Boss Insights - Weekly Software Tech M&A Round Up - 23rd November 2018

23 November 2018

Microsoft acquires FSLogix to enhance Office 365 virtual desktop experience

Suwanee, Georgia - 19th November 2018 - Microsoft has acquired FSLogix, an application provisioning and performance management vendor, to improve the Office 365 user experience on virtual desktops. The move could help Microsoft compete with cloud desktop offerings, such as Amazon WorkSpaces, and attract more organizations to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Mark Bowker, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Massachsetts, said: "Microsoft recognizes FSLogix as a company that can help provide that more predictable experience and performance to stand out among the technologies that host Windows and Office 365." According to the Microsoft acquisition blog post,  FSLogix's technology will allow for faster user profile load times in Office 365 ProPlus on Windows virtual desktops, particularly within the Outlook email application and OneDrive file-sharing service. "

SAP Acquires Contextor to Augment Robotic Process Automation Capabilities
Walldorf – 19th November 2018 - SAP SE has announced that it has acquired Contextor SAS, a European leader in the design and integration of robotic process automation (RPA), to help SAP accelerate the development and expansion of its SAP Leonardo Machine Learning portfolio. Contextor’s RPA technology relieves business software users from performing repetitive tasks and enables both attended and unattended RPA within and across applications. To date, Contextor’s customers have deployed more than 100,000 bots automating business processes. “With intelligent RPA accelerated by Contextor, businesses will be able to achieve the high automation level necessary to become intelligent enterprises,” said Markus Noga, Head, Machine Learning, SAP. “The acquisition is a big step towards orchestrating process automation and will help SAP inject RPA capabilities into our applications, first and foremost into SAP S/4HANA.”

Autodesk to Acquire PlanGrid to Accelerate Construction Productivity for $875 Million
San Rafael, California – 20th November 2018 - Autodesk, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire PlanGrid, a provider of construction productivity software, for $875 million net of cash. This acquisition will enable Autodesk to offer a more comprehensive, cloud-based construction platform. PlanGrid software lets general contractors, subcontractors and owners in commercial, heavy civil and other industries work together throughout the construction project lifecycle, offering real-time collaboration, keeping the field and the office on the same page. “As designing and making converge, Autodesk is connecting project data from design through construction and putting predictive insights into the hands of contractors,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk CEO. “There is a huge opportunity to streamline all aspects of construction through digitization and automation. The acquisition of PlanGrid will accelerate our efforts to improve construction workflows for every stakeholder in the construction process.”

Ulta Makes 2 Tech Acquisitions 
19th November 2018 - Ulta Beauty has made their first-ever acquisitions, both in technology. Ulta announced at its investor conference that it is building “a digital innovation ecosystem,” fuelled by an investment in online booking tool, Spruce, digital workflow partner Iterate, and the recent acquisitions of AI and augmented-reality start-ups, QM Scientific and GlamST. QM Scientific is empowering the next-generation consumer retail experience in-home, in-store, and online through deep learning and computer vision. By mining data from Point of Sale, Loyalty systems, the web and partner IoT devices, QM’s Scientific AI retail platform learns individual shopping habits. This intelligence is then leveraged to create individualized shopping experiences that lead to an increase in the average shop. GlamST is an AR Beauty Tech company that develops customized solutions for retailers and brands. The technology allows users to virtually apply makeup on mobile and web and in-store. Both tech investments will capitalize on rich-data streaming from Ulta’s loyalty program and allow them to focus on personalization.

iHeartMedia to Acquire Jelli, Inc.
New York, NY – 19th November 2018 – iHeartMedia, a North American audio company, which has a greater reach in the US than any other media outlet, has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Jelli, Inc., the technology company that powers its SoundPoint programmatic platform. The Jelli platform is the pioneering technology foundation for programmatic buying and selling of broadcast radio, and this acquisition will enable iHeartMedia to further leverage Jelli’s assets to continue to create for brands a digital-compatible buying platform for broadcast radio that includes targeting and creative optimization based on data and attribution tools compatible with the offerings of the major digital players. “At iHeart we believe marketing is both math and magic. The math is our rich data and insights about our users and how they relate to our partners’ products and services — and the magic is the incredible creative ideas we bring to our partners, such as our iconic music events, award shows, influencers, podcasts, social reach and our unique ‘on air’ promotions.” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “We are excited about having Jelli not only for the platforms they are creating and have created for us, but also to lead our aggressive and innovative ad tech development.”

