Fiserv creates a monster

The company buys First Data for $22 billion, in a move that creates one of the world's leading payments and financial technology providers.

Read time 8min 10sec
Paul Booth.
Paul Booth.

Fiserv's $22 billion acquisition, as well as ones by Accenture and IBM, dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, Helios Towers' entry into SA and its stake in SA Towers was the main local story.

Key local news

* Helios Towers has entered the South African market through a partnership with Vulatel. This will create a South African infrastructure platform, Helios Towers South Africa, which will build out wireless and fixed-line open access infrastructure in SA. The former has also taken a controlling stake in SA Towers.
* WorldRemit, a UK company that specialises in money transfers into Africa, has entered the South African market.
* The appointments of Lillian Barnard as CEO of Microsoft SA, and Elisabeth Moreno as MD of HP Africa.
* The resignation of Zoaib Hoosen, CEO of Microsoft SA.
* The departure of David Rozzio, MD of HP Africa (moves elsewhere within HP Europe).

Key African news

* Bharti Airtel has agreed to hand over part of its stake in wireless operator Airtel Tanzania to the local government in order to settle a dispute in ownership.
* WorldRemit has partnered with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia to launch the first international mobile money transfer service in Ethiopia.

Key international news

* Accenture acquired Orbium, a management consultancy and technology services provider to the financial services industry, headquartered in Switzerland.
* Akamai Technologies bought Janrain, the company that pioneered the customer identity access management category.
* Alibaba Group purchased Berlin-based data Artisans, which provides services that deploy large-scale data processing solutions for enterprises. The deal was worth $103.3 million.
* Assa Abloy acquired KEYper Systems, a supplier of electronic and mechanical key management systems in the US, with a strong presence in the automotive segment.
* Asure Software bought Payroll Maxx, a firm that delivers enterprise-class workforce management services and technology for small to mid-sized employers.
* Assurance Software, a business continuity solution provider and software developer that was carved out of Sungard, purchased UK-based ClearView in a bid to become a global provider of business continuity services.
* Baring Private Equity Asia acquired NIIT Technologies, an Indian IT solutions company, for $1.4 billion.
* India's Byju's bought Osmo, a US-based 'playful learning' system, for $120 million.
* CDW purchased Scalar Decisions, a technology solutions provider in Canada.
* Check Point Software Technologies acquired ForceNock Security, a firm that has developed a Web application and API protection technology that utilises machine learning, behavioural and reputation-based security engines.
* Comtech Telecommunications bought Solacom Technologies, a provider of purpose-built and customisable software and hardware solutions for emergency call handling and management, in a deal worth $33 million.
* CTG purchased Luxembourg-based Tech-IT, a consulting and IT solutions company.
* Fiserv acquired First Data for $22 billion, in a move that creates one of the world's leading payments and financial technology providers.
* Google bought Fossil's smartwatch technology for $40 million.
* IBM purchased T-Systems' mainframe services business for EUR860 million.
* Iron Mountain acquired Philippines-based Lane Archive Technologies.
* AT Kearney bought Cervello, in a move to expand its business analytics and data management expertise.
* Motorola Solutions purchased VaaS International Holdings, a data and image analytics company, for $445 million.

US Federal prosecutors are pursuing a criminal investigation of Huawei Technologies for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US business partners.

