimmerman left the company in 2001, Network Associates in 2002 sold off most of the PGP product line to an independent firm, which eventually became PGP Corporation.
One solution provider and McAfee partner, speaking on condition of anonymity, says McAfee faces an uphill climb in its quest to regain its status as a key player in the encryption space.
"McAfee has never mastered the encryption strategy, and I think people are losing confidence in their ability to sell and support encryption. It's going to take some time for people to trust McAfee again for encryption technology after the PGP situation," said the source.
CompuCom Systems Announces Court Square Capital Acquisition Complete and New Merger
Nation’s Largest Independent Provider of Managed Network Services to Merge with CompuCom as Part of Final Agreement
Dallas, Texas—October 2, 2007—-CompuCom Systems, Inc. (“CompuCom”), a leading IT outsourcing company, today announced that the transaction is complete with IIM Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of Court Square Capital Partners (“Court Square”), to acquire CompuCom from affiliates of Platinum Equity. In addition, Court Square has also completed the acquisition of the managed services business unit of Vanguard Managed Solutions, LLC. (VanguardMS™) from Platinum Equity, and will merge and integrate the company with CompuCom.
The merger and integration of the managed services business unit of VanguardMS, the nation’s largest independent provider of network managed services, will accelerate CompuCom’s remote networking and security services to further complement existing network management capabilities. The managed services business unit of VanguardMS provides managed network services, VOIP services, and managed security services, and will integrate its offerings into CompuCom’s award-winning portfolio of infrastructure management services, application services, systems integration and procurement services. Using the CompuCom company name moving forward, the merged organization's newly combined capabilities will ultimately help clients manage all facets of their IT ecosystems and address their most critical business challenges such as cost, security and operational efficiencies. Vanguard Networks, the products business unit of VanguardMS, will remain a Platinum Equity company and will not be affected by this acquisition.
According to Gartner, “by 2010, 60% of organizations will source some part of their network management and operations to a third-party provider.” * VanguardMS maintains a network operations center (NOC) in Mansfield, MA, where 7x24 management, monitoring, change control and support of network and security operations is provided for more than 65,000 devices at hundreds of clients. The newly added NOC services will further bolster CompuCom’s network management capabilities and underscore CompuCom’s commitment to meeting clients’ needs.
“Through our Integrated Infrastructure Management (IIM) solution, CompuCom is focused on enabling the most reliable and efficient infrastructures for our clients and their services nicely align with our future direction,” said James Dixon, Chief Executive Officer of CompuCom. “The integration of both organizations underscores Court Square’s intent to focus on organic and inorganic growth and take CompuCom to the next level. Our combined complementary client bases and service offerings will help build our business and further expand client offerings moving forward. Together we will focus on proactively meeting or exceeding client expectations via flexible, cost-effective delivery of services. We look forward to working with Josh Levine, President of VanguardMS managed services, to grow the business by building upon the synergies and strengths between the two companies,” added Dixon .
“WilcoHess is excited about the merger of the managed services business unit of Vanguard Managed Solutions and CompuCom, Inc.,” said Ed Freels, CIO of WilcoHess. “We depend day-to-day on VanguardMS to manage our networked infrastructure and appreciate their client oriented focus. The merger with CompuCom honors a strong commitment to clients complemented by an expanded portfolio of services and additional resources. We look forward to working with the combined company,” added Freels.
CompuCom’s Network Management service offering is capable of providing the day-to-day monitoring and management functions required to support today’s IT infrastructure, incorporating ITIL best practices and standards. The newly strengthened service offering enables small, medium and larger-sized organizations to realize cost reduction, greater network availability and reliability, enhanced security, better service quality and greater efficiency.
About VanguardMS Managed Services Headquartered in Mansfield , Mass. , Vanguard Managed Solutions (VanguardMS™) is the largest networking managed services provider in the US not affiliated with a carrier or product manufacturer. By offering managed services at a cost-effective monthly subscription fee, its clients achieve networks that are safe, reliable, and efficient, without making a huge investment in IT support staff and tools. VanguardMS offers a diverse portfolio of premier managed services with the ability to customize based on clients business requirements. The company is ISO 9001:2000 registered.
About CompuCom Systems, Inc. CompuCom is a leading IT outsourcing company providing infrastructure management services, application services, systems integration and consulting services, as well as the procurement and management of hardware and software. With 20 years of IT experience, CompuCom employs more than 7,400 highly skilled associates who have earned a combined total of more than 42,000 industry certifications company-wide. As experts in workplace services, CompuCom’s unique Integrated Infrastructure Management (IIM) solution reduces costs, increases productivity and helps clients gain maximum value from information. For more information, visit www.CompuCom.com.
About Court Square Capital Partners Court Square was established as an independent private equity firm by the former members of Citigroup Venture Capital Equity Partners. Court Square is focused primarily on leveraged buyout transactions in the middle market. Since 1990, the investment professionals at Court Square Capital Partners have invested in approximately 150 transactions in multiple industries, including technology and telecommunications, growth industrials, business services, healthcare and media. Court Square Capital Partners is currently investing Court Square Capital Partners II, L.P., which, together with its affiliated partnerships, is a $3.1 billion private equity fund that was raised in 2007, and is currently managing Citigroup Venture Capital Equity Partners, L.P., which, together with its affiliated partnerships, is a $2.6 billion private equity fund that was raised in 2001.