Stevens & Stevens Acquires Document Shredding Company
St Petersburg, Florida - 13th November 2018 - Stevens & Stevens Business Records Management is a full-service records storage and information center with clients throughout the Southeast. Confidential On-site Paper Shredding, also known as COPS, is also based in St. Petersburg and specializes in commercial, retail and court and legal document shredding. It’s been woman owned and operated for more than 30 years. “By merging our shredding operations with Stevens & Stevens, we will be able to continue providing the secure shredding services our clients have come to expect, as well as offering additional records management services that businesses also need,” said COPS President and founder, Jane Herman, in a statement. Herman will remain with Stevens & Stevens as will COPS employees. “Records are a business’ most important asset,” said Rhett Stevens, Stevens’ co-owner. “We look forward to helping more businesses ensure the security and privacy of those records.”

Granicus Acquires SouthTech Systems
Denver, Colorado -13th November 2018 – Granicus has announced it has acquired government records management and disclosure solution provider SouthTech Systems, combining one of the most full-featured, innovative digital records management solutions with Granicus’ powerful suite of communications, website and meetings software. The acquisition strengthens Granicus’ commitment to delivering consistent innovation and the most modern technologies to local government records management challenges, while bringing SouthTech Systems customers expanded technology capabilities and an accelerated path to seamless digital experiences for citizens. SouthTech Systems offers a feature-rich, turnkey business process automation solution that simplifies and improves record management for many of the country’s most sophisticated clerks and recorders. The solution automates the time-consuming and manual process of digitizing, approving, retrieving and payment processing of vital records including marriage, birth, death and land certificates. SouthTech also provides automated disclosure solutions supporting California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) statements and forms.

Ricoh to acquire ColorGATE Digital Output Solutions GmbH
Tokyo – 12th November 2018 - Ricoh Company, Ltd. Has announced that the company has reached an agreement to buy ColorGATE Digital Output Solutions GmbH a software provider in the printing industry with a specific competence in color management. This acquisition is designed to strengthen Ricoh's growing industrial printing business. The transfer of shares is scheduled to complete on November 30, 2018. Founded in 1997, ColorGATE based in Hannover, Germany, provides software for the wide format and industrial printing sectors. Peter Williams, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Commercial and Industrial Printing Business Group, Ricoh, says: “By combining ColorGATE's proprietary software technology with our own industrial printers, Ricoh will provide solutions covering the whole printing workflow from Pre-Press to Post-Press. This acquisition will enable ColorGATE to expand its industrial printing business and global presence as together we become better able to support our customers to accelerate their transition from analogue to digital based production.”

BoomTown Acquires Real Contact, Offers Lead Qualification Services
CHARLESTON, S.C. – 8th November 2018 — BoomTown, a sales and marketing platform for real estate professionals, is excited to announce the acquisition of Real Contact, a lead qualification service provider. The acquisition will pave the way for BoomTown to leverage Real Contact’s lead qualification services to qualify and nurture leads from virtually any source, helping agents and teams increase sales, save time, and deliver a better consumer experience.  “Our data shows that only 23% of listing inquiries are followed up within the first hour, and less than half of these inquiries come in during business hours”, said Grier Allen, CEO & President of BoomTown. “Responsiveness and speed-to-lead are real pain points in our industry, and we’re very excited to offer Real Contact’s initial response and nurturing capabilities to help agents and teams receive action-ready leads, while ensuring every new inquiry is receiving exceptional and timely service.”