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January 11, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: M&A Week in Review

By Doug Barney, TMCnet Editor at Large

The tech market moves ahead through partnerships, and this week progress was made through deals galore.

XIOLINK last month was sold to Cosentry, but the MSP wanted to do due diligence on all the details, and so has hired DH Capital to advise it. Investment banker DH is a good pick as it focuses on SaaS (News - Alert) (News http://images.tmcnet.com/tmc/vertical/financial/images/chart_icon.gif- Alert), private cloud, colocation, managed infrastructure and managed hosting.

DH made sure that the XIOLINK Cosentry deal was right for its owners.

Cosentry is a Midwest service provider which grew greatly having swallowed up the nearly 15 year-old XIOLINK. “DH Capital's hard work and advice was crucial in completing this transaction. We recognized the importance of partnering with an investment banking team that truly knows the sector,” said Brad Pittenger, Co-founder and CEO of XIOLINK. Cosentry serves the Midwest with data centers that total 48,000 square feet.

Partners looking to private label VoIP and broadband management now have one fewer vendor to work with, but one of these choices will soon be twice as big. That’s because two vendors in these markets, Integrated Broadband Services (IBBS) and Momentum (News - Alert), have agreed to merge.

The two claim to be the largest companies in the business, so they could conceivably exert greater market control.

Both serve MSPs, cable companies and municipalities and managed services providers, not just based in North America, but the Caribbean and Latin America as well.

Momentum comes out on top with current CEO Bill Fox set to run the combination. Top IBBS execs will join the board of directors.

Samsung (News - Alert) mobile devices, especially its smartphones and tablets, are hot in both enterprise and consumer markets. For enterprises, managing all these devices is creating quite a challenge.

Samsung just partnered with mobile management provider DMI to offer managed mobility services that support Samsung devices.

Until recently, many large enterprises have relied on legacy devices and technologies to address their security concerns. Today, end users have made it abundantly clear that they prefer Android (News - Alert) (News - Alert) and especially Samsung devices. The dramatic mobile security enhancements made by Samsung, along with our services, will make Samsung the technology of choice, for both end users and enterprises,” said Jay Sunny Bajaj, DMI founder and CEO of DMI.

As part of this Samsung MDM strategy, DMI will help install and manage Samsung Enterprise Services, which is a set of services and devices for large customers.

Persistence pays off as yesterday Persistent Systems announced a partnership with Dell (News http://images.tmcnet.com/tmc/vertical/financial/images/chart_icon.gif- Alert) that revolves around AppAssure, storage technology the server giant bought in 2012.

AppAssure itself was founded in 2006 as a backup maker, and two years later got a major investment from Bain Capital Ventures. Today the technology is simply known as Dell AppAssure.

Meanwhile Persistent Systems provides a disaster recovery solution based on the cloud called rCloud.

Persistence worked hard for the Dell partnership. “With this partnership, we are able to extend Dell AppAssure's proven on-site backup and recovery solutions with our powerful cloud based disaster recovery service as a single, robust and easy to implement and fully cloud-enabled business continuity solution,” said Nara Rajagopalan, Chief Product Officer, Persistent Systems, Inc. “Our integrated offering means customers aren’t required to rip and replace their existing infrastructure, they can simply build on top of it – a huge savings in time and money.”

One sales approach is to offer DR as an added value to existing AppAssure customers.

File sharing company Egnyte has had a busy last couple of months – make that weeks. First the company nabbed close to $30 million in fresh venture capital, meaning it has gathered some $60 million overall.

Fresh on that momentum, Egnyte bagged a major partnership with NAS provider Synology.

The file sharing/NAS combo will be aimed at mid-size companies. The pair is even demoing the integration at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert) (News - Alert)).

The value of MSPs is most often realized through partnerships. Partners benefit from a broader offering, while customers gain value with a single source of support for multiple integrated tools. This is equally true for Egnyte file sharing.

“The integration will provide businesses with a single solution that enables secure local, off-line and cloud access to files from anywhere and through any device. Users can create and collaborate on files and then securely sync those files with Egnyte through the cloud to a Synology DiskStation NAS,” the pair said. “Growing businesses can deploy Egnyte on multiple Synology DiskStations across numerous offices, enabling the ability to connect them together under one central access point. This helps employees, and Egnyte also eliminates the need to set up and maintain new infrastructure to provide secure file sharing beyond the firewall.”

Two giants are a bit late to the SDN market. First is Cisco, and as the network giant, this slow move is a bit of a shock.

http://imagec14.247realmedia.com/RealMedia/ads/Creatives/default/empty.gif/0Software giant Oracle (News - Alert) is less of a surprise. But Oracle made its big move this week by snapping up Corente. Here it is not SDN as usual, but instead a move to make it easier to both set up private networks and provision cloud apps across the WAN.

Why is this important? The SDN market is in its infancy, and startups are leading the charge. You can tell which startups are the hottest – they are the ones being bought.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a complex and ambitious technology that replaces physical and hard wired network connections with a full layer of virtualization. This may well the future of networking and no one, not even Oracle, wants to be left behind.
Corente, now nearly six years old, was bought for an undisclosed sum.
This isn’t Oracle’s first foray into virtual networking, as it two years ago acquired Xsigo. While Xsigo virtualizes physical network infrastructure, this reporter wouldn’t exactly call what it does SDN.



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