Contact: Brenon Daly
Two of the most richly valued tech companies are each hosting annual get-togethers this week, and M&A is figuring into both of the confabs. VMware opened VMworld in Las Vegas on Monday, while saleforce.com followed a day later with Dreamforce in San Francisco. As these companies were getting ready to open the doors for the event, both announced that they had done acquisitions – with both deals coming in the security market.
VMware reached for PacketMotion, a startup that was able to capture who’s doing what on a network and whether they should be doing that at all. VMware indicated that the acquisition should allow its customers to automate security and compliance policies. For its part, salesforce.com added encryption vendor Navajo Systems. While terms weren’t announced on either transaction, we suspect that the price tags for both startups were in the low tens of millions of dollars. On the other side, we’d note that, collectively, VMware and saleforce.com are valued at north of $50bn.
Part of the tremendously rich valuation that both VMware and salesforce.com enjoy can be chalked up to the fact that each company is the sort of corporate representation for two key components of the whole cloud computing model: VMware for virtualization and salesforce.com for on-demand delivery of software and, more recently, infrastructure.
So it’s no surprise that these cloud stalwarts both recognized the need to shore up their cloud offerings by going out and buying security startups. After all, security remains probably the most important concern for broader adoption of cloud