Hot Channel M&A: Verizon, Sophos, NetApp, More

Before COVID-19, it seemed like there was a new merger or acquisition with a channel impact every couple of days. The feeding frenzy was unstoppable, or so we thought. But like just about everything else, M&A activity has slowed considerably since mid-March.

Our recurring recap of channel-related M&A, usually a monthly, is a bimonthly for now. Still, there was activity in March and April worth noting.

Take nexVortex, for instance. Within just a few weeks’ time, it sold its hosted voice business to 4Voice, then the rest of the company to BCM One.

Sophos became the latest Thoma Bravo scoop-up. The security giant is now one of 200 software and technology companies within the private-equity firm’s fold.

The best-known M&A of this group is T-Mobile’s Sprint buy, which reduces the number of major U.S. wireless carriers to three. And now they all have close to the same number of subscribers.

Hey, speaking of wireless companies, Verizon made a big splash in video conferencing. Big Red said it is buying BlueJeans Network, which is in the middle of the battle for work-from-home video subscribers.

Partners who sell Citrix virtual desktop services will be interested to learn about NetApp’s CloudJumper acquisition. NetApp says it’s now all-in in cloud workspaces, which puts it squarely in Citrix’s sights.

But that’s not nearly all. We have compiled 12 of the biggest channel-impacting M&A, whether merger or acquisition, from the past two months. Cruise through our gallery below to read the specific details and to learn how they might affect your favorite partner programs.

Missed the previous M&A gallery? View the edition covering January and February, which featured AT&T, Veeam and more. And don’t forget — you don’t have to wait for these recaps to come around. We have a webpage dedicated to mergers and acquisitions all-year ’round.

Rapid7's Lee Weiner

VoIP provider 4Voice bought nexVortex's hosted voice business. It also acquired the company's entire hosted voice team, which it says provides a "seamless transition" for customers and partners.

The acquisition grows 4Voice's cloud services businesses. And it allowed nexVortex to focus resources on its growing managed SIP trunking business. At least until ... (see next slide)
LogRyhthm's Mitch Rowe
BCM One-nexVortex

(from previous page) ... BCM One bought the rest of nexVortex a month later. It's the third acquisition for BCM One, which is beefing up its SIP trunking platform and overall portfolio.

CEO Geoff Bloss said this means partners can offer a "solid SIP solution" to companies of all sizes. BCM One already had a relationship with nexVortex's management team. The acquisition gives it a presence in Herndon, Virginia, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, where nexVortex had offices.

Learn more about the acquisition.
LogMeIn's Rick Ribas

Zoom rival BlueJeans Network will soon be a part of the Verizon Business portfolio. Look for the acquisition to close later this quarter. Verizon didn't disclose financial details, but one report put the deal in the hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The purchase expands Verizon's UC portfolio. Customers will benefit from an enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon's global networks, the carrier said.

Get the full scoop on Verizon's buy.
LogMeIn's Rick Ribas

Rumored for years, T-Mobile and Sprint finally completed their $26 billion merger, first announced more than two years ago. T-Mobile said the deal creates the "new T-Mobile, a supercharged un-carrier that will deliver a transformative 5G network."

The merger makes T-Mobile a more powerful rival to Verizon and AT&T. In terms of the channel, the impact remains to be seen. Both Sprint and T-Mo have partner programs, though Sprint's has been more visible over the years at events such as the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Read what Sprint Partner Program sales director Scott Valentine had to say about the closing of the merger.
Broadvoice's Rebecca Rosen
Thoma Bravo-Sophos

Tech-buying private equity firm completed its purchase of cybersecurity giant Sophos for nearly $4 billion. The company expects it can now gain more ground on rivals McAfee and CrowdStrike in endpoint protection. Next-gen firewall suppliers Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet better watch their backs as well, Sophos said.

Thoma Bravo now has acquired more than 200 software and technology companies worth more than $50 billion. Imperva and Barracuda are a pair of its better-known subsidiaries. Thoma Bravo also owns a stake in McAfee.

In a Q&A, we asked how the acquisition will benefit partners.
Acronis' Amy Luby

"We are going to compete with our good friends at Citrix," a NetApp senior VP told Channel Futures. This comes after his company said it is buying CloudJumper to compete in the expanding virtual desktop and cloud workspace market.

The deal widens NetApp's push into cloud managed services and extends its reach into the fast-growing Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) community.

Learn more about how partners can take advantage.
Edify's Ashley Johnson

The COVID-19 pandemic was the death knell for this contentious battle. Xerox cited the coronavirus and subsequent economic turmoil for ending its effort to acquire the IT giant.

Xerox, which HP rebuffed several times, began its pursuit of HP in November. Xerox called HP's refusal to "meaningfully engage" over many months a "great disservice to HP stockholders."

Read more about what brought this M&A fight to an end.
Edify's Ashley Johnson

Video conferencing provider Lifesize merged with Serenova, which sells contact center as a service and workforce optimization services.

The companies say their combo creates a contact center and workplace collaboration firm that serves 10,000 global customers. Martin Equity Partners is backing the company. The investor plans to continue to support the growth of the combined business to address the $60 billion UCaaS market.
States ranked 21-25 worst for online hygiene
Palo Alto Networks-CloudGenix

Palo Alto Networks spent $420 million to buy CloudGenix, the SD-WAN provider.

Palo Alto already had a secure access service edge (SASE) platform that delivers a global cloud network with security. But adding CloudGenix's cloud-managed SD-WAN products will help bring remote offices and retail stores on board the network.

The deal, described more in-depth here, should close by July 31.
States ranked 16-20 worst for online hygiene
WatchGuard-Panda Security

WatchGuard Technologies says its security platform is stronger with the acquisition of Spain-based Panda Security. Panda specializes in advanced endpoint protection.

The combined company will offer centralized management of advanced threat detection and response functions. It will be fueled by artificial intelligence, behavior-profiling techniques and security event correlation. Endpoint detection and response, threat hunting and endpoint antivirus are among the top investment areas for IT decision-makers, the company said.

Learn more about WatchGuard's big acquisition.
Quantum's James Mundle

No, Accenture isn't getting into the insurance business. This "Gekko" is an AWS consultancy based in Paris. Accenture is an AWS premier consulting partner.

While most M&A activity has slowed during the coronavirus pandemic, cloud deals such as this one aren't uncommon.

Read more about Accenture's buy and another cloud-based deal — Canada's CentriLogic buying ObjectSharp.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

Rapid7 is improving its Insight platform by acquiring DivvyCloud, which offers automated cloud security and compliance.

Its biggest acquisition to date, Rapid7 says DivvyCloud will help its customers move out of data centers and into the cloud. It also gives them a deeper view into their cloud security, the companies said. DivvyCloud protects clouds and containers from policy violations, misconfiguration, external and internal threats, and more.

Get the full meal deal on this acquisition.

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