Activision acquisition saga: Microsoft and Sony might have worked out a deal
Top on the news for this week is an update on the Microsoft v. Sony saga over the acquisition of Activision.
Last week, we reported that Sony had tried to capitalize on this by attempting to prevent the deal as it was not yet a done deal in three major regions – the US, the EU, and the United Kingdom. However, it appears that there may be light at the end of the tunnel for Microsoft this time around.
According to reports, Microsoft has reportedly offered Sony a 10-year deal for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation consoles. There have also been reports that Microsoft and Sony recently held meetings to discuss the exact terms of the deal.
This deal, valued at almost $69 billion, is the largest acquisition in video game history and would see Microsoft add Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, and King to the existing Xbox first-party publishers of Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks.
Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard is currently undergoing regulatory review in multiple countries, including the FTC in the United States, the CMA in the U.K, and the European Commission in the EU. The deal has so far been approved without restrictions by Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Serbia.
We can’t wait to see how this turns out!
Accenture partners with AWS to launch Velocity
In other news, Accenture has launched Velocity, a jointly funded and co-developed platform with Amazon Web Services.
The new platform is said to enable a 50% faster adoption of Accenture and AWS innovations and optimized business outcomes. The quicker time to innovation will occur by removing the complexity associated with building and operating enterprise-scale applications and estates in the cloud.
Velocity will be sold via a subscription service, which is said to provide cost-effective access to features. These features include a technology fabric to create enterprise-scale cloud-first environments for specific business requirements, accelerators with automated blocks of deployable code and pre-integration features, and a set of asset, methodology, and process activators to ease technology and talent hurdles.
According to Matt Garman, senior vice president of sales, marketing, and global services at AWS, “Velocity marks the next step in our collaboration as we continue to deliver innovation and industry-specific offerings that help customers move to the cloud faster than ever before.”
Zendesk goes private in $10 bln deal
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Software company Zendesk Inc. recently completed its sale to a group of private equity firms.
The sale was led by Hellman & Friedman and Permira, and it was valued at $10.2 billion after prolonged pressure from activist investor Jana Partners.
As part of the deal, Zendesk shareholders received $77.50 per share in cash. For anyone wondering how far Zendesk is willing to go, Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) backed the deal, which Zendesk shareholders approved in September.
It’s interesting to know that in August, Light Street Capital Management, which manages funds that own more than 2% of Zendesk, reported it would vote against the private equity deal and proposed that Zendesk remain a standalone public company and find a new top boss.
Alas, Zendesk has gone private irrespective.
Slack harnesses Salesforce’s partner ecosystem for A/NZ growth
Moving on to more partnerships within the SaaS ecosystem, a plan of action for channel development is underway for Slack to engage with the Salesforce partner ecosystem and align with the next wave of industry solutions.
Following the 2020 announcement of Salesforce’s US$27.7B acquisition of enterprise communication platform provider Slack, the integration of services and programs is in full swing.
The acquisition gave Slack access to Salesforce’s global partner ecosystem, including its Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) partners, where Slack previously had little reach.
This joining of partner ecosystems and leaning into Sales Forces’ Australia and New Zealand partner presence has allowed Slack to tap into local markets where the presence was not previously strong.
Insightly Joins Intuit QuickBooks Solution Provider Program
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This week, Insightly, an innovator of CRM for fast-growing businesses, is announcing that it has joined the Intuit QuickBooks Solution Provider Program.
By aligning Insightly’s proven CRM platform with the leader in accounting software, businesses can more seamlessly connect critical business operations and financials with the key components of the customer journey, including CRM, marketing automation, customer service, and more.
Insightly’s participation in Intuit’s QuickBooks Solution Provider Program provides its customers with financial tracking that fully integrates with Insightly’s CRM platform for added benefits, and this is something that Gavin Orleow, Vice President of Channel Sales for Intuit, is sure about.
Avalara acquires Oracle Cloud Software Partner, AppKit
In more acquisition stories this week, Seattle-based tax and compliance software provider Avalara, which is also now backed by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, has acquired various Oracle application connector technology from AppKnit.
However, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
AppKnit develops connector technology for Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP, E-Business Suite, JD Edwards and PeopleSoft applications. Avalara’s innovative Oracle connector technology is intuitive and scalable, and it’s intended to make Oracle and Avalara customers’ lives easier.
ABS launches SaaS company to support fleet management and compliance
In other SaaS-related news, ABS has launched ABS Wavesight, a new maritime SaaS company to support ship owners and operators in streamlining compliance while maintaining competitive, more efficient, and sustainable operations.
The announcement was made at a press event at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans this week.
Among the key benefits of ABS Wavesight and its product features is risk-based business intelligence with the ability to support predictive decision-making using artificial intelligence, CII impact calculation, and prediction to avoid risk and improve the score and deep insight into fuel spending while improving the efficacy of vessel routes.
Lancom introduces product support for SaaS vendors
Finally this week, Auckland-based Lancom Technology has overhauled its product support offering with the introduction of its Product Support division.
Headed by product support manager Aaron Corney, the division is targeted at SaaS vendors and provides complete outsourced product support through chat, email, helpdesk tickets, and voice calls.
It aims to allow vendors to focus on product development, sales and marketing, and growth into new markets by acting as a ‘product owner.’
In February, Lancom acquired a majority stake in health and safety software provider, HSE Connect to bolster its portfolio of SaaS products.
Thank you. More coming your way next week!