It's worth noting, too, that the Microsoft deal works because that $8.5 billion was paid in dollars sitting outside the U.S. Large U.S. technology companies all have bulging foreign bank accounts that they can't bring back here because the tax laws would eact a significant penalty. That may seem interesting to other technology acquirers. Should I mention that SAP is a European company?
There have been a lot of cloud companies, of every size, sold in the past two years. Typically the seller is a company that prpeviously partnered with the buyer and they decide over time to make the relationship more intimate. That accounts, for example, for many of IBM's software acquisitions (more than 60 and counting). Sometimes it's more the stroke from the blue, like the Microsoft acquisition of Skype, leaving commentators a bit breathless as they try to figure out the whys and what the expectations might be.
Lauren Carlson of Software Advice sent me an excellent article this morning." She's a CRM analyst so her focus is on CRM software -- sort of Salesforce.com and the competition -- and it looks at investments and valuations in that sector. It's one of the most successful SaaS sectors so it makes a good example.
I don't think we've seen the end of both the investments and the acquisitions. In fact, I'm not even sure we're in the middle yet, looking at the cloud sector. So fasten your seatbelts -- it's going to be a bumpy and exciting ride.