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Column

Accenture takes Matter into its hands

Two more acquisitions by Accenture and the ongoing machinations regarding Toshiba's chip business were the main news items of the international ICT market last week.

At home, a new technology listing on AltX was the key local story.

Key local news

  • * Good year-end figures from Alviva Holdings (ex-Pinnacle), with revenue up 16.8% and profit up 16.4%.
  • * Mixed year-end figures from Metrofile, with revenue down 1.1% but profit up 2.7%.
  • * A positive trading update from EOH.
  • * Alviva acquired a 51% shareholding in Sintrex, a South African infrastructure management company providing end-to-end IT solutions and services.
  • * Alviva bought 75% of Gridcars, a Pretoria-based developer of electric vehicle charge point software management systems and supplier of charge points.
  • * 4Sight Holdings, which recently acquired Digitata Mauritius and operates in telecommunications, media and property services industries, and utilises big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and data science capabilities, will list on AltX next month.
  • * Alipay, the world's largest online and mobile payment platform, operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has partnered with Zapper, the fast-growing mobile payment, customer insights and digital marketing platform developed in SA.
  • * The European Patent Office has granted Entersekt patents for two of its foundational technologies, ie, Entersekt's mobile-based transaction authentication system and the cryptographic processes it uses to identify individual mobile devices and secure communications to and from them. Both inventions are already protected in other international jurisdictions.
  • * Vodafone Group's total interest in Vodacom has been reduced from 69.7% to 64.5%.
  • * The appointment of Paris Mashile as acting chairman of ICASA.
  • * The resignation of Arnold Fourie, founder and ex-CEO, and currently non-executive chairman of Alviva Holdings.
  • * The departure of Rubben Mohlaloga, chairman of ICASA.

Key international news

  • * Accenture acquired IBB Consulting, a consulting firm that helps broadband and mobile operators, media companies and technology providers identify emerging industry shifts, adapt to market changes and capitalise on new business and technology opportunities. Accenture also bought Matter, a design and innovation firm focused on designing products and experiences for the connected world.
  • * Spain's Cellnex Telecom purchased Alticom for $133 million, boosting its presence in the telecoms infrastructure market in the Netherlands.
  • * Forcepoint, a global cyber security leader, acquired RedOwl, the leader in security analytics focused on helping customers understand and manage human risk.
  • * HCL Technologies bought Datawave, a UK-based company that has created an innovative data automation platform, which enables enterprise customers to execute large-scale, complex data migration and data integration projects in a leaner, faster and smarter way.
  • * Hewlett Packard Enterprise purchased Amazon Web Services consultancy Cloud Technology Partners, in a move designed to bolster its hybrid IT prowess.
  • * Juniper Networks acquired Cyphort, a software security company.
  • * Nasdaq bought investment analytics provider eVestment Alliance for $705 million, to bolster its market technology business and woo more institutional investors.
  • * France's Schneider Electric purchased a 60% stake in an enlarged industrial software business, after agreeing to combine with Britain's Aveva Group at the third time of asking. The deal was worth £3 billion.
  • * SOUQ.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, acquired Wing.ae, as the companies enter a definitive agreement to offer faster shipping options for customers.
  • * Europe's top judges dealt a rare blow to European Union anti-trust regulators by sending their case against chipmaker Intel back to a lower court for an appeal.
  • * A US federal judge announced Apple's 11 foreign lawsuits against Qualcomm can proceed while the company's dispute plays out in the US.
  • * WD Navarre Holdings, the corporate parent of technology products and software distributor WYNIT Distribution, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • * A group including Bain Capital and South Korea's SK Hynix has raised its offer for Toshiba's chip business to 2.4 trillion yen ($22.3 billion), including a 200 billion yen investment in infrastructure.
  • * Finance and HR software company Workday will change its stock exchange listing from the NYSE to the Nasdaq. With a market cap of $20 billion, Workday will be the 303rd company to have switched from the NYSE to the Nasdaq since 2005, pushing the total value of companies that have switched to $1 trillion. In contrast, 114 companies worth roughly $358 billion have switched from the Nasdaq to the NYSE.
  • * Excellent half-year figures from WANdisco (in the black with its first-ever profit).
  • * Very good quarterly figures from Guidewire Software.
  • * Good quarterly numbers from The Descartes Systems Group.
  • * Good half-year numbers from ZTE.
  • * Mediocre quarterly results from SAIC.
  • * Mixed quarterly figures from Finisar, with revenue up but profit down; and HPE, with revenue up but profit down.
  • * Quarterly losses from Cloudera, Coupa Software, eGain, Okta, SeaChange International, SecureWorks, Sigma Designs, Tintri, Verifone, Verint, Volt Information Sciences and Yext.
  • * The retirement of Jerry Rawls, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Finisar (as of end 2018).
  • * A planned IPO in Finland from Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment.
  • * An IPO filing for the NYSE from Best, a Chinese logistics company backed by the Alibaba Group.
  • * An IPO launch from Dixon Technologies (India) that has already raised significant monies via an IPO pre-launch deal.

