Microsoft gets its game on

The company has purchased Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard in the biggest deal in gaming history.
Paul Booth
By Paul Booth
Johannesburg, 30 Oct 2023
Paul Booth.
Paul Booth.

The conclusion of the Microsoft/Activision deal and the formal split of NCR dominated the technology world last month. 

Key local news

  • Frogfoot Networks acquired Garden Route Networks and Route Networks.
  • The Apis Growth Fund II led a $30 million investment in Peach Payments, a digital payment service provider that enables online payments in Africa.
  • Ribbit Capital led a R483 million investment in Stitch, a South African fintech firm.
  • Dimension Data will become NTT Data with effect from 1 April 2024.
  • Drive Control Corporation (DCC) has been successfully acquired by an acquisition group of private individuals and Kleoss Capital, a BEE private equity firm. DCC will operate as DCC Technologies with immediate effect.
  • US-based telematics company PowerFleet and MiX Telematics have entered into a definitive agreement to form one of the largest mobile asset internet of things SaaS providers in the world.
  • Shumani Industrial Equipment has officially launched its Cape Town regional office under the management of Cray van Staden.
  • Vodacom has started trading its shares on A2X.
  • A new CEO has been appointed at DCC Technologies.

Key African news

  • Zimbabwe-born Tano Digital Solutions, a pan-African tech company, has relocated its headquarters to Gaborone after acquiring Altron businesses in Botswana and Mozambique last year as part of its regional expansion plans.
  • An IPO in Uganda by Airtel Uganda (as of 31 October).
  • The appointments of new CEOs/MDs, etc, at Commvault, Rubrik and UiPath.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired Signal, an integrated marketing firm based in Tokyo; ON Service Group, a provider of business process services specialising in insurance operations; and Comtech Group, a consulting and program management company for infrastructure projects in Canada and the US. It has also agreed to acquire ConcentricLife, a healthcare marketing agency, and made an investment in Aliro Quantum, a provider of multipurpose, end-to-end entanglement-based secure quantum networks.
  • Sweden-based MSP Advania bought RTS, a large-scale digital transformation provider.
  • Akamai Technologies has purchased assets, including select content delivery customer contracts, from Lumen Technologies.

Dimension Data will become NTT Data with effect from 1 April.

