by Peter Sayer

The biggest enterprise technology M&A deals of the year (so far)

27 Feb 202411 mins
Mergers and AcquisitionsTechnology Industry

2024 is off to a slow start compared to last year’s M&A market, which saw Cisco offering $28 billion for enterprise cloud protection company Splunk, and the closing of not one but two $69 billion acquisitions after more than a year in regulatory limbo.

colorful office building at night
Credit: Mike Krononov / Unsplash

Antitrust regulators in the US and Europe are proving increasingly willing to hold technology giants to account, derailing or delaying proposed acquisitions and enforcing commitments they made to secure past deals. Adobe abandoned its $20 billion bid for Figma in December 2023, and it took Broadcom 59 weeks spanning three fiscal years to get approvals from around the world for its $69 billion acquisition of VMware. Meanwhile, the FTC is still fighting a rearguard action against Microsoft’s acquisition of games studio Activision, which Microsoft said it had closed in October 2023.

Gartner forecasts that this regulatory oversight will have a chilling effect on large M&A deals. This could encourage buyers to consider multiple smaller acquisitions instead, it says in a its report, “Top Trends in M&A for 2024.” 

At the same time, economic uncertainty is depressing the value of small technology startups, making them more attractive. CIOs of well-capitalized enterprises needing those startups’ technologies should consider acquiring them rather than becoming customers, Gartner says. It expects to see more of what it calls “techquisitions” like this. 

AI, in particular, could make for a good techquisition, as it represents an easy way for enterprises lacking the skills or time to build their own AI capabilities to buy their way in. Gartner expects such deals to lead to a wave of AI acquisitions in 2024. 

But AI isn’t just an acquisition target; it can also be a tool to facilitate mergers, Gartner says. Enterprises should consider using it to analyze and negotiate letters of intent, contracts, and transition services agreements (TSAs). 

Most analysts agree that generative AI’s hype cycle is likely to continue apace, with the technology reaching into core product markets like semiconductors and cloud technology – another area where smaller startups could become key targets for acquisition. Furthermore, according to an analysis from Morrison Foerster, the enterprise software world has been quick to embrace AI capabilities, with the aim of allowing customers to build their own implementations in mind. For CIOs, mergers and acquisitions can disrupt strategic rollouts, spell a need to pivot to a new solution, signal sunsetting of essential technology, provide new opportunities to leverage newly synergized systems, and be a bellwether of further shifts to come in the IT landscape. Keeping on top of activity in this area can help your company make the most of emerging opportunities and steer clear of issues that often arise when vendors combine. 

Here rounds up some of the most significant tech M&As of the year so far that could impact IT. 

February 2024 

Perforce to absorb data virtualization and testing firm Delphix 

Perforce, a provider of enterprise developer software, is set to acquire data virtualization and masking technology provider Delphix for an undisclosed sum. Analysts said that the move is part of Perforce’s attempts to create a more integrated, end-to-end developer platform for DevOps teams, thanks to Delphix’s ability to make testing easier through virtualization and masking out personally identifiable information used by applications. 

Cisco again accelerates timetable for closing $28B acquisition of Splunk 

Enterprise and cloud protection company Splunk could be part of Cisco early in the second quarter, following a $28 billion bid from the networking equipment vendor. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins sees the acquisition as a way for the company to expand its existing security products into a full-stack observability platform. He initially expected to close the deal by October 2024, but now expects it could happen in March or April. The waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust act expired with no action by the US Federal Trade Commission, while the European Commission will make its decision by March 13. 

FTC continues rearguard action against Microsoft’s $68.7 billion bid for Activision Blizzard 

The US Federal Trade Commission is still trying to reverse Microsoft’s acquisition of games developer Activision Blizzard, which Microsoft announced it had closed in October. On Dec. 6, the FTC asked an appeals court in California to overturn a lower court decision allowing the deal to go ahead, and on Feb. 7 wrote to the court protesting that Microsoft had started laying off staff at the newly acquired division on Jan. 25, contradicting statements the company had made to the court.  

Activision Blizzard’s apps are not typically authorized on enterprise networks, but when the deal was first announced, it seemed there was a chance its technology for creating and animating virtual worlds could make it into the workplace. Back then, Microsoft said the acquisition would give it the building blocks for the metaverse. However, since then Microsoft has laid off 100 staff in its industrial metaverse unit, essentially closing it down. 

