The details of the acquisition were not disclosed, but we would be surprised if Cisco made back any of the $180m it paid for Composite Software in 2013. Cisco did at least manage to grow the data virtualization business during its ownership. The company told us in September 2016 that it had 250 paying customers for what was then Cisco Data Virtualization (up from 200 at the time of its acquisition of Composite Software). The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks.
“We see PaaS as a strategic component of our software-defined infrastructure and application platform strategy,” stated SUSE President of Strategy, Alliances and Marketing Michael Miller, in a note to The New Stack, “and Cloud Foundry as the open source project and technology that brings together the best innovation and industry collaboration. We want to leverage that innovation for the benefit of our customers, and we have a vision for the convergence of CaaS technologies [in SUSE’s case, Containers as a service] like Docker and Kubernetes and PaaS technologies like Cloud Foundry that we think will address the real-world needs of our customers and partners. We will now work with the Cloud Foundry community to develop that vision.”
HPE is remaining part of the CSC and Micro Focus businesses by having a shareholding in the new organisations. It’s fascinating to think what this might mean going forward. It’s like neither business wants to fully commit to where future revenue for their business may lie. I say this because I can only assume that infrastructure sales will become a dwindling business as companies move to public cloud; it doesn’t seem to be enough that infrastructure alone will keep businesses buying on-site solutions.
And, a nice summing up of the HP master plan:
Effectively Meg Whitman is unravelling some of the bad decisions of the last few years, including the purchase of Autonomy and acquisition of EDS in 2008. There’s more focus on delivering infrastructure to clients, rather than moving revenue to services – remember HPE’s public cloud offering was also culled at the beginning of 2016.
Good coverage from 451:
- “maintenance contracts account for half [of OpenText’s] revenue, and 75% of revenue is recurring.”
- “EMC ECD is made up of more than 20 acquired product sets, all of which provide support for unstructured data. This technology ranges from records and digital-asset management to e-discovery and beyond. The core platform was in the process of being re-architected over the past few years; it is still a complex and expensive system of record.”
- The $1.6bn deal size is a 2.8x multiple.
- “OpenText has now spent $2.4bn on five purchases in 2016 – both numbers are record highs for the company.”
While HPE is getting $2.5bn in cash, the whole deal value is more like $8.8bn, the non-cash being stock. More details:
- “Under the deal, HP Enterprise shareholders are expected to end up with Micro Focus shares currently valued at about $6.3 billion. Micro Focus will pay HP Enterprise $2.5 billion in cash.” (WSJ)
- There’s about 12,000 people in HPE Software. (WSJ)
- HPE Software revenue: “HPE’s software unit generated $3.6 billion in net revenue in 2015, down from $3.9 billion in 2014.”
- Put another way, from TBR: “2Q16 software revenue [had a] decline of 18% year-to-year, driven down by a license revenue decline of 28% year-to-year.”
- HPE has been divesting a lot, getting a hoard of cash: “In earlier transactions, HP Enterprise in May completed a $2.3 billion deal in China to sell a 51% stake in a venture there called H3C that sells networking, server and storage hardware and related services. Later the same month, HP Enterprise announced a deal to spin off a computer services business that employs about 100,000 people—two-thirds of the company’s total head count—and merge it with operations of Computer Sciences Corp.”
- Also: “The company sold at least 84 percent of its 60.5 percent stake in Indian IT services provider Mphasis Ltd to Blackstone Group for $1.1 billion in April.”
What now for HPE?
After Dell Software’s expected sale is completed this fall, its new private-equity owners will separate some of the divisions — including Quest Software and SonicWall — into independent companies.
This is similar to how Novell was divided up under Attachmate.
Rumors are HPE is looking to sell of some older software assets, Autonomy, Mercury, and Vertical. Acquisition prices from Bloomberg:
- Autonomy: $10.3bn in 2011
- Mercury: $4.5bn in 2006
- Vertica: ~$350m in 2011
It’s that bugbear cloud, James over at RedMonk, said back in June in his report on the company’s big conference:
Make no mistake – Cloud is a forcing factor for pretty much all of the issues facing incumbent enterprise suppliers today. Cloud is putting pressure on all enterprise software markets – applications, hardware, networking, security, services, software, storage etc.
That said, I’d theorize that these are all reliable businesses with reliable customer bases. Their revenue may be declining and they may not be all “SaaS-y,” but for the right price PE firms could probably do alright.
“With this agreement, ActiveState loses the product it’s best known for. Copeland wrote that ActiveState will continue as a company, focusing on other products including ActivePerl, ActivePython, AvtiveTcl and Komodo IDE. He will stay with ActiveState rather than join HP. ”
Our surveys show Cisco has too many people, often takes too long to get things done and has become reactive to changing market dynamics,” Sue wrote. “Big layoffs and restructuring have become routine for the past four years. A more proactive change may kick Cisco’s underperforming stock into gear.
File under “shareholders are not your friends.”