Tue, 16 Oct 2007 08:16:57 -0500
ESET may buy or merge with network security firm
Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:26pm EDT
BOSTON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - ESET, a privately held Slovakian maker of software to protect personal computers from attacks, is looking at buying or merging with a network security company, senior executives said on Monday.
They made the comments while visiting from Europe to help promote their business in the United States .
ESET is one of several overseas security firms that are redoubling efforts to expand in the United States , boosting spending on marketing in the world's largest market for technology products.
Chief Executive Anton Zajac and Chief Research Officer Andrew Lee said in an interview that they are also looking to acquisitions to help build sales.
An acquisition of a network security company could help expand the privately held Bratislava-based company's sales with large corporations, Zajac said.
Zajac and Lee said they expect ESET to report about $80 million in sales this year, only 10 percent of which to large corporations.
They were reluctant to say much about the size of the potential transaction they are considering. When asked if it would be more than $10 million, they said yes. Then they declined to discuss the issue further.
They also declined to name the potential target.
So far ESET has had limited success in breaking into the U.S. market, claiming about 1 percent of the market for personal computer security software.
But its goal is to follow in the steps of Japan's Trend Micro (4704.T: Quote, Profile, Research), which boosted its share of the U.S. retail market for consumer PC software at the expense of incumbents Symantec Corp (SYMC.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and McAfee Inc (MFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research).
ESET will be competing with another software company keen to establish a foothold in the United States -- privately held Kaspersky. Moscow-based Kaspersky has spent the past year signing deals to get its PC security software onto store shelves, snagging the last major holdout, Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY.N: Quote, Profile, Research) in August.
So far Microcenter is the only retailer that sells ESET's software in its stores.
Microsoft to Buy Thai Medical Info Firm Monday October 29, 9:33 am ET
Microsoft Expands Medical Operations With Planned Acquisition of Thai Software Company
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Microsoft Corp., seeking to expand in the medical sector, has agreed to acquire the assets of a privately held, Thailand-based health information system company, the software company said Monday.
Global Care Solutions Ltd., or GCS, specializes in creating software modules for hospitals' clinical and administrative operations, allowing them to run more smoothly. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Bangkok-based company, whose core product was first marketed in 2000, has implemented its systems in seven hospitals in the Asia-Pacific region. They are based on Microsoft software products that already exist.
Neupert said that the deal, under which Microsoft will acquire software, intellectual property and other assets of GCS, would allow the technology to be marketed worldwide. In Thailand , GCS has worked closely in developing its products with Bumrungrad International Hospital , which says that the company's system has helped it bring the average waiting time to see a doctor down to 17 minutes. The development of Global Care technology will remain in Bangkok , and Microsoft said that it would continue to work closely with Bumrungrad hospital.
Microsoft signaled its interest in the health care sector last year when it bought Azyxxi, a software system to collect and display real-time patient data. This year, in addition to the GCS acquisition, Microsoft has also bought a startup company that develops Web search technology for medical information and launched a Web site to store medical information online.
Dell Bags EqualLogic for $1.4 Billion, Says Deal Will be Channel 'Catalyst'
9:43 AM EST Mon. Nov. 05, 2007
Dell (NSDQ:Dell) said Monday it has reached agreement to buy storage vendor EqualLogic for $1.4 billion, in a move to boost its offerings in the storage area network space. Dell said its plans include growing EqualLogic's channel programs for solution providers, as well as integrating its technology into future generations of Dell's PowerVault storage product line.
In buying Nashua, N.H.-based EqualLogic, Dell is acquiring a company that partners with 500 solution providers and a maintains a footprint of 2,500 customers. EqualLogic, a six-year old company, saw $68 million in revenue last year but the company has never been profitable , according to papers filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in August, as it sought to launch an initial public offering. "This is a catalyst for our channel partner program," said Michael Dell, Dell's chairman and CEO, told ChannelWeb in an interview. "We're going to build on what EqualLogic has started." He emphasized that the deal still needs to clear regulatory hurdles. The companies estimate the deal will close late in this fiscal quarter for Dell, or in the following quarter.
Dell said earlier this year his company would seek a broader engagement with solution providers in North America , as the company sought to grow its indirect sales after two decades as a direct-sales focused business. Since then, Dell executives have worked largely behind the scenes, saying they are busy crafting a formal channel program to launch by year's end. Dell executives have said a pilot program would begin to engage some solution providers within weeks. Dell said the company would keep the EqualLogic part of the business separate from Dell's direct sales side of the house, and he reiterated that Dell would launch a more formal channel program by year's end. "We do plan to keep things seprate," Dell said. "EqualLogic is a channel brand."