January 2024 

Accenture nabs Navisite in latest 2024 acquisition 

Navisite, the Massachusetts-based digital transformation services provider, was snapped up for an undisclosed price by Accenture as part of the professional services company’s move to help its clients get ready to adopt generative AI. A total of 1,500 workers from Navisite will join Accenture’s infrastructure engineering practice, among them 400 cloud engineers with deep experience across cloud providers and enterprise technologies. 

InSemi to become part of Infosys in semiconductor deal 

IT services consulting firm Infosys announced plans in early January to buy InSemi, a semiconductor and embedded services design company, for an undisclosed amount. Infosys expects InSemi’s expertise will enable it to provide stronger AI and engineering R&D offerings to its customers, given the centrality of silicon to new technologies including AI, 5G, and quantum computing. 

IBM to buy more mainframe expertise from Advanced 

IBM is buying mainframe application and data modernization assets from Advanced, a UK company that boasts extensive experience in mainframe strategy. IBM will fold the team into its consulting business. Mainframes are still surprisingly widespread, and many companies — including some of the largest banks in the world — are dependent on them for core transaction processing functions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  

December 2023 

Alteryx agrees to be bought by two investment funds 

Analytics cloud platform Alteryx is going private. It has agreed to be acquired by Clearlake Capital and Insight Partners in a deal valued at $4.4 billion. Alteryx CEO Mark Anderson said the deal will provide the company with increased working capital and access to industry expertise to grow. Clearlake already owns stakes in a number of enterprise technology firms, including Kofax, Metricstream, Perforce, and Precisely. Insight’s portfolio includes Augury, Camunda, Docker, and Veeam. 

Silver Lake sells parts of Software AG to IBM 

IBM has agreed to buy the StreamSets and webMethods integration-platform-as-a-service enterprise technology platforms from Software AG for $2.13 billion. It’s an odd move for Software AG — its CEO recently put the “super iPaaS” at the very heart of his strategy — but great news for shareholder Silver Lake, which bought a majority stake in July in a deal valuing the whole company at $2.4 billion. The sale will leave Software AG with four main product lines: Aris for business process mining; Alfabet for managing IT transformation; Cumulocity for IoT, and Adabas & Natural, its legacy mainframe modernization programming languages. For IBM, the idea appears to be to bolster its value proposition for WatsonX AI, enabling the company to deploy it faster in industries dependent on large-scale multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments. 

Salesforce buys Spiff to spiff up compensation tracking capabilities 

Salesforce has agreed to buy Spiff, a developer of software for tracking sales commissions. It plans to integrate it into its Sales cloud platform to enhance its performance management functionality. The majority of Spiff’s customers use Salesforce as their CRM, and its software is sold through Salesforce’s AppExchange.  

ServiceNow expands process mining with Ultimate acquisition 

ServiceNow has bought another company — and despite its name, it surely won’t be the last — to expand the process mining capabilities of its Now Platform. UltimateSuite’s task mining software analyses keystrokes and mouse clicks to identify automation opportunities and streamline repetitive work. 

Adobe abandons Figma deal after running into regulatory trouble 

Adobe has given up on its plan to buy Figma, one of the largest rivals to its online design tool Creative Cloud, after running into resistance from competition regulators. On Aug. 7 the European Commission called in Adobe’s September 2022 agreement to buy Figma for $20 billion for a full investigation, but it was Adobe’s refusal to comply with remedies required by the UK Competition and Markets Authority that finally killed the deal. Figma is more often seen in the art department than the IT department, but with Adobe also a big player in customer data platforms, CIOs will be relieved the company won’t be getting an even bigger hold on their cloud software spend. 

Cognizant buys Thirdera to boost its ServiceNow capabilities 

IT outsourcer Cognizant has snapped up Thirdera, a ServiceNow partner based in Colorado, and added almost 1,000 employees to its workforce of almost 350,000. Of particular interest was Thirdera’s in-house online training platform, Thirdera University, which Cognizant plans to use to train up its own staff. 

Inetum buys another ServiceNow partner, Unifii 

There’s more consolidation in the ServiceNow ecosystem: French IT services company Inetum has snapped up Unifii, a ServiceNow partner operating in the UK and Ireland, giving it a total of around 500 ServiceNow experts active in Europe. 

Nintex buys Skuid to add low-code to its process automation tool 

Process intelligence and automation specialist Nintex has agreed to buy Skuid, developer of a low-code tool used by 600 companies to build business applications. It plans to combine Skuid’s platform with its own. 

