TMCnet Feature
January 18, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings Week in Review

By Doug Barney, TMCnet Editor at Large

Deals in the tech sector never stop, and this week is no exception.

The biggest deal of the week was clearly Google (News - Alert) paying $3.2 billion for Internet of Things and home automation vendor Nest.

Overall, Nest has raised some $150 million, and experts valued the company at $2 billion. That means that Google saw enough in Nest and the market to pay a pretty tidy premium.

Persistence paid off this week when Persistent Systems nabbed a partnership with Dell (News - 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.

“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.”

Mobile messaging got a kick in the pants as GPShopper and Direct Source (News - Alert) came together to support retailers’ efforts to drive local marketing and information content to the smartphones of shoppers.

The underlying technology is beacons, Bluetooth devices that drive the content to the smartphones, which unless they are a decade old surely support Bluetooth. In fact, the messages can be sent without the customer even opening a specific retailer’s app.

Knowlarity Communications this week snapped up startup Unicom Techlabs, founded just last year. Knowlarity, founded in 2009, isn’t that much older than the company it bought.

“Knowlarity came to life in 2009, when Ambarish Gupta and fellow classmate from IIT Kanpur Pallav Pandey came together to revolutionize business telephony in India,” the company explained. “It was a time when expensive and archaic on-premises telephone systems dominated business telephony for the few that could afford it. Small and medium enterprises who did not want to make such investments on infrastructure had to contend with complex and manual routing of their incoming call volume.”

Unicom, meanwhile, brings with it more than 200 customers in real estate, e-commerce, media, education, health care and SMB.

Oracle (News - Alert) made a big SDN 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.

“Corente’s software-defined WAN virtualization platform accelerates deployment of cloud-based applications and services by allowing customers to provision and manage global private networks connecting to any site, in a secure, centralized and simple manner,” Oracle explained. “Corente’s Cloud Services Exchange delivers, secures, and manages distributed applications over diverse networks, globally, to any site, over any IP network, regardless of the type of transport, access, application or provider involved.”

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