IBM To Acquire Cognos For $5 Billion
Mon. Nov. 12, 2007
IBM (NYSE:IBM) is acquiring Cognos, the last major independent business intelligencesoftware vendor, for $5 billion, the two companies announced Monday. The move comes near the end of a year that has seen major consolidation in the business intelligence arena, including Oracle (NSDQ:ORCL)'s acquisition of Hyperion earlier this year and SAP (NYSE:SAP)'s pending U.S. $6.8 billion acquisition of Business Objects (NSDQ:BOBJ).
The companies expect to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of 2008. Ottawa-based Cognos will become a group within IBM's Information Management Software Division with Cognos president and CEO Rob Ashe leading the group and reporting to division general manager Ambuj Goyal. That appears to follow the same model SAP is following in keeping Business Objects a relatively independent operation. IBM said Cognos' business intelligence and performance management applications were a good fit with its "Information on Demand" strategy, the company's effort to unite its information integration and data and content management technologies. Cognos is IBM's 23rd acquisition in support of that plan.
The acquisition of Cognos by a big company like IBM comes as little surprise, given the wave of similar acquisitions by Oracle, SAP and others this year. IBM had long been rumored to be a potential suitor and already has integrated many Cognos products and jointly offer eight pre-integrated BI solutions.
Hewitt to Acquire RealLife HR
While the transaction is expected to close at the end of Aug. 2007, the financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed
Hewitt Associates, an HR outsourcing and consulting services company, has planned to acquire RealLife HR. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
“The middle market represents a large and attractive growth opportunity for us, and by joining forces with RealLife HR, Hewitt will be able to more effectively serve middle-market companies in a way that is consistent with the world-class human resources expertise and solutions we’re recognized for in the large market,” says Russ Fradin, Chairman and CEO, Hewitt Associates.
Currently, RealLife HR provides services to about 35 clients, all of which will have access to Hewitt’s full range of outsourcing and consulting services as part of the combination. Upon closing, Hewitt will assume responsibility for RealLife HR’s staff of approximately 85 employees and its facility in Hunt Valley , MD.
RealLife HR delivers health and welfare benefits administration services via a proprietary platform targeted at employers with fewer than 15,000 employees and/or retirees.
EDS Agrees to Acquire Saber Corporation, a Leading Provider of U.S. State and Local Government Software and Solutions
November 13, 2007: 09:00 AM EST
PLANO, Texas, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- EDS today announced it has agreed to purchase an approximate 93 percent equity interest in Saber Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of software and services to U.S. state governments, from various sellers, including majority shareholder Accel-KKR, for approximately $420 million in cash. Saber's Chief Executive Officer Nitin Khanna and President and Chief Operating Officer Karan Khanna will retain an approximate 7 percent interest in Saber and continue to lead the company following the closing.
Saber, founded in 1997, is one of the world's fastest-growing providers of software products and services that enable state and local governments to better serve citizens. The Portland, Oregon-based company, which has operations in 35 states, more than doubled its revenue each year since 2004. Saber's current product line includes market-leading software and services that underpin essential, federally funded government functions such as voter registration, election management, public retirement programs, human services, public health services, motor vehicle registration and unemployment insurance. "This transaction creates a growth opportunity for EDS as Saber brings complementary capabilities to EDS' already strong presence in the U.S. state and local government market, and is consistent with our strategy to move aggressively into higher-value application services," said Joe Eazor, EDS executive vice president, Corporate Strategy and Business Development.
"The combination of Saber's industry-leading applications portfolio, geographic breadth and deep understanding of government technology needs, together with EDS' global resources and demonstrated strengths in systems integration, will provide unmatched, end-to-end solutions for clients," continued Eazor.
"The transaction with Saber demonstrates EDS' commitment to the U.S. government sector and our strategy to provide mission-critical applications to the state and local government market," commented Dennis Stolkey, EDS vice president and general manager, U.S. Government. "Saber has an impressive track record of success in serving rapidly growing segments of the government market. They have a strong, dynamic management team along with a leverageable delivery model that fits well with EDS' strategic approach to serve the needs of state and local governments.
"EDS has collaborated with Saber on projects in the past, and we are well aware of the capabilities they bring to our partnership," said Stolkey. "We look forward to building on our already close relationship and the opportunity to help our government clients improve service to citizens, gain efficiencies in their work processes and reduce costs." "At Saber, we cannot imagine having better clients than government organizations who themselves are committed to their citizens. As such, Saber has always been dedicated to providing government clients with customized software that enables them to serve their citizens quickly and efficiently. Augmenting this capability with products, services, assets and talent from EDS will allow Saber to provide clients with the comprehensive solutions that today's sophisticated citizen demands," said Nitin Khanna, chief executive officer of Saber. "We are delighted with our new relationship with EDS as we believe it will enable us to take our already successful business to the next level while continuing to provide 'white glove' service to our clients," said Karan Khanna, president and chief operating officer of Saber.
The state and local government market for IT services is a highly attractive growth segment valued at approximately $50 billion by research firm INPUT and is estimated to have a compound annual growth rate of nearly 8 percent, driven by modernization of legacy systems and strong demand in new market segments for software and service solutions. Last year, approximately $3.3 billion, or 16 percent, of EDS' revenue came from U.S. Government clients. The transaction, which is subject to termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust waiting period, is expected to close before year-end. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on EDS' 2008 earnings, but is expected to be accretive to free cash flow in 2008.