Insight acquires Google Cloud partner SADA 

IT services company Insight Enterprises has expanded its multicloud capabilities with the acquisition of cloud consultant SADA. The deal adds 850 Google Cloud experts to Insight’s 14,000-strong workforce. Insight already works with Microsoft Azure and AWS. 

November 2023 

OpenText sells part of its Micro Focus acquisition to Rocket Software 

OpenText swallowed Micro Focus in a $5.8 billion deal that closed in January 2023 — but it couldn’t digest a big chunk of it: the application modernization and connectivity (AMC) business that accounted for 18% of Micro Focus revenue in 2022. Now it has passed the AMC business on to Rocket Software, a specialist in mainframe modernization, for $2.28 billion. Rocket has already made a couple of smaller acquisitions this year, and in July lost a bidding war for Software AG, which has a substantial application modernization portfolio of its own. 

Broadcom closes VMware acquisition 

Broadcom secured the last remaining needed for its $69 billion acquisition of VMware from Chinese regulators, a month after its self-imposed deadline of Oct. 30, the end of its fiscal year. It celebrated by laying off 1200 VMware employees and ditching the company’s end-user computing and security businesses to focus on creating private and hybrid cloud environments for large enterprises.  

Blackstone buys Civica for $2.5B 

Blackstone has acquired UK software developer Civica from Partners Group for $2.5 billion. (Blackstone also owns’s publisher, Foundry.) Civica develops applications for state and local governments including analytics, workflow automation, and workforce and financial management. 

Mainline Information Systems joins HIG 

Investment fund HIG Capital has picked up Tallahassee-based IT services company Mainline Information Systems. The fund already holds stakes in dozens of other tech companies, including other IT services specialists such as Boston-based ECI or General DataTech in Dallas, and ecosystem integration software vendor Cleo. 

KPMG adds Salesforce expertise in Europe 

KPMG is growing its enterprise software footprint in France. It has acquired French Salesforce specialist iCom Cloud, adding 100 consultants to its workforce. It has also just closed its acquisition of Censio Karamba! with 200 SAP consultants, and last year bought SilverProd, a specialist in Microsoft Dynamics. 

Aptean buys another transportation software company 

Aptean, a provider of niche enterprise applications for vertical markets, has added another transportation management application to its portfolio with the acquisition of UK-based 3T Logistics & Technology Group.  

PagerDuty calls on Jeli for help with incident-management 

Operations management specialist PagerDuty is expanding its cloud-based services with the acquisition of the platform. It plans to integrate it with the rest of the PagerDuty Operations Cloud to provide additional analysis and learning capabilities around incident management.  

Exterro buys Divebell for data discovery 

Legal governance, risk and compliance software developer Exterro has acquired Divebell, provider of a data discovery service. Exterro plans to combine its existing services with Divebell’s as a single platform. 

ISG buys Ventana Research 

Information Services Group, a technology advisory firm, has acquired Ventana Research and its database tracking more than 2,000 software vendors. The companies provide tools to help CIOs evaluate software and SaaS suppliers. 

October 2023 

Oracle acquires field service management add-on for NetSuite 

Oracle has bought Next Technik, the developer of a field-service management application, and plans to incorporate the add-on into NetSuite, its mid-market cloud ERP suite. It’s rebranding the product as Field Service Management by NetSuite and will begin selling the product directly soon. For now, it’s available through Next Technik  in the US, UK, Australia and Canada.  

Atlassian pays almost $1B for Loom 

Atlassian, the developer of work management tools such as Jira, Confluence, and Trello, has agreed to acquire video messaging platform Loom for $975 million in stock and cash. It’s betting big that workers will prefer to send one another asynchronous video messages rather than text. 

AMD plans to acquire AI software company 

Chipmaker AMD is taking a leaf out of rival Nvidia’s playbook with a plan to buy AI software developer for an undisclosed sum. Nvidia has turned itself into a trillion-dollar company by building a full stack of generative AI models, tools to create them, and hardware to run them. In contrast to Nvidia’s proprietary software approach, AMD is pinning its hopes on an open-source strategy to drive demand for its hardware

September 2023 

Cisco closes acquisition of Accedian 

Accedian, the developer of the Skylight performance analytics platform for monitoring multi-cloud, multi-vendor networks, is now part of Cisco. For the last six years it has been majority-owned by Bridge Growth Partners, which also holds stakes in enterprise data management company Syniti and event broker vendor Solace. 