Research results and predictions

EMEA/Africa:

    • * The Middle East and Africa (MEA) personal computing devices market, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations and tablets, suffered a decline of -7.3% year-on-year in Q2 2017, according to IDC.

Worldwide:

    • * Huawei surpassed Apple in global phone sales for the first time in June and July, making it the number two global seller, according to Counterpoint Research.
    • * The worldwide market for augmented reality and virtual reality headsets grew 25.5% year-on-year in 2Q17 as shipments reached 2.1 million, according to IDC.
  • * Internet of things (IOT) provides opportunities for service providers of all types across every global region, according to IDC. Key findings of a recent report showed:
      • * The Americas region represented 52.2% of the worldwide IOT services market opportunity in 2016;
      • * The EMEA region represented 34.4% of the worldwide IOT services market opportunity in 2016;
      • * The Asia/Pacific (including Japan) region represented 13.4% of the total IOT services market opportunity in 2016;
      • * Project-based services represented the highest percentage of market opportunity in 2016, and will gain nearly one point of market share to 56.7% by 2021, approaching $30.8 billion; and
      • * Business consulting represents the fastest growing segment of the project-based services market.

Stock market changes

  • * JSE All share index: Down 1.4%
  • * FTSE100: Down 0.8%
  • * DAX: Up 1.3%
  • * NYSE (Dow): Down 0.9%
  • * S&P 500: Down 0.6%
  • * Nasdaq: Down 1.2%
  • * Nikkei225: Down 2.1%
  • * Hang Seng: Down 1%
  • * Shanghai: Down 0.1%

Look out for

International:

    • * Paytm, operated by One97 Communications (India), buying two deals platforms, Nearbuy and Little.
    • * Vodafone New Zealand pushing ahead with a share listing, despite the collapse of its proposed merger deal with Sky.
    • * Western Digital Corporation gaining voting rights of just under 16% in Toshiba's memory chip unit on the assumption that it will be listed in the future.

Africa:

    • * Safaricom's expansion into Africa.

South Africa:

    • * The possible merger of MultiChoice's DStv Digital media and video-on-demand service ShowMax.
    • * A merger of Broadband Infraco and Sentech, as a first step towards a national infrastructure company. Plans to consider a merger proposal are scheduled for December.

Final word

Fortune magazine has published its 2017 listing of ‘40 under 40'. Included in the list are:

  • * 2: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook
  • * 3: Cheng Wei and Jean Liu, co-founders of Didi Chuxing
  • * 6: John and Patrick Collinson, co-founders of Stripe
  • * 8: John Zimmer and Logan Green, co-founders of Lyft
  • * 11: Tobias Lutke, CEO and founder of Shopify
  • * 12: Adam Neumann, CEO and founder of WeWork
  • * 13: Daniel Ek, CEO and founder of Spotify
  • * 14: Ben Silbermann, CEO and founder of Pinterest
  • * 18: Jared Cohen and Yasmin Green, president and R&D director of Google's Jigsaw team
  • * 19: Drew Houston, CEO and founder of Dropbox
  • * 21: Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, CEO and CTO of Snap
  • * 27: Divya Nag, part of the special projects team at Apple
  • * 34: Michelle Zatlyn, COO and co-founder of Cloudflare

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