* Onapsis acquired ERP cyber security competitor Virtual Forge in a move designed to strengthen its defence capabilities around SAP customisations and extensions.
* US fintech company Plaid bought its peer Quovo for $200 million, in order to boost its portfolio of software products that connect banks with fintech apps.
* Rambus purchased the assets of Diablo Technologies to broaden its portfolio in the hybrid DRAM and Flash memory markets, further establishing its position as an industry leader.
* Radware acquired ShieldSquare, a market-leading bot management solutions provider.
* RingCentral bought Connect First, a cloud-based outbound/blended customer engagement platform for mid-sized and enterprise companies.
* Smartsheet purchased TernPro, maker of Slope, an application that makes it easy for teams to collaborate on and manage creative work.
* Trive Capital acquired Windstream EarthLink's legacy consumer Internet business for $330 million.
* Zix bought AppRiver, a leading provider of cloud-based cyber security solutions, for $275 million.
* Amazon Web Services invested in Wiliot, an Israel and US-based semiconductor company that focuses on wireless technology that tracks the location of goods during manufacturing.
* Apax Partners invested $200 million in India-based Fractal Analytics, an AI firm.
* Insight Venture Partners, a US-based venture capital and private equity firm, with participation from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, has made a $500 million investment in Veeam Software.
* Xiaomi invested in Chinese home-appliance maker TCL, as the two companies agreed to co-operate on the development of smart products and electronic devices.
* A patent lawsuit filed by Qualcomm against Apple was thrown out by a German court, in a reversal for the US chipmaker after it won a recent court ban on the sale of some iPhones in that country.
* A US appeals court has upheld a judgment worth $440 million for the intellectual property licensing firm VirnetX against Apple, in a patent infringement case.
* Global Imaging Systems will be rebranded as Xerox Business Solutions.
* KLA-Tencor is changing its name to KLA.
* Micron has confirmed it is exercising its option to buy out Intel's share of a joint venture the companies had to produce flash memory. Micron had said in mid-October 2018 it planned to exercise its option to pay $1.5 billion to acquire Intel's 49% stake in IM Flash Technologies.
* US Federal prosecutors are pursuing a criminal investigation of Huawei Technologies for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US business partners, including T-Mobile.
* Good quarterly numbers from Wipro.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from CSI, Shaw Communications, Sophos, TSMC and WNS Holdings.
* Mixed quarterly figures from IHS Markit and Netflix, with revenue up but net income down; and from Progress Software, with revenue down but net income up.
* Quarterly loss from Atlassian.
* The appointments of David Canellos as CEO of Ericom Software; Richard Dauch as CEO of Delphi Technologies; Crawford Del Prete as president of IDC; Victor Lunda as executive chairman of Teradata (was CEO); Oliver Ratzesberger as CEO of Teradata; Chuck Smith as CEO of Apeiron Data Systems; Frank Vella as CEO of Information Builders; and Tim Weller as CEO of Datto.
* The retirements of Kirk Campbell, president of IDC; Cliff Illig, co-founder and vice-chairman of Cerner; and Simon Raab, founder and CEO of FARO.
* The departures of Gerald Cohen, CEO of Information Builders (stays on as chairman); and Austin McChord, CEO and founder of Datto (remains on the board).
* An IPO filing for the Singapore Exchange from Grand Venture Technology, a technology solutions and service provider.
* An IPO filing in Australia from AltoStratos Holdings, an Australian omni-channel global IT firm.

Research results and predictions

* Global spending on 3D printing (including hardware, materials, software, and services) will be $13.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 21.2% over 2018, according to IDC. By 2022, IDC expects worldwide spending to be nearly $22.7 billion, with a five-year CAGR of 19.1%.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.1%
* FTSE100: Up 0.7%
* DAX: Up 2.9%
* NYSE (Dow): Up 3%
* S&P 500: Up 2.9%
* Nasdaq: Up 2.7%
* Nikkei225: Up 1.5%
* Hang Seng: Up 1.6%
* Shanghai: Up 1.7%

Look out for

* China's ambitions for a Nasdaq-style board for start-ups that has galvanised the country's tech companies, which are hopeful they can sidestep complex IPO hurdles and access easier funding.
* Telefonica exiting its positions in Guatemala and El Salvador, in a move that could generate $600 million for the Spanish-based telco.
* Liberty Latin America acquiring Millicom International Cellular SA.

* Bharti Airtel acquiring Kenya's smallest telecoms operator, Telkom Kenya.

South Africa:
* The listing prospectus for MultiChoice Group.

Final word

Towards the end of each year, Software Magazine publishes its 'Software 500', a list that ranks revenue data from both public and private software and services companies.

In the 2018 report, total software and services revenue came to $867.8 billion, compared to $813.6 billion in the 2017 report. This shows a CAGR of 2.8%.

The top 10 in the rankings are:
* 1 IBM
* 2 Microsoft
* 3 Accenture (was 5)
* 4 Oracle (was 6)
* 5 SAP (was 8)
* 6 Apple (was 9)
* 7 HPE (was 4)
* 8 Ericsson (was 7)
* 9 Dell (new entry)
* 10 Tata Consultancy

In addition, the following companies were noted:
* Revenue growth leader with over $1 billion: ranked 102, Momo, with 138.3% growth.
* Revenue growth leader $100 million to $1 billion: ranked 119, LogMeIn, with a 194.52% growth.
* Revenue growth leader $50 million to $100 million: ranked 360, Finjan Holdings, with 174.7% growth.
* Revenue growth leader $10 million to $30 million: ranked 438, WISeKey International, with a growth of 391.8%.
* Revenue growth leader with less than $10 million: ranked 497, 01 Communique Laboratory, with a growth of 681.9%.

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