SAP adds LeanIX to its software portfolio 

SAP is adding enterprise architecture management specialist LeanIX to its software stable. SAP is hoping that LeanIX’s AI-powered tool can help customers move off its legacy ERP system and onto S/4HANA in the cloud. Recent research by LeanIX showed that only 12% of SAP customers have completed their move to the cloud, eight years after S/4HANA was released and just four years before SAP ends mainstream support for its predecessor, ECC6. 

Akeneo buys Unifai to clean up product catalogs 

Product information management (PIM) specialist Akeneo has acquired Unifai, which uses AI for data collection, cleansing, and categorization. Akeneo plans to roll Unifai’s tools into its Product Cloud offering, where it will help with supplier data onboarding and pricing integration. 

Rocket Software integrates tcVision developer BOS 

Rocket Software, the company that lost out in July’s bidding war for Software AG, has landed on another acquisition target. On Sept. 7, it bought BOS, a German developer of data integration tools, including tcVision, which has been renamed Rocket Data Replicate and Sync. The deal will help Rocket round out its portfolio of mainframe modernization tools. 

August 2023 

IFS buys Falkonry to boost its ERP asset management services 

IFS has agreed to acquire Falkonry, developer of an AI-based time-series data analytics tool. IFS plans to incorporate it into its ERP platform to boost its enterprise asset management (EAM) services capabilities. 

ServiceNow partners in Scandinavia and Germany merge 

The Cloud People (TCP), a ServiceNow partner based in Norway, has acquired its German counterpart Nuvolax. The deal nets TCP a delivery center in Brazil, giving it 24-hour service coverage and opening up access to the US market, where it has growth ambitions.  

July 2023 

Teradata acquires Stemma to enhance analytics 

Teradata has bought Stemma, the three-year-old developer of an AI-based data exploration tool, to accelerate its Vantage self-service analytics platform.  

ServiceNow agrees to buy retail data platform G2K 

ServiceNow is getting ready to sprinkle some more AI magic on its automation of workflows in the retail industry. It has agreed to buy G2K, the developer of the Parsifal data platform, which the company says can analyze the movement of customers and products around stores. 

Silver Lake buys majority stake in Software AG 

Software AG, the German maker of tools for managing IoT data, APIs, and legacy mainframe apps, looks set to become part of Silver Lake, which also owns stakes in Airtable, Celonis, Qualtrics and Splunk. The investment fund secured a 63% stake in the company, valuing it at $2.4 billion, after a bidding war that pitted it against mainframe modernization firm Rocket Software. Prior to the deal, Software AG’s largest shareholder was a foundation, SAGST, created by one of its founders: SAGST’s 30% holding had for years protected the company from takeovers, but in April the foundation agreed to sell most of its stake to Silver Lake. Sanjay Brahmawar, CEO of Software AG since August 2018, said the company will benefit from the stability and certainty provided by a single major shareholder. 

June 2023 

IBM offers $4.6 billion for Apptio 

IBM has agreed to buy cloud cost control specialist Apptio from private equity firm Vista, which has owned it since 2018. IBM plans to roll Apptio’s offering into its IT automation portfolio — AIOps, Instana and Turbonomics, — to help enterprises optimize both application cost and application performance from a single control center. The acquisition will also give IBM access to anonymized data on $450 billion of IT spending that it can use to train AI tools for further optimization.  

Databricks buys MosaicML for $1.3 billion 

Generative AI is a hot commodity these days, and Databricks for one can’t get enough of it. In addition to developing its own large language model (LLM) based on open data, Dolly, it has now acquired MosaicML, the creator of two open source models, MPT-7B and MPT-30B. With the acquisition, Databricks hopes to make it easier for enterprises to build large language models based on their own data.  

Silver Lake buys Qualtrics for $12.5 billion 

Qualtrics has changed hands again. SAP acquired it for $8 billion in 2018, but the graft didn’t take, and SAP soon sold a minority stake. Now Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have snapped up the whole company. The deal closed June 28. SAP will remain a go-to-market partner of Qualtrics and service their joint customers. 

Data center operator buys its way to a greener carbon footprint 

Data center operator nLighten has bought Euclyde, owner of six data centers in neighboring France. One of nLighten’s goals with the acquisition is to reduce its carbon footprint: in France 70% of electricity comes from nuclear power stations, while in nLighten’s home country, Germany, around one-third of it comes from coal, which has the highest carbon intensity of all electricity sources. 