  • Arlington Capital Partners acquired Avenu Insights & Analytics, a provider of revenue enhancement, payments and administrative software for local governments.
  • Berkshire Partners bought TowerNorth, a wireless infrastructure developer and operator.
  • Cadence Design Systems purchased Intrinsix, a provider of design engineering solutions for the aerospace and defence industry.
  • Cognex acquired Moritex, which is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of machine vision optical components such as high-spec lenses and lighting for industrial use.
  • Cohu bought Equiptest Engineering, a provider of semiconductor test contactors and other consumables.
  • Climb Global Solutions purchased Irish VAD DataSolutions.
  • CPSI acquired Viewgol, a provider of ambulatory revenue cycle management analytics and complementary outsourcing services.
  • Databricks bought Arcion, an enterprise data replication start-up ($100 million).
  • Emerson purchased NI, a leading provider of software-connected automated test and measurement systems ($8.2 billion).
  • Fujifilm bought Entegris’s Electronic Chemicals business ($700 million).
  • Genasys purchased Evertel Technologies, a cross-agency collaboration platform for public safety.
  • France-based Inetum acquired 47 QUAI, Proceed and VISEO’s Microsoft Dynamics business, three French consulting firms.
  • The Infinity Group bought RedkiteCRM, a specialised housing management system provider catering to the social housing sector.
  • Inflexion Private Equity purchased a majority interest in newly founded UK-based Celnor, a specialist testing, inspection, certification and compliance platform.
  • Liberty Global acquired Telenet Group Holding.
  • Mitel bought Unify, the unified communications and collaboration business of Atos.
  • Net at Work, a digital operations solution provider, purchased PMO Solutions, a VAR of Sage applications.
  • NUSO, a provider of cloud communication, collaboration and communications platform as a service solutions, acquired I-Net Communications Group, a UK-based service provider.
  • PTC bought pure-systems, a provider of product and software variant management solutions.
  • Park Place Technologies purchased Xuper, a UK-based IT solutions provider.
  • Samsung Display acquired eMagin, a leader in the development, design and manufacture of Active-Matrix OLED micro-displays for high-resolution, AR/VR and other near-eye imaging products ($218 million).
  • MSP-focused software vendor ScalePad bought Quoter, the maker of a cloud-based quoting platform that helps MSPs save time, eliminate mistakes and get paid faster.
  • SS&C Technologies purchased Iress’s managed funds administration business.
  • Stonepeak has acquired a 49% stake in Cellnex Nordics, which comprises Cellnex Sweden and Cellnex Denmark, in a €730 million deal.
  • Telstra bought Versent, a technology consultancy ($267.5 million).
  • Tenable purchased Ermetic, an innovative cloud-native application protection platform company and provider of cloud infrastructure entitlement management.
  • The 20 MSP acquired 3i International, a provider of IT support and consulting services.
  • TPG bought Forcepoint’s Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure cyber security business, and named Sean Berg as its new CEO.
  • PowerSchool purchased West Technology Group’s SchoolMessenger business, a provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education.
  • Danish IT infrastructure company Aeven plans to acquire Sentia, a cloud solutions provider.
  • AMD plans to buy an AI start-up called as part of an effort to bolster its software capabilities.
  • Apax Partners has agreed to acquire £203 million-worth of Kin+Carta, a digital service provider.
  • Atlassian has agreed to buy privately held video messaging platform Loom ($975 million).
  • AUO has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the German company Behr-Hella Thermocontrol, a leader for climate operating/control units and the specialist for outstanding human machine interface system solutions (€600 million).
  • Bentley Systems’ Seequent, The Bentley Subsurface Company, has signed an agreement to acquire Flow State Solutions, an industry leader in geothermal simulation software.
  • BlackBerry intends to separate its IOT and cyber security business units and target a subsidiary initial public offering for the IOT business next fiscal year.
  • Ceragon Networks has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Siklu, a provider of multi-Gigabit "wireless fibre" connectivity in urban, suburban and rural areas.
  • Consello Capital has made its first PE investment by acquiring a majority stake in ProSearch, a legal tech company.
  • Consolidated Communications has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Searchlight Capital Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation ($3.1 billion).
  • Denso and Mitsubishi Electric are to invest $1 billion in Coherent’s silicon carbide business.
  • Eutelsat and OneWeb have completed their $3.4 billion merger.
  • Flexium Interconnect, a company specialising in flexible PCBs, has disclosed its intention to acquire the outstanding shares of IC design house Rafael Microelectronics.
  • Industrial technologies company Fortive Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire German manufacturer EA Elektro-Automatik Holdings ($1.45 billion).
  • Google has agreed to invest up to $2 billion in AI company Anthropic.
  • Intel on Tuesday said it plans to operate its programmable chip unit as a standalone business starting in January.
  • Kontron, a global leader in IOT technology, will acquire Bsquare, an expert in developing and deploying software technologies for the makers and operators of connected devices.
  • KKR has submitted an offer for Telecom Italia’s landline grid.
  • Macquarie Asset Management has agreed to acquire a majority stake in fibre internet provider SwyftFiber.
  • Transportation and logistics technology firm SP Plus will be acquired by parking technology provider Metropolis Technologies in an all-cash deal worth about $1.5 billion.
  • Microsoft has completed its deal to buy Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard in the biggest deal in gaming history.
  • NCR has announced a change of name to NCR Voyix.
  • NCR Atleos has completed its separation from NCR and has launched as an independent public company.
  • NICE has entered a definitive agreement to buy LiveVox, an AI-driven proactive outreach provider.
  • Oakley Capital has agreed to buy a stake in Australian web hosting and e-mail provider Webcentral.
  • Okta has purchased Uno, a password security start-up.
  • PCTEL has reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Amphenol Corporation, one of the world’s largest providers of high-technology interconnect, sensor and antenna solutions.
  • Perficient has entered into a purchase agreement to buy SMEDIX, a healthcare software engineering firm.
  • Persistent will acquire Capiot, which specialises in enterprise integration with expertise in MuleSoft, Red Hat and TIBCO.
  • SCWorx has entered into a letter of intent to acquire American Environmental Partners, an environmental services company.
  • Shenandoah Telecommunications has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Horizon Acquisition Parent ($385 million).
  • Singapore Telecommunications has entered into an agreement with MC2 Titanium to sell its stake in Trustwave, a cyber security business ($205 million).
  • Stellant Systems has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Comtech’s Power Systems Technology product line.
  • Teledyne Technologies has entered into an agreement to acquire Denmark-based Xena Networks, provider of high-speed Terabit Ethernet validation, quality assurance and production test solutions.
  • The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has reached an agreement to end a patent lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom over WiFi chips.
  • TT Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Cantata Health Solutions, which offers an integrated electronic health records system for behavioural health and human services.
  • The Vanguard Group has sold its 49% stake in a joint venture with Jack Ma-backed Ant Group.
  • French technology company Vantiva has struck a deal to buy CommScope's Home Networks division in exchange for a 25% stake in the former.
  • Singapore's Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation will buy live streaming platform 17LIVE ($676 million).
  • Vista Equity Partners has acquired a majority stake in TRG Screen, an enterprise software provider for managing corporate spending on subscriptions, and it has agreed to take private EngageSmart, a payments software vendor ($4 billion).
  • Western Digital and Japan's Kioxia Holdings have broken off talks to create one of the world's biggest chipmakers.
  • Wex has agreed to acquire contractor software company Payzer.
  • Wipro Enterprises will acquire a majority stake in Italy-based Ferretto Automation & Services, which specialises in the design and manufacture of automated storage systems.
  • The investment by Berkshire Partners in PDQ, a provider of IT asset management software.
  • The investment by Hg in JTL-Software, a German software developer for small and medium-sized businesses in the e-commerce sector.
  • The investment by Kingland Capital in Dynamics Networks, a UK cloud service provider.
  • The investment by Perwyn Advisors in lamproperty, a UK-based realtor technology solutions provider.
  • The investment by Renesas Electronics in the Japanese IC design start-up EdgeCortix.
  • The investment by Stanley Capital in Roboyo, a German AI consultancy company.
  • The investment by TA Associates in Kinective, a provider of connectivity, workflow and analytics software for the banking sector.
  • The investment by Vista Credit Partners in aPriori, a software specialist.
  • The $100 million investment led by AAB VC in Prins AI, an enterprise AI company.
  • The $100 million investment led by Prysm Capital in Island, which makes an internet browser for businesses.
  • The $165.7 million investment led by TCV in Australia-based Employment Hero, provider of an HR, payroll and benefits platform.
  • The $125 million investment led by Spark Capital in Headway, a healthcare tech start-up that connects patients and in-network therapists.
  • The appointments of new CEOs at Adesso, Agilitas IT Solutions, Aramco Digital, Atos, DDB Worldwide, NCR Atleos, NCR Voyix, Nexfibre, PayU, Pitney Bowes, Proofpoint (interim), SES, Telia and Unity Software (interim).
  • The death of Paul Folino, chairman of the Lantronix Board.
  • IPO filings from Planisware (France), Polymatech Electronics (India) and Waystar Technologies (Nasdaq).
  • IPOs/listings from Astra Linux (Russia), Doosan Robotics (South Korea), Gamer Pakistan (Nasdaq), Kokusai Electric (Japan) and Quetta Acquisition Corporation (Nasdaq).

