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Xerox ups the ante

The company has raised its offer for HP to $35 billion.
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The various government investigations on both sides of the Atlantic involving the ‘big tech’ boys dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, the ICT content in president Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address was the local highlight.

Key local news of the past week

  • A positive trading update from Silverbridge Holdings.
  • A mixed trading update from MTN Group.
  • Negative trading updates from Adapt IT and Alviva Holdings.
  • Itec Communications acquired an unnamed IT infrastructure integrator to meet what it calls a growing demand for integrated communications in the South African enterprise market. The newly merged business, Itec Integrate, is a digital solutions provider.
  • The licensing of the government-proposed wholesale open access network is likely to be completed during 2021, according to Ramaphosa.
  • The appointments of Stanton Pillay as CEO of iTMaster, an HP reseller; and Keven Sinclair as MD of Huge Connect.

Key African news

  • Satisfactory nine-month figures from Airtel Africa, with revenue up 9.9%, coming off the back of strong performance in Nigeria and its East Africa operations.
  • The venture arm of Orange has invested in Gebeya, an Ethiopian start-up that plans to develop software talent across Africa for telecoms and e-commerce.
  • The announcement by Vestas, a Danish wind turbine maker, that Google has cancelled plans to buy a 12.5% stake in Africa's largest wind farm after delays to the project.
  • Mobile virtual network operator Promobile has officially started its operations in Senegal.
  • Zambian authorities have confirmed plans to revoke Uzi Zambia's licence if the company fails to launch its network operation by May 2020.
  • The appointment of Adrian McDonald as EMEA president for Dell Technologies.

Key international news

  • Brooks Automation acquired RURO, an informatics software company.
  • UK-based Advent International bought Zingfit, a US-based software company for boutique fitness brands, and Triib, a US-based business management software provider for micro gyms. Both companies will be merged with Transaction Services Group, a business software developer that Advent acquired last June.
  • Arista Networks purchased Big Switch Networks, a software-defined networking and cloud-software vendor.
  • EQT and Omers Infrastructure acquired German-based Deutsche Glasfaser in a deal rumoured to be over €2.5 billion. EQT, a Swedish private equity fund, and Canadian pensions investor Omers Infrastructure will own stakes of 51% and 49%, respectively, in the German fibre specialist.
  • Facebook bought Scape Technologies, the UK-based computer vision start-up.
  • Nexon Asia Pacific, an Australia-based cloud and managed services provider, purchased three technology companies to bolster its offerings and grow its clientele. They are Kiandra IT’s technology services and security solution division, Remagine Solutions and XCentral.

Public cloud services in MENA will total nearly $3 billion in 2020.

  • Resideo Technologies acquired privately held Herman ProAV, a provider and distributor of professional audio-visual products, procurement services and labour resources to systems integrators in the commercial audio-visual industry.
  • Smith Micro Software bought the operator business of Circle Media Labs. Pursuant to the transaction, Smith Micro has acquired certain assets, including customer contracts and a perpetual source code licence to Circle’s robust parental control software.
  • Digital Realty has reached an agreement with Clise Properties to acquire a 49% ownership interest in the Westin Building Exchange in Seattle, Washington, which serves as a primary interconnection hub.
  • Essential Products, which is a developer of consumer products including phones, chargers and accessories, plans to cease operations.
  • A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to halt work on the massive JEDI cloud-computing contract, handing Amazon an early win in its efforts to overturn the award to rival Microsoft.
  • A federal judge has approved T-Mobile US' takeover of Sprint, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the deal would violate anti-trust laws and raise prices.
  • The FTC, which is concerned that big tech companies are unfairly engaging in potential anti-competitive behaviour, has ordered Alphabet's Google unit, Amazon.com, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft to provide information on mergers that were too small to report to anti-trust regulators.
  • GoDaddy is acquiring Uniregistry's leading domain registrar and marketplace businesses.
  • Huawei Technologies and two of its US subsidiaries have been charged with racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to steal trade secrets in a federal indictment unsealed, thus opening another front in the Trump administration’s battle against the Chinese telecommunications firm.
  • Infosys will acquire Simplus, one of the fastest growing Salesforce Platinum partners in the US and Australia, in a $250 million deal.
  • Japanese anti-trust officials raided the offices of e-commerce company Rakuten after complaints from online merchants about the company's free shipping policies.
  • A Russian court has fined Facebook and Twitter each about $62 000 for their failure to comply with a Russian data law.
  • Svoboda Capital Partners has recapitalised and acquired a majority stake in Kenway Consulting, a provider of management and tech consulting services.
  • Synacor, a cloud-based software and services company serving global video, Internet and communications providers, device manufacturers, governments and enterprises, and Qumu, a leading provider of tools to create, manage, secure, distribute and measure the success of live and on-demand video for the enterprise, plan to merge.
  • Xerox has raised its offer for HP to $35 billion.
  • Hg invested in France's SmartTrade Technologies, a managed services and software provider for the financial sector.
  • Insight Partners invested in Carbon Relay, which pioneered the use of machine learning and data science to automate and manage the complexity of finding optimal configurations for applications running in Kubernetes; and Lakeside Software, a leading developer of digital experience monitoring software for the enterprise.
  • Sirius invested in SoundCloud, an audio-sharing platform.
  • Motorola Solutions said on Friday it had won a $764.6 million jury verdict in a trade secret theft and copyright infringement case against Chinese rival Hytera Communications.
  • ParkerVision has filed a complaint against Intel for the infringement of eight of its patents.
  • Excellent quarterly results from Alteryx and Datadog (back in the black).
  • Very good quarterly figures from Alibaba, Global Payments, Nvidia, Shopify (back in the black) and Tyler Technologies.
  • Very good year-end numbers from AMS and Zain Saudi Arabia.
  • Good quarterly numbers from Applied Materials, Equinix, Go Daddy, Insperity, j2 Global, Qualys, Tech Target and Wex.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Akamai, America Movil, Amkor Technology, Cadence Design Systems, Digital Reality, Diodes, Euronet Worldwide, Flexium, NCR (back in the black), Omnicom Group, Perion Network, Perspecta, SS&C Technologies, Telus, TIM Participacoes SA, Trimble, Tucows and Zebra Technologies.
  • Satisfactory year-end figures from RELX.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from Arista Networks, Cognex, Himax, i3 Verticals, NetSol Technologies, Perceptron, Sensata Technologies and TDC (Denmark).
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Blackbaud, CyberArk, Equifax, Forrester Research, Insight Enterprises, Iron Mountain, Mimecast, Nice, Radware, Yandex and Yelp, with revenue up but net income down; and from A10 Networks (back in the black), CenturyLink (back in the black), Cisco, CPSI, Lattice Semiconductor (back in the black) and NetApp, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Mixed year-end figures from Xintec (but back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
  • Very poor quarterly figures from Softbank.
  • Quarterly losses from Altice USA, Avalara, Avaya, BlackLine, Cambium Networks, Ceragon Networks, Cincinnati Bell, Cloudflare, Cohu, Delphi Technologies, Diebold Nixdorf, Endava, FIS, HubSpot, II-VI, IPG Photonics, Lantronix, Liberty Global, LogMeIn, Lyft, PDF Solutions, Pegasystems, Pluralsight, QuickLogic, Quotient Technology, Radcom, Rapid7, RingCentral, Roku, Sequans Communications, Sierra Wireless, SurveyMonkey, Talend, Technical Communications, Tufin Software Technologies, Varonis Systems, Veeco Instruments, Vodafone India and Winbond.
  • The appointments of Melanie Dawes as CEO of Ofcom (UK); Robert Hagerty as interim CEO of Plantronics; and Sergi Herrero and Kaan Terzioğlu as co-CEOs of Veon.
  • The resignations of Ursula Burns, CEO of Veon (stays on as chairman); Joe Burton, CEO of Plantronics; and Lee Sang-hoon, chairman of Samsung Electronics.
  • An IPO filing in the US from Warner Music Group.

