Jun
19
2018
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Cisco buys July Systems to bring digital experience to the real world

Customer experience management is about getting to know your customer’s preferences in an online context, but pulling that information into the real world often proves a major challenge for organizations. This results in a huge disconnect when a customer walks into a physical store. This morning, Cisco announced it has bought July Systems, a company that purports to solve that problem.

The companies did not share the acquisition price.

July Systems connects to a building’s WiFi system to understand the customer who just walked in the door, how many times they have shopped at this retailer, their loyalty point score and so forth. This gives the vendor the same kind of understanding about that customer offline as they are used to getting online.

It’s an interesting acquisition for Cisco, taking advantage of some of its strengths as a networking company, given the WiFi component, but also moving in the direction of providing more specific customer experience services.

“Enterprises have an opportunity to take advantage of their in-building Wi-Fi for a broad range of indoor location services. In addition to providing seamless connectivity, Wi-Fi can help enterprises glean deep visitor behavior insights, associate these learnings with their enterprise systems, and drive better customer and employee experiences,” Cisco’s Rob Salvagno wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

As is often the case with these kinds of purchases, the two companies are not strangers. In fact, July Systems lists Cisco as a partner prominently on the company website (along with AWS). Customers include an interesting variety from Intercontinental Hotels Group to the New York Yankees baseball team.

Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research says the acquisition is also about taking advantage of 5G. “July Systems gives Cisco the ability to expand its localization and customer experience management (CXM) capabilities pre-5g and post-5g. The WiFi analytics improve CXM, but more importantly Cisco also gains a robust developer community,” Wang told TechCrunch.

According to reports, the company had over $67 billion in cash as of February. That leaves plenty of money to make investments like this one and the company hasn’t been shy about using their cash horde to buy companies as they try to transform from a pure hardware company to one built on services

In fact, they have made 211 acquisitions over the years, according to data on Crunchbase. In recent years they have made some eye-popping ones like plucking AppDynamics for $3.7 billion just before it was going to IPO in 2017 or grabbing Jasper for $1.4 billion in 2016, but the company has also made a host of smaller ones like today’s announcement.

July Systems was founded back in 2001 and raised almost $60 million from a variety of investors including Sequoia Capital, Intel Capital, CRV and Motorola Solutions. Salvagno indicated the July Systems group will become incorporated into Cisco’s enterprise networking group. The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

May
09
2018
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Google to acquire cloud migration startup Velostrata

Google announced today it was going to acquire Israeli cloud migration startup, Velostrata. The companies did not share the purchase price.

Velostrata helps companies migrate from on-premises datacenters to the cloud, a common requirement today as companies try to shift more workloads to the cloud. It’s not always a simple matter though to transfer those legacy applications, and that’s where Velostrata could help Google Cloud customers.

As I wrote in 2014 about their debut, the startup figured out a way to decouple storage and compute and that had wide usage and appeal. “The company has a sophisticated hybrid cloud solution that decouples storage from compute resources, leaving the storage in place on-premises while running a virtual machine in the cloud,” I wrote at the time.

But more than that, in a hybrid world where customer applications and data can live in the public cloud or on prem (or a combination), Velostrata gives them control to move and adapt the workloads as needed and prepare it for delivery on cloud virtual machines.

“This means [customers] can easily and quickly migrate virtual machine-based workloads like large databases, enterprise applications, DevOps, and large batch processing to and from the cloud,” Eyal Manor VP of engineering at Google Cloud wrote in the blog post announcing the acquisition.

This of course takes Velostrata from being a general purpose cloud migration tool to one tuned specifically for Google Cloud in the future, but one that gives Google a valuable tool in its battle to gain cloud marketshare.

In the past, Google Cloud head Diane Greene has talked about the business opportunities they have seen in simply “lifting and shifting” data loads to the cloud. This acquisition gives them a key service to help customers who want to do that with the Google Cloud.

Velostrata was founded in 2014. It has raised over $31 million from investors including Intel Capital and Norwest Venture partners.

May
25
2017
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Rackspace acquires TriCore, adds enterprise applications to cloud management mix

Rackspace Rackspace announced today it was purchasing TriCore, giving it an enterprise applications management play to go along with its cloud management services. The announcement comes just one day after the company announced it was bringing a new CEO onboard, make it a busy week for the firm. The companies did not share the terms of the deal, but Rackspace called it the largest acquisition in… Read More

Jan
04
2017
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Freshdesk acquires data integration startup Pipemonk

Businessman in virtual computer room. Freshdesk announced today that it has acquired Banglaore-based startup Pipemonk for an undisclosed amount. Pipemonk helps companies move data between cloud platforms, which should come in handy for Freshdesk and its partners.
Pipemonk, which was born as ZapStitch, had raised just over $2 million since it launched in 2014, with its primary funding round coming in May, 2015, when it landed $2… Read More

Nov
09
2015
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Microsoft Goes For Another Israeli Security Firm Buying Secure Islands

cloud security with lock in front of data center. Israel is a small country with a thriving security startup industry, and Microsoft appears to be have a taste for them. Today it announced an agreement to buy Secure Islands, its third Israeli security firm in the last year. While Microsoft did not reveal a specific price, various reports peg the deal at between $77 million and $150 million. Microsoft made the announcement official in a… Read More

Nov
03
2015
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Pivotal IPO Could Make Dell-EMC Deal Even More Complicated

Woman pondering ideas that could take her in multiple directions. Even while the Dell-EMC deal seemingly moves forward, there is still plenty of maneuvering going on at EMC. A couple of weeks ago VMware announced it was creating a new company called Virtustream that will be jointly owned with EMC, and just yesterday a re/code report suggested that Pivotal, another EMC-VMware joint venture, could IPO in early 2016. All of this is further complicated… Read More

Dec
05
2014
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Ektron President Fesses Up To Selling The Company To Accel-KKR

Sold sign in front of a house. After denying to TechCrunch that Ektron had been sold, company president Tim McKinnon admitted in a later phone conversation that a sale had in fact happened, after a document confirming the deal began circulating online. Earlier this week we published a story about the rumor that Ektron had been sold to an unnamed private equity firm. The firm was presumably Accel-KKR, which had invested in… Read More

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