Microsoft last week announced the acquisition of Solair, a move to expand its global Internet of Things business.Solair’s IoT customization and deployment solutions, which are built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, have helped a wide range of businesses improve efficiencies and profitability, according to Microsoft.”The integration of Solair’s technology into the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite will continue to enhance our complete IoT offering for the enterprise,” said Sam George, partner director for Azure IoT.
Spirent Communications Plc (LSE:SPT), an industry leader in test and measurement, today announced that it has acquired Testing Technologies. Founded in 2000, Testing Technologies is a leader in Automation Software Quality Tools. With its flagship platform TTworkbench, Testing Technologies is focused on test automation for the automotive and IoT industries. As the automotive industry moves to IP networks and automakers begin to realize their vision of the connected car, the acquisition of Testing Technologies will enable Spirent to offer the most effective solution available to ensure the functionality and performance of next-generation automobile components and technologies.
In January 2014, Google (now under the parent umbrella corporation Alphabet) said it would purchase Nest for $3.2 billion, which validated the hopes and dreams of hundreds of startups that were also building connected products for the consumer home.After the deal was announced, the VC world went mad searching for investments, while larger companies searched for potential acquisition targets. At industry events that year, everyone I ran into with a connected product or a KickStarter was in talks to sell out or score more funds.
Tech giant Sony announced the acquisition of Altair Semiconductor, an Israel-based company that owns modem chip technology and related software for Long Term Evolution (LTE), a 4G cellular standard for mobile devices.The Japanese company will pay $212 million for Altair in a move that could bolster its presence in the Internet of Things (IoT) market, as more devices and appliances come equipped with cellular chipsets and access network services to connect to the Web.
PTC has experienced a busy year with the Internet of Things (IoT). Only seven months ago they invested at least half a billion dollars into integrating third-party software and big data analytics for IoT.Now, that investment has grown to about $750 million dollars thanks to their ongoing acquisition efforts. The latest IoT companies added to the PTC family appear to be the augmented reality software company Qualcomm and industrial automation software company Kepware.
IoT technology is steadily penetrating into our lives and our homes in particular. With the recent launch of the HomeKit by Apple and Google’s $3 billion acquisition of Nest, the smart home industry is definitely experiencing a major acceleration.While some investors consider the IoT investment potential to be overblown, the recent global research by Tata Consultancy Services said that 7 percent of the surveyed companies were planning to make over $500 million on IoT investments just in 2015 with home automation startups standing high on the purchase agenda, especially with big name companies like Samsung, Microsoft and Google.
Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB) announced the acquisition of Telegesis, a leading supplier of wireless mesh networking modules based on Silicon Labs’ market-leading ZigBee® technology. A privately held company founded in 1998 and based near London, Telegesis has established itself as a ZigBee expert with strong momentum in the smart energy market, providing ZigBee module solutions to many of the world’s top smart metering manufacturers.
Alphabet (nee Google) (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) may be compared to Apple in many respects, and vice versa, but there’s one area where Cupertino soundly bests Mountain View: devices. On one hand, Apple’s iPhone alone is responsible for $147 billion in revenue over the trailing 12-months versus Alphabet’s total haul of $70 billion.Alphabet, on the other hand, has struggled with devices. After buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2011, the company sold the division to Lenovo for $2.9 billion after years of red ink, although it should be noted the company kept certain high-value patents and sold off a portion of the business to Arris for $2.5 billion as well as keeping Motorola’s $3.2 billion cash pile at the time of acquisition.
Wink, once the home automation wunderkind, is officially on the market, having filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy along with parent company Quirky, the GE-backed company for inventors. Flextronics International, an electronics OEM giant, has placed the first bid for Wink ($15M for certain assets). The Wink board hopes to close the acquisition process within 60 days.
Alcatel-Lucent ALU recently inked an agreement to acquire Mformation, a New Jersey-based company that provides device management solutions for mobile and Internet of Things (“IoT”) to mobile operators and service providers. However, terms of the deal have been kept under wraps.Alcatel-Lucent plans to merge Mformation with its Internet Protocol (“IP”) portfolio in order to create a robust and scalable IoT platform that can be used across numerous industries like automotive, healthcare, utilities and manufacturing. In particular, the company’s Motive Customer Experience Management (“CEM”) platform, which focuses on developing cloud-based management solutions, stands to benefit significantly from this acquisition.