About Saber Saber, founded in 1997, is headquartered in Portland , OR . The privately held company has deep customer relationships with state and local government entities across the country, providing software and services that underpin essential functions such as voter registration, election management, public retirement programs, human services, public health services, motor vehicles, unemployment insurance, and forms and document processing. For more information, please visit http://www.sabercorp.com.
Accel-KKR is a technology-focused private equity firm that invests primarily in technology businesses with $15 million to $150 million in revenue that are well positioned for top-line and bottom-line growth. At the core of Accel-KKR's investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and a focus on building value through the contribution of unique financial, strategic, technical, and operational resources. Accel-KKR has a particular focus on the following transactions: Recapitalizations of family-owned or closely-held private companies, divisional buyouts of larger companies, and going-private transactions. For more information, please visit http://www.accel-kkr.com.
Accenture Acquires Savista
Following the asset acquisition, approximately 400 Savista professionals will join Accenture, bringing the total number of Accenture professionals performing BPO work to more than 18,000
Accenture on Monday, the 6th of March ’06, said it would acquire key assets of Savista, expanding the range of bundled, back office Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) capabilities the company offers, to include those designed specifically for the mid-market organizations with fewer than 12,000 employees. The market for these services is estimated by industry analysts to approach $17 billion, and is expected to grow to more than $25 billion by 2009. The acquisition will supplement Accenture’s market-leading business process outsourcing capabilities in human resources, finance and accounting, learning, customer care and procurement. The acquisition is expected to close in the next month.
Savista, an Accel-KKR company, provides human resources and finance outsourcing systems for the hospitality industry, and is moving quickly to capture opportunities in the financial services and high-tech sectors. The acquisition of these BPO capabilities will enable Accenture to expand its client base in a lucrative and growing market.
Post-Turnaround EDS Hunts for Acquisitions
CEO says company will spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually to acquire smaller outsourcers
Outsourcer Electronic Data Systems will spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually during the next few years acquiring businesses that provide tech services in the economy’s hottest growth markets, including health care, financial services, and government services, senior EDS officials said.
“We’ve completed our financial turnaround and now it’s time to enhance our growth,” said Mike Jordan, CEO, EDS, speaking to financial analysts Tuesday in New York City . Jordan said EDS would spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually to acquire smaller outsourcers through “2007 and beyond.”
Earlier this month, EDS reported that revenue for 2006 was $21.3 billion, up eight percent from 2005, while net income was $522 million, compared with $219 million a year ago. The results stood in marked contrast to previous years of late, when EDS posted either meager profits or outright losses.
Having achieved financial stability, EDS officials on Tuesday said the company will now make growth a priority and plan on “targeted M&A’s” in the health care, government, and financial services sectors. “We will use M&A’s to accelerate the growth of our more attractive segments,” Paul Currie, EDS’ executive VP for corporate strategy, Currie said, adding that EDS already is examining “multiple opportunities” for acquisitions.
Health care providers, financial services companies, and local and state governments will be among the economy’s more aggressive adopters of software architectures that facilitate self-service by customer and business partners — a situation that should create strong demand for outsourced application development services, said COO, Ron Rittenmeyer, EDS.
EDS is counting on the trend to help drive growth in its application development business. “We’ve had a pretty good [application] maintenance business, but not a great development business,” said Rittenmeyer
Friday, July 21, 2006
United Acquires Equis for $120 Million
Existing senior management will continue to run Equis? 400 team members
United Group has acquired Chicago-based Equis Corporation for $120 million plus a potential-performance payment. The acquisition includes the possibility of an additional $12 million payment to the vendor based on future-growth projections. United Group will fund the acquisition through a mixture of equity and debt with completion expected in the first quarter of July’06. Equity funding will be raised through an institutional placement of $93.8 million, of which $90.8 million is fully underwritten. A share purchase plan will be offered, under which eligible United Group shareholders are each entitled to subscribe to shares up to the value of $3,753. Equis has operations in India , China , Hungary and Mexico
Softchoice Aims For $1B Mark
Tue. Nov. 20, 2007
It's been a busy year for Softchoice (VARBusiness 500 rank: 69). The Toronto, Ontario-based company is working toward " and succeeding in " continuing its pattern of 20 percent growth during the last five years. According to CEO David Mac Donald, the company has increased net income by 47 percent this year and has grown revenue from $1 million to $200 million in five years. The company is eyeing future growth, both organically and through acquisition: In October, for example, Softchoice agreed to buy the technology solutions portion of NexInnovations for $10 million. This week MacDonald talked with Channelweb.com about Softchoice's plans for 2008 and beyond.
With the NexInnovations deal, it looks like you are interested in expanding Softchoice's horizons.
