"Lets go shopping!" Thats the end-of-year battle cry, whether youre getting trampled buying a DVD player at Wal-Mart or youre a high-tech company looking for a stocking stuffer among your competitors. To hear the latest on who might be buying whom this year, Spencer shifted into tech-company-holiday-party-hopping mode.
At the first venue, in the Bay area, Spence appropriated a bottle of peppermint schnapps from the bar and was headed toward the buffet when he heard a fetching young woman telling folks about rumblings that Sanctum, an application security company, was seeking a buyer. It has hired an investment bank to find potential suitors, she claimed, but hasnt had much luck, even though Microsoft was once rumored to have an interest.
In a flash, Spence was out the door to grab a cab to the next bash. There, he learned from a disheveled programmer type that Mercury Interactive and Quest Software will be looking to make acquisitions in the management software space, as will IBM. Another party guest claimed that Peregrine, which has been on the block for some time, may find a buyer after it restates its financials. A bookish young lass chimed in that shed heard that Network Associates was looking to sell its small, niche Magic Service Desk business. "Now thats something that IBM could grow, although it would get a bigger installed base if it bought Peregrine," Spence ventured to the young lady, as he accidentally knocked a CD player off a desk, silencing Brenda Lees warblings.
The flying Furball grabbed the next flight back east, targeting Copley Place in Boston as his next holiday cheer headquarters. There, after uncapping more peppermint schnapps, he found brown candy canes and, sampling them, eavesdropped as an older management type told some folks hed heard a rumor that HP may be looking to scoop up systems and security management provider NetIQ. Obviously looking to impress the boss, one young guy said hed heard that VMware, a hot server provider touting virtual infrastructure solutions, has many vendors interested in scooping it up. "Ive heard EMC may be the lead suitor courting them," exclaimed the lad. Spence dipped into his pocket for another of the curiously colored canes as he offered, "I was thinking that if IBM was ever shopping for an online meeting/collaboration product to expand Lotus Workplace, Interwise would be an amusing acquisition. Jim Manzi, board chairman at Interwise, could offer advice on being swallowed up by IBM," guffawed the Grimalkin. His head swirling, the Blitzen Kitzen realized it was the canes, not the schnapps, that did him in. Lurching toward the front door, he spotted an empty Boston police cruiser. He reached in, grabbed the mike and proclaimed, "Attention, dont take the brown candy canes" and silently skatted into the night.