Research results and predictions

  • According to Digitimes Research, global notebook shipments are likely to expand by a CAGR of 3% from 2023 to 2028.
  • According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totalled 64.3 million units in the third quarter of 2023, a 9% decrease from the third quarter of 2022.
  • According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $5.1 trillion in 2024, an increase of 8% from 2023.
  • According to IDC, the downward spiral for PC shipments continued during the third quarter of 2023 as global volumes declined 7.6% year-over-year, with 68.2 million PCs shipped.
  • According to IDC, enterprises will invest nearly $16 billion worldwide on GenAI solutions in 2023. This spending, which includes GenAI software, as well as related infrastructure hardware and IT/business services, is expected to reach $143 billion in 2027, with a CAGR of 73.3% over the 2023-2027 forecast period.
  • According to IDC, worldwide smartphone shipments declined 0.1% year-over-year to 302.8 million units in 3Q23.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 4%
  • FTSE100: Down 4.2%
  • DAX: Down 5.5%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 3.3%
  • S&P 500: Down 4%
  • Nasdaq: Down 4.4%
  • Nikkei225: Down 2.7%
  • Hang Seng: Up 0.1%
  • Shanghai: Down 3%

Final word

Fortune Magazine has published its 2023 Most Powerful Women list. Included in the top 25 are:

  • 2: Julia Sweet, chairman and CEO of Accenture
  • 8: Ruth Porat, president, CFO and CIO of Alphabet and Google
  • 11: Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle
  • 12: Lisa Su, chairman and CEO of AMD
  • 15: Sandy Ran Xu, executive director and CEO of
  • 17: Amy Hood, EVP and CFO of Microsoft
  • 18: Susan Li, CFO of Meta
  • 21: Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of General Dynamics