David MacDonald: NexInnovations was a company that had sophisticated hardware and softwareprovisioning capabilities. It provided solutions to the largest Canadian companies: Rollouts, servers, desktops, laptops. They had a big Cisco (NSDQ:CSCO), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Lenovo, HP (NYSE:HPQ) business, as well as a consulting and networking practice. We bought that, not their break fix business. We have customers with 150 to 200 PCs, and also customers like the Royal Bank of Canada , with 70,000 PCs. We are Canada 's number one provider of Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) licenses to SMBs and, yes, we have a growth strategy to further expand into enterprise We are looking to match our ability in software with hardware through the acquisition.
Has the financial sector's woes affected your business at all?
MacDonald: We have some of Canada 's largest financial firms, but in Canada , the banks are not exposed as they were in the U.S. to the sub prime market. We've really been driving our SMB focus in the U.S. , and haven't seen a lot of impact in the financial area.
You've said you're looking to become a billion-dollar solution provider. What's your strategy?
MacDonald: We are the number five reseller of Microsoft software in the U.S. , and the number one in Canada . We work closely with our partners; for example, HP is our number one partner in hardware, and we get great support. Also, [our] customers buy more with deeper relationships, and we nurture them through our licensing agreements.
We do things counter intuitively. For example, when everyone else was out pursuing an online strategy, we strengthened our call centers. Our people answer the phone, rather than have callers stuck in phone trees.
But you have an online presence ...
MacDonald: Yes, and if you have strong vendor relationships, a strong customer base, if you have an effective infrastructure, strong Web capabilities, call centers, then you start seeing economies that you can apply elsewhere. We think enterprise is attractive, but SMB has a more resilient base.
SMBs are your bread and butter, then, and you can use that as a foundation for your expansion into the enterprise market?
Why are customers loyal to you?
MacDonald: We meet face to face with our customers, at a strategic level, to plan over a three-year time frame. We also assign them an inside account rep. It's a high-touch model. The face-to-face model is a strong one . Our goal is to become one of the top five solution providers in t he next three years. We will continue to grow by acquisition and organically. Our stock doubled in the past year as well.
What do you see as strong technologies in the next year to 18 months?
MacDonald: Unified communications is one of the biggest opportunities coming out in the next five years. Every company is going to reevaluate its communications structure. All that's out there will be merged into a unified system. MS and Cisco will be big players. Virtualization without question will be strong. Environmental issues, heat generation, floor space issues will all dovetail with quad core and VM ware and MS development. With Vista , we are starting to see migration with SP1 becoming available. And of course, there's also storage. Needs are doubling every year.
Mergers in IT Healthcare
Health care is not just the hottest manifesto item in the coming U.S. elections, but the sector also appears to be smitten by the merger-takeover medicine making rounds in the health care IT/BPO services companies. Cognizant, for instance, acquired U.S.-based marketRx; Firstsource too bought an U.S.-based company – MedAssist, which gave the company the required exposure and client base to cater to the health care business; and Apollo Hospitals took over Zavata, also a U.S.-based health care BPO. And there are other Indian firms too that are on the prowl to acquire overseas companies with a focus on expanding their portfolio in the health care segment. Health-care outsourcing firms such as Helios & Matheson and Globerian are in talks with companies in the U.S.A. and U.K. for buyouts and hope to seal $20 to $100 million deals by early next year. In fact, today the global medical industry is one of the world's fastest growing industries, absorbing over 10 percent of gross domestic product of most developed nations. As a matter of fact, the U.S.A. spends more on health care than any other nation in the world. Current estimates put the U.S. health-care spending at approximately 15 percent of GDP, the world's highest. And the health share of GDP is expected to continue its historical upward trend, reaching 19.6 percent of GDP by 2016.But this growth was preceded by the diffidence to talk about outsourcing of services — a consequence was all the brouhaha on the $1 billion NHS-BT outsourcing deal. Nevertheless, a number of companies are now going all out to outsource a great deal of high-value services to create a safer universal electronic medical system that is expected to be in place by 2014, in the U.S.A. Traditionally, only HR processes were being outsourced by this sector as there was resistance in the medical community over the cost of high-end clinical services. But services such as Radiology Information Systems (RIS), Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are expected to accelerate the trend in outsourcing more technological services of the overall health care market in the coming years. "Future trend would see a bend towards analytics and more process-centric work (KPO) as opposed to pure BPO, which I call talent arbitrage and not labor arbitrage," informs Jay Garodia, Sr. VP, Ingenix, one of the largest healthcare information firms in the U.S.A.
Qualcomm Beefs Up Mobile Banking With $210M Firethorn Buy Qualcomm announced it will purchase the mobile banking firm Firethorn for $210 million. Along with strengthening Qualcomm's mobile market offerings, the deal is expected to help Firethorn's credibility. "When Firethorn is part of Qualcomm, the financial institutions can be assured this company is not going away -- it will be very reassuring," said Shiv Bakhshi, director of mobility research at IDC. Tealeaf provides visibility, insight, and answers for companies doing business online, letting you see why your customers succeed or fail in their transactions. We are committed to helping companies make sure that every customer can complete every transaction, every time.
