2015 marked an eventful year for the IT industry. Reflecting less supportive market sentiment, major players felt setbacks. However, the situation is expected to improve in the coming years.
Here is a look through major events occurred in the year that just passed.
Cisco gets new CEO
In May, Cisco’s announcement of appointing Chuck Robbins as its chief executive officer was a major news, ending hullabaloo. He replaced John Chambers, who led the company since 1995 and has grown the company from $1.2 billion in annual revenue to $48 billion during his tenure.
Since assuming the role on July 26, 2015, Robbins has aggressively pursued acquisitions to expand the company’s market presence.
Cisco has also completed the acquisitions of Pawaa Software, Lancope and ParStream since Robbins took his position and announced its intent to acquire Acano, 1 Mainstream and Portcullis Computer Security.
The world’s largest computer networking gear maker reported a 33 percent increase in first-quarter profit. Cisco’s first-quarter profit rose to $2.4 billion or $0.48 per share from $1.8 billion or $0.35 per share in the year before.
The current market capital of the San Jose, California-based company is $137.84 billion. Cisco was in the news for its association with Ericsson as well.
Incidentally, three Chinese technology vendors Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo did not make any significant difference in the global IT for enterprise market. Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo lacked innovation as compared with Oracle, Dell, HP, IBM, SAP, Salesforce, etc.
Dell’s EMC acquisition
2015 also witnessed the biggest ever IT deals shaping up between Dell and EMC. On October 12, Dell announced its $67 billion deal to acquire enterprise storage vendor EMC. EMC shareholders were promised to receive $33.15 per EMC share.
Dell and EMC will address the growing demand of large and small customers’ changing IT needs because the acquisition enables Dell to grab EMC, VMware, Pivotal, VCE, RSA and Virtustream.
At the time of the acquisition announcement, both parties did not mention about job cuts, which were imminent. Most recently, EMC said in a filing that it plans unspecified number of job cuts as it moves to slash costs by $850 million annually.
Microsoft’s phone strategy
Following the nearly $7 billion acquisition of Nokia phone business, Microsoft has become silent on its smartphone strategy. Microsoft seems to be busy with its OS business and not willing to become aggressive in the global smartphone market. Is Microsoft following the footsteps of Google that acquired Motorola and later sold the phone business to Lenovo.
On the back of the swell in smart phone demand and to revive its beleaguered smartphone business, Microsoft launched Lumia 550 this year. It unveiled two new smartphones that run on its Windows 10 operating platform – the Lumia 950 and 950 XL.
Despite its efforts, phone revenue of Microsoft fell 54 percent for the quarter ended September 30.
Under the aegis of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the company also introduced Windows 10 as a free upgrade or with new PCs and tablets. It includes innovations such as Cortana, an Xbox app and Microsoft Edge. It is said to be the most secure Windows ever and is delivered as a service.
HP splits into HPE and HP Inc
HPE CEO Meg Whitman aims to do better following the split of the technology powerhouse into two companies in the U.S. HPE targets more enterprise deals in India and abroad.
November witnessed the split of technology giant HP into two entities – Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s focus was to provide the technology solutions to optimize traditional IT, while offerings from HP Inc. were personal systems and printing company.
According to the earnings figures reported for the quarter ended October 31, HPE saw a decline in sales of most of its products including personal systems, printing, enterprise services, software and financial services.
HP generated $2.6 billion in cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter, down 3 percent from the prior-year period. The company generated $6.5 billion in cash flow from operations in fiscal 2015.
After the separation, the company focused aggressively to reach a wider market and it is reported that the entity is stepping into the phone market.
In connection with that, HP is likely to launch its first Windows 10-powered smartphone sometime early this year.
IBM’s Watson investment
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is trying to find more business opportunities after making investments in IoT, mobility and Cloud business.
In a bid to bolster its IoT business, the US-based technology major IBM opened its headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, Germany.
In March 2015, IBM announced its decision to invest more than $3 billion to address the needs of clients that are looking to capitalize on the increasing instrumentation and interconnectedness of the world driven by the Internet of Things.
Building on the investment, in October the company revealed plans to acquire the B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties of The Weather Channel.
The combination of advanced cloud, analytics and security technologies and IBM’s industry expertise is expected to serve as the foundation for the Watson IoT Cloud Platform as well as new services and offerings.
IBM Watson has launched Trend App in December to help shoppers to understand the reasons behind the top trends of the holiday season. The app is already popular and the company expects the app to popularise IBM Watson analytics.
In September, IBM Watson Health opened its new headquarters in Cambridge and introduced a pair of cloud services. Located at 75 Binney Street in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, IBM Watson Health will serve as a home base for more than 700 IBM employees. Deborah DiSanzo joined the company as the business unit’s general manager.
When combined all these developments, Watson unit is likely to yield good crop for the mother company.
Apple CEO Tim Cook surprised the enterprise market with two significant tie-ups with Cisco and IBM. Apple wants more enterprises to utilize iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets. Apple is closely watching the near elimination of BlackBerry from the smartphone market and unpredictable growth of Samsung Electronics and Microsoft in the enterprise space.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will lead the U.S. consumer technology industry to $287 billion in retail revenues in 2016, said Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Incidentally, IoT investment is yet to bring any tangible result to enterprises.
IT spending to grow 1.5% in 2016
IT spending is set to grow 1.5 percent to surpass $3.6 trillion in 2016, according to Gartner. The IT industry is being driven by digital business, and an environment driven by a connected world. Gartner predicts spending on Internet of Things (IoT) hardware will exceed $2.5 million every minute in 2016. In five years, one million new devices will come online every hour. These interconnections are creating billions of new relationships. These relationships are not driven solely by data, but algorithms.
Digital will be the buzz word in 2016. Enterprises and IT vendors are currently engaged in making digital a way of life to improve customer satisfaction.
Arya Krishnan and Baburajan Kizhakedath