Research results and predictions

EMEA/Africa:

  • Public cloud services in MENA will total nearly $3 billion in 2020, an increase of 21% year-over-year, according to Gartner.
  • Governments across MEA spent a combined $12.8 billion on ICT last year, according to IDC. It expects this figure to continue rising over the coming years at a CAGR of 4.8%, crossing the $15 billion mark by 2023.

Worldwide:

  • Global server shipments went up 13.4% sequentially in Q419, thanks to rising demand from US large data centre companies and China's server market, according to Digitimes Research. However, shipments in the first quarter of 2020 are expected to be affected by China's coronavirus outbreak.
  • Global spending on smart city initiatives will total nearly $124 billion this year, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to IDC.
  • Worldwide IT spending is set to increase by 5% this year as software and services investment remains stable, while smartphone sales recover on the back of a 5G-driven upgrade cycle in the second half of the year, according to IDC. A new update shows total ICT spending, including IT spending in addition to telecoms services and new technologies such as IOT and robotics, will increase by 6% in 2020 to $5.2 trillion.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 1%
  • FTSE100: Down 0.8%
  • DAX: Up 1.7% (highest weekend close)
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 1% (highest weekend close)
  • S&P 500: Up 1.6% (highest weekend close)
  • Nasdaq: Up 2.5% (highest weekend close)
  • Nikkei225: Down 0.6%
  • Hang Seng: Up 1.5%
  • Shanghai: Up 1.4%

Look out for

International:

  • Further developments on the HP/Xerox battle.
  • Cisco buying FireEye.

South Africa:

  • Further news regarding Cell C.

Final word

CRN has published its list of the 20 coolest cloud software companies of the 2020 Cloud 100.

They are, in alphabetical order with only non-listed companies’ details expanded:

  • Adobe;
  • Anaplan, which develops a cloud-native planning system that connects people across an enterprise for financial, sales, marketing, supply chain, workforce and IT planning tasks;
  • Databricks, which offers its Unified Data Analytics Platform, a single cloud platform for massive-scale data engineering and collaborative data science applications;
  • Datadog;
  • Domo, whose cloud-native platform creates a unified view of data spread across multiple systems within an enterprise and provides tools to visualise and analyse data using mobile devices;
  • Dremio, which has developed a data lake engine that makes data more accessible and helps organisations derive more value from their data;
  • HubSpot, which provides inbound marketing and sales applications, including social media marketing, content management, Web analytics and search engine optimisation;
  • Matillion, a provider of data transformation/ETL software for collecting data from operational applications and other data sources, cleaning and formatting it, and moving it into cloud data warehouse like Snowflake and AWS Redshift for analysis;
  • New Relic, whose application performance management software provides real-time and trending data about Web application performance and end-user experience satisfaction;
  • Pendo, whose Product Cloud system is focused on driving customer adoption of a business’s software products, understanding how they use the product, improving user experience and building customer loyalty;
  • Salesforce.com;
  • SAP;
  • Slack;
  • Snowflake, a data warehouse provider that competes with cloud giants such as AWS and Google and has experienced explosive growth since its 2012 founding;
  • Splunk;
  • Workday;
  • Zendesk;
  • Zoho, known for its software as a service CRM applications that compete with Salesforce and personal productivity apps that provide an alternative to Microsoft Office; and
  • Zuora.
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