In a move designed to bolster its offerings in the mobile market, Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) will acquire mobile banking provider Firethorn Holdings for US$210 million. The acquisition is intended to help financial institutions promote consumer adoption of mobile banking services, Qualcomm said, such as the ability to view account balances and history, pay bills and transfer money by cell phone. Firethorn's employees will remain in Atlanta , led by current CEO Tripp Rackley, with oversight from Len Lauer, Qualcomm's executive vice president and group president. The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days.
San Diego-based Qualcomm develops and delivers digital wirelesscommunications products and services based on code division multiple access (CDMA) and other advanced technologies.
Firethorn's expertise in financial services and telecommunications, along with its commercially deployed platform and early market leadership in mobile banking, will serve as a powerful complement to Qualcomm's strength in enabling wireless services across networks and devices, Qualcomm said.
"The acquisition solidifies Qualcomm's commitment to the emerging m-commerce marketplace and builds upon a foundation established by Qualcomm Enterprise Services, a business unit focused on providing integrated wireless systems and services to businesses around the world," Lauer explained.
Founded in 2001, Firethorn links financial institutions and wireless operators through a unified, secure and scalable technology platform that seamlessly extends full-service banking capabilities to consumers. Firethorn's financial institution partners include Wachovia, SunTrust Bank, Regions Financial, BancorpSouth and Synovus, among others.
As a result of the acquisition, Qualcomm expects approximately $0.02 dilution to pro forma earnings per share in its fiscal year ending September 2008 and a neutral impact on fiscal year 2009 earnings per share.
Its stock rose $2.44, or 6.2 percent, to $41.60 in Wednesday trading.
The Acquisitive Indian Jul 4th, 2007
One trend this year is overwhelming. Every Indian company worth its name has either acquired a company overseas in the last few months or has a few million reserved to do that. To many Global Services readers, the names of many of these may not even be familiar. Honestly, some of them are not even familiar to me. Many of them have revenues in the range of $10–$25 million. Yet, they are willing to try global acquisition, most of the times paying hard dollars.
This is in complete contrast to what the thinking was just half a decade back. Indian companies were known for their classic aversion to acquisition. So what has changed?
A variety of environmental factors have contributed to this. First and foremost, the confidence levels have increased manifold. India has fast globalized in the last few years. Being the most preferred offshoring destination of the world, it has got access to the best of business practices and processes. This is when coupled with its technology and knowledge-driven economy means it has become an innovation center of the world. Innovation leads to risk-taking. The desire to go global by acquiring is a manifestation of that. What has also helped is the success of a few pioneers who have tried this route.
However, there is a clear method to this madness. Most Indian companies — and I am talking of technology companies only — are not acquiring for scale. They are acquiring for skill. Whether it is a three billion dollar Wipro adding the next pearl to its now famous “string of pearls” or a $100 million Sasken Communications acquiring Finland-based wireless firm Botnia Hightech Oy or even a $18 million Infrasoft Technolgies acquiring U.K.-based specialized services delivery firm M Consulting, all these acquisitions are meant to add skills that can act as fuel for future growth. They are not buying growth; they are investing in future growth. On the contrary, most inbound acquisitions in India are still for a delivery presence with some scale or getting into the Indian domestic market in a big way.
Does that contrast have any future implications? Well, no one knows for sure. But experience gives some indications. America ’s pre-eminent position in global business is, as Richard Florida argues, because of the rise of its creative class or the innovation culture. If Indian firms manage to even partially replicate that in India , then even established developed-world firms will find it increasingly difficult to compete with them.
But is there something called developed-world companies or developing-world companies? Ask Cisco. After setting up a big globalization center in Bangalore with much fanfare, now the company is eyeing to acquire in India . And it is clear that it would acquire companies that can add value, not scale to it.
Globalization is truly a two-way road.
Deloitte Acquires Identity & Access Management Business of Iditarod Systems, Inc.
Leading provider of security and privacy services announces further expansion of Identity & Access Management capabilities
NEW YORK , Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte took another step today in building on its position as one of the leading providers of Identity &
Access Management (IAM) services and solutions by announcing its acquisition of certain assets of Iditarod Systems, Inc., an identity &
access management consulting firm based in McLean , Virginia .
"The addition of Iditarod's resources and talent reinforces our position as a leading IAM systems integrator and expands our already broad
footprint as a provider of security and privacy services. This acquisition helps us scale our service delivery capabilities and enhances our ability
to provide our clients with an even more comprehensive range of IAM solutions," explained Christopher Lee, national leader of Deloitte's
Security & Privacy Services practice.
Established in 2002, Iditarod serves a number of Fortune 500 clients, in the consumer business, diversified financial services, and
telecommunications industries. "Iditarod has built a very successful presence and a strong reputation as an IAM systems integrator. We were
particularly attracted to the high quality of their team. Their culture, capabilities and business strategy align very closely with ours," said Lee.
"Deep talent and specific skill sets within the IAM space are hard to find in the market today," said Mark Ford, national leader of Deloitte's
IAM service offering. "With the need for IAM solutions expanding quickly, we are responding to market demand for top notch, experienced integration
capabilities. We believe that the addition of the talent, knowledge, skills and abilities of the professionals at Iditarod, combined with their
commitment to client satisfaction will reinforce Deloitte's position as a leader in this market, and bring to bear a new depth of talent and
resources in the marketplace."