HCM vendor UKG buys payroll provider Immedis 

UKG’s cloud-based HCM software already delivers a wide range of functions to some enterprise HR departments. Now it is now adding to those capabilities with the acquisition of Immedis, which helps enterprises and mid-size companies operating in more than one country to manage payroll across borders. UKG plans to integrate the new functionality into its software suite as UKG One View later this year. 

IBM buys French cloud services firm Agyla 

Looking to improve its offering for French clients, IBM has agreed to buy Agyla, a provider cloud platform engineering services. It plans to incorporate Agyla into its IBM Consulting division. 

May 2023 

Survey company Momentive says yes to STG deal 

Symphony Technology Group has closed its acquisition of Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) for $1.5 billion. STG’s portfolio also includes ERP vendor CAI Software and a stake in cybersecurity firm RSA. 

Snowflake adds Neeva’s generative AI to its data warehouse platform 

Snowflake has acquired Neeva, a small startup that used generative AI to improve the search experience. The deal came just days after Neeva closed its subscription-based, ad-free search engine. Building a search experience people were willing to pay for, while hard, turned out to be the easy part, according to a farewell blog post from Neeva’s founders: “Convincing users to pay for a better experience was actually a less difficult problem compared to getting them to try a new search engine in the first place.” Now it’s up to Snowflake to convince its customers to change. 

IBM to automate cloud data protection with Polar Security acquisition 

Data security posture management specialist Polar Security will soon be part of IBM, which plans to integrate the Israeli company into its Guardium range of data security products. There, it will help IBM customers pinpoint security risks and compliance violations. IBM didn’t say how much it had paid for the company, but Israeli news site Tech12 put the price at $60 million

Databricks buys Okera to keep tabs on LLMs 

Databricks has been encouraging enterprises to experiment with large language models, offering one of its own, Dolly, as open source. Now it’s offering its customers a way to keep such models under control with the acquisition of LLM governance specialist Okera. 

April 2023 

Ciphr adds diversity with Marshall acquisition 

Marshall E-learning, a provider of diversity and inclusion training, is now part of Ciphr, a UK-based HR SaaS platform. Ciphr expects the deal will enable it to expand its existing online learning offering. 

March 2023 

Vista buys Equity Partners buys insurance software firm Duck CreekQuantive buys OKR consulting firm 

Following its acquisition of consulting firm AuxinOKR, strategy execution platform Quantive is rolling out a new consulting division to support enterprises adopting its tools for measuring business results. 

Quantexa is loving the Aylien 

Quantexa has acquired Aylien, a Dublin-based natural language processing firm specializing in risk management and market insight. It will use Aylien’s NLP skills to enhance its AI-based decision intelligence tools for the finance industry.  

Capita lays off employment screening business 

Matrix SCM, a British IT staffing agency, has acquired Security Watchdog, a provider of employment screening services, from Capita, the giant IT services business. It’s part of a broader sell-off for Capita, which also let go of three other human resources companies in March: Capita Resourcing, HR Solutions, and ThirtyThree. Capita is selling non-core businesses to reduce its debts and refocusing on public sector and customer experience work. 

Key secures Rocket 

Mainframe software developer Rocket Software has bought mainframe security specialist Key Resources. The deal will enable Rocket to offer additional security-related services to the mainframe users it works with. 

February 2023 

Thomas Bravo manages $8B spend on Coupa Software 

Coupa Software, a provider of business spend management tools, has been acquired by investment firm Thomas Bravo in an $8 billion deal. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has taken a minority stake. Thomas Bravo also owns business payments company BottomLine, open finance platform Solifi, data management tool Talend and a raft of security and identity management software companies. 

Arm sells software arm 

Processor designer Arm has sold Forge, its suite of software development tools for high-performance computing, to Linaro, which develops and supports a range of other Arm-specific software for enterprises. Arm originally acquired Forge in 2016 to support its entry into the HPC market. 

Accenture buys Morphus, adds new South-American cybersecurity center 

With its acquisition of Brazilian cybersecurity and threat intelligence provider Morphus, Accenture has added a new site from which to supervise its offering of managed security services and advanced analytics. The cyber fusion center in Fortaleza, Brazil, was previously Morphus Labs. 

For mergers and buyouts from 2022, see The biggest enterprise technology M&A deals of 2022.