After years of wandering in the no man’s land between outsourcing and technology consulting services, UK IT firm Logica is being scooped up by Canadian outfit CGI. Logica’s board are happy with the $1.7bn offer. This is all a natural part of the consolidating tech market. Logica has never really understood how to position itself in the market in a manner that made it relevant in the boardroom. Certainly this is not an issue for CGI, looking at its website.
Blackberry maker Rim saw its share price fall to a 12 month low despite the appointment of a new CEO earlier this year. It feels like RIM missed the ‘app’ boat and is now so far behind Apple and Google that it almost feels as if they are wasting their time. Rim thinks it is in a four horse race, when in fact it is really a 2 horse race, because RIM didn’t turn up for the start, and Microsoft is not necessarily heading in the right direction. Maybe it’s time to dismantle the company and focus on handset design with a view to running Apple iOS or Google Android?
Sap’s clouded vision
Very few names that were the talk of the town during the dotcom era are still around today. e-Commerce specialist Ariba is one of the few. Their focus on e-procurement was in my view a little ahead of its time, but is increasingly relevant today. And software giant Sap has acknowledged that by acquiring the US company for $4.3bn. Sap’s jigsaw strategy is starting to look interesting.
Yahoo – Lifelike history
Yahoo’s Chief Executive Scott Thompson has had to step down after it transpired that his CV detailed an imbalance between the number of qualifications he claims to have against the reality. Interestingly Mr Thompson apparently accused the recruitment firm that placed him of falsifying the qualification. This takes the CEO body count at Yahoo to three in the last year.
Dotcomesque euphoria gripped the recent flotation of Facebook. The offer price of $38 per share has retrospectively appeared too high with the price now at $28 two weeks later. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is unlikely to have to radically adjust his lifestyle on this news. Lead underwriter Morgan Stanley is facing pressure as some accuse it of mis-marketing the shares. Even beyond this there is a growing perception that the post-industrial digital economy is a myth and that it is impossible to make money from companies that in essence solely deal in bytes. There is also the concern that Facebook’s revenue earning opportunities are not suited for the small screens of the growing mobile market. Such sceptics are obviously unfamiliar with the growing tablet market.
Geo-political cyber warfare
Iran is the recent recipient of malware designed to steal sensitive information related to the country’s energy interests. Leading security companies are suggesting that the quality of the malware software is such that was likely developed by a nation state and not some bored teenagers killing time during an ICT lesson. This seems like a logical extension of warfare in the 21st century. However today it is stealing records, tomorrow it could be unauthorised remote control of the nuclear cooling rods.