One of Iditarod's founders, John Repetti, will join Deloitte in its national IAM Center of Excellence. Iditarod's team will continue to work
under Repetti's direction to deliver services and solutions to their existing clients as well as Deloitte & Touche's portfolio of client
Deloitte & Touche's Security & Privacy Services professionals design, develop, and implement industry-leading information security solutions for
businesses. Enterprise-wide services include: Security Management, Identity & Access Management, Privacy & Data Protection, Business Continuity
Management, Enterprise Application
Symantec to Snap Up Vontu for $350M
Mon. Nov. 05, 2007
Symantec (NSDQ:SYMC) Monday said it plans to add data loss prevention to its portfolio via the acquisition of Vontu for $350 million. The deal, expected to close this quarter, will bring data loss prevention solutions into the Symantec fold, giving it new products to help keep customers' confidential or proprietary information private. "The combination of Symantec's existing portfolio and Vontu's leading products and dedicated team enables us to deliver a central component of our Security 2.0 vision to customers -- information-centric security that protects both the device and the information itself," said Tom Kendra, group president of the Security and Data Management Group at Symantec, Cupertino, Calif., in a statement.
San Francisco-based Vontu has been a Symantec technology partner since 2005 and already licenses technology to Symantec via an OEM agreement. The move comes as Symantec works to keep pace in the data loss prevention market with rival McAfee, which is already bolstering its presence in the space through acquisitions.
McAfee this quarter plans to close its $350 million acquisition of SafeBoot, a privately-held encryption and data loss prevention vendor in Naples , Fla. , and spent $20 million a year ago for Israel-based Onigma. Rumors about Symantec's plans to acquire Vontu surfaced last month. Solution providers at that time said the two companies would be a good match. Data leak prevention is becoming crucial to every industry, said David Sockol, president of Emagined Security, a San Carlos, Calif.-based solution provider and Symantec partner. "Any organization that's adding data leak prevention to their arsenal these days is taking a step in the right direction, and I think Vontu would be a healthy fit for Symantec's portfolio," Sockol said.
Merger of VARs Peak And UpTime Expands Opportunities
Thu. Nov. 01, 2007
A couple of Oklahoma solution providers have decided that big is better. Tulsa-based Peak Methods and Oklahoma City-based UpTime merged their operations into a new entity, Peak UpTime, with the aim of increasing their ability to provide a wider range of services and pre-empting competition from larger out-of-state competitors. Peak UpTime will be under the direction of Gordon Martin, president of the combined company, who until the merger was president of Peak Methods.
UpTime is the sixth company to be assimilated into the entity now known as Peak UpTime, the first version of which was founded in 1983 as Apple (NSDQ:AAPL) dealer Computers Associates in Norman, Ok. It was known as DigiCore until July 2006, when it changed its name to Peak Methods. Martin, who joined Peak Methods in January after a couple years at EDS (NYSE:EDS) as vice president in the global communicationsoutsourcing service line, said the consolidation of several smaller companies into today's Peak UpTime stems from the way the Oklahoma market has changed over the years.
"The big guys -- the EDSs, IBMs, ACSs -- may have a bit of business with the Fortune-500 companies in the state," he said. "But the small and midsize businesses are served by a fragmented group of solution providers. Yes, they do great work, and get things done."
However, Martin said, those smaller companies need to partner with each other on bigger jobs. "But when they get connected as a single company, it relieves them from the pressure of running the business, and lets them spend more time on customer solutions," he said. "I unencumber them from the burden of payrolls and similar things, and let them focus on what they like to do: serving their clients."
Combining smaller resellers into a larger solution provider also helps foster better vendor relationships, Martin said. "You have to reach a certain scope and scale to take advantage of and leverage vendor relationships," he said. "And increasing our geographical reach opens new opportunities with our vendor partners."
In addition to Oklahoma , Peak Uptime also serves customers in Texas , Louisiana , and Kansas . Martin said the company will continue to expand in areas not served by solution providers. " Dallas is well served by channel partners and direct manufacturers, but Midland or Waco or Tyler or Texarkana are underserved," he said
IBM throws cash at security
By Jon Brodkin, Network World
IBM said it will invest $1.5 billion in its security products and services next year, possibly double the company's previous spending.
The sum "is much more than we've ever spent," Val Rahmani, a general manager in IBM's services unit who is responsible for security programs, told The Wall Street Journal. The company would not say exactly how much it previously spent on data security, but analyst Charles King of Pund-IT Research said $1.5 billion could be double IBM's typical spending, according to the Associated Press.
IBM said in a press release that IT security is becoming more difficult because of collaborative business models, sophisticated criminal attacks and increasingly complex infrastructure. "For many enterprises, security is broken," said Tom Noonan, general manager of IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS).
The company said its initiative is fuelled by recent acquisitions that are letting IBM roll out new services and products, including technology that analyses data as it moves across the network, detecting the transmission of confidential information; user compliance management software; and management software for web application security and compliance.
