Who Will Ride the IT M&A Wave Following Oracle-Sun?

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Who Will Ride the IT M&A Wave Following Oracle-Sun?

by Chris Preimesberger

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This one's been circulating literally for years. But the latest talk now is that IBM may be getting serious about making an offer that CEO Dan Warmenhoven, co-founder Dave Hitz and the NetApp Board of Directors cannot refuse. IBM saved up a bunch of cash for Sun; since that deal's kaput, why not put the money into a growing sector (storage) with a well-managed company that knows how to make and sell the next-generation products that Big Blue needs?

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This is another oldie that is regularly resurrected. The synergies have always been there: West Coast, fairly conservative corporate cultures; longtime partnerships in several product areas; product lines that complement each other; plenty of customers that do not overlap, so there are new sales fields to mine for HP.

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Seems as natural as running Photoshop on Mac OS.

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There's no way this was going to happen a year ago, when talks first surfaced. But times have changed drastically since then. There's still no way their cultures will ever mesh. However, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wants his company's consumer online business to stop losing money, and acquiring Yahoo is a fast way to turn that around.

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Why eBay ever bought Skype has been a mystery for the ages. A company that really knows how to use Skype's capabilities needs to own it. One good move by eBay was getting Skype all that face time on "Oprah."

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Cisco Systems-VMware

We've been all over this before and it still makes a lot of sense. VMware and its virtual machinery has been a cash cow for EMC. But the companies' cultures clash big time, and a lot of excellent VMware talent has moved on. Cisco wants to control virtualization for its network-centric data center strategy. EMC's strengths are in storing and protecting data.

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EMC and Somebody in the Mobile Sector

EMC has built a hugely successful business by acquiring companies in and around the storage and data protection business (Iomega, RSA Security, Documentum, Avamar deduplication, Mozy online storage, etc.)It's always looking for the next conquest. How about somebody in the mobile computing sector, such as Motorola? Data has to be stored there, too, and more of it goes there every day.