It has been a hot summer on the tech front. The Dell-HP battle for 3PAR is still raging, Intel surprised everybody with their McAfee acquisition, and VMware and Citrix are very much in a buying mood as well.
The chief question is: so what?
Back when I was a journalist for Techworld, we were thinking about fazing out mergers and acquisition news in favour of practical tips for the workplace. Reason was very simple: IT Pros did not read (click on) stories about acquisitions. Somehow, they were not interested in what companies are bought by Oracle, VMware and other behemoths.
I can understand this behaviour. You would be hard pressed to think of a reason rank and file IT people could use this information. However, as Techtarget points out, there are definitely reasons they should
Here is the thing: an acquisition of a small vendor by a larger one does not just happen because the latter has money to spare. It happens because small vendors are specialised, and ride on the cutting edge of technology. That is also the reason that customers (the companies that employ the IT pros) buy their products, instead of those offered by larger firms. Also, the organisations tend to be smaller, leaner and more focused on their customers than the big ones out there.
What happens after an acquisition? The complete opposite from what the buying party would invariably try to make you believe: A lot, and it is almost never in the customers best interest.
Take Oracle-Sun. Sun clients have been experiencing higher support fees since Oracle took over. That eats into budgets, and that IS a big concern for the IT workers out there. Those who backed out sooner rather than later were right in doing so.
So if you are a 3PAR customer, which of the two suitors (HP and Dell) will be the most destructive one? That is a question you pro's out there should be asking yourselves. Don't worry, you're not a snob when you read some analysis about this bidding war, it just is common sense.
On a side note: this post will be the last one before a longer hiatus. There is been a lot of development on this community, and there will be in the coming month. I am off for a longer holiday. The blog section remains open though. Everyone is free to submit posts and getting them featured.