IBM ISS is partnering with vendors including Application Security to offer monitoring and reporting that protect companies from insider abuse, services that help clients encrypt and manage data on laptops and PCs and prevent data leakage.
IBM is strengthening the mainframe as well. Updates to the IBM Mainframe z/OS operating system are helping to restrict unauthorised access to such sensitive information as credit card numbers. The company also says it is developing products and services to help businesses comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
Iron Mountain To Buy E-Discovery Services Company Stratify
The deal would let Iron Mountain offer software and services that cover discovery and data investigations, compliance and associated records management, and litigation matters.
October 31, 2007 03:36 PM
Iron Mountain on Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire Stratify for $158 million in cash, and combine the company's litigation-focused electronic discovery services with Iron Mountain 's data protection and records management offerings.
The acquisition, expected to close by the end of the year, would expand Iron Mountain's services for the legal market, enabling it to offer software and services that cover discovery and data investigations, compliance and associated records management, and litigation matters.
Stratify is a privately held Mountain View, Calif., company that offers software and services that organizations use in gathering discovery-related electronic information, whether in Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Office documents, PDF files, or e-mail. Discovery is the process of gathering data requested by the opposing side of litigation. Stratify's software, however, also is used in investigative and regulatory matters.
Iron Mountain, a Boston-based company with revenue of $2.4 billion last year, offers products for data protection, records management, and disaster recovery back-up services. The company already has a sizable business in the legal market, so the Stratify offerings would augment Iron Mountain 's existing portfolio. For Stratify, the acquisition provides a larger sales and distribution operation.
Iron Mountainplans to operate Stratify as a division that would continue to sell e-discovery products, which are used by a number of large companies. Stratify says its software can reduce expenses for law firms and corporations by providing lawyers with a single review application for scanned paper and native electronic documents. In addition, the software manages documents through the entire discovery life cycle.
The latest acquisition is the second announced by Iron Mountain this month. The company expanded its presence in the health-care sector through the purchase of RMS Services, which generated $27 million in sales last year. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
RMS is a records and file-room management services company that helps health-care providers convert records to electronic format and then store them. The health-care industry is gradually trading in paper-based medical records for electronic systems, creating a huge sales opportunity for records management companies.
Accenture Completes Acquisition of Gestalt, LLC, Defense Consulting Firm Specializing in Mission-Support Services
RESTON, Va., Jan 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Accenture (NYSE: ACN: 35.44, -0.62, -1.71%) has completed its acquisition of Gestalt, LLC, a privately held defence consulting firm based in Camden, New Jersey, that provides mission-support services to the U.S. Department of Defence. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Gestalt provides mission-critical command and control systems and solutions that help defence organizations achieve systems interoperability and collaboration, allowing information systems from separate branches of the armed services to share battlefield information in support of joint military operations.
Gestalt also provides services related to modeling and simulation, advanced decision-support technologies, energy-management solutions, and tactical collaborative networks. Its clients include the U.S. Armed Forces, DOD/Joint Forces Command (JFCOM/J7/JNTC), and regional power grid management organizations.
"Accenture and Gestalt joined forces through this acquisition to offer a wide range of services and proven methodologies to defence organizations," said Eric Stange, managing director of Accenture's U.S. Defence practice. "From helping prepare our armed forces for combat, to maximizing the efficiency of their supply chain, to energy management, to delivering critical military information from multiple data systems, the capabilities we offer defence clients will help them meet their vital mission goals and achieve high performance."
Gestalt's approximately 250 employees are expected to join Accenture's Public Service operating group as part of Accenture National Security Services. The closing of the Gestalt acquisition follows Accenture's other recent defence acquisitions, including MAXIM Systems, Inc., and George Group Consulting LLC.
Accenture National Security Services LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture LLP, the U.S.-based business of Accenture, and delivers innovative solutions to the U.S. government defense and classified markets. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With more than 175,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$19.70 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Peter Y. Soh, +1-703-947-2571
Norcross, GA (Headquarters) 22 Technology Parkway South Norcross , GA 30092 Phone: 770.447.1951 Fax: 678.291.9201
January 3, 2008
2008 brings new opportunities to Optimus Solutions.
Today Optimus Solutions is proud to announce our acquisition by Softchoice, one of North America 's leading providers of technology solutions and services. Softchoice has a strong commitment to creating value-based customer and partner relationships, along with a thriving work environment for employees. That winning strategy has helped the company grow to more than $1.1B in revenues and more than 40 offices across North America .
Optimus Solutions will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Softchoice. The same management, sales and technical teams will be in place to provide our customers with the very best enterprise data center solutions and professional services. Softchoice's leadership in helping customers save time and money to reduce risk in IT procurement will allow Optimus to deliver additional capabilities to our existing clients.
Optimus remains committed to our customers, and we strongly believe this acquisition will allow us to better meet your changing business needs. To find out more about Softchoice, visit www.softchoice.com/about.
J. Stephen Johnson President Optimus Solutions
www.OptimusSolutions.com | 22 Technology Parkway South | Norcross , GA 30092 | 1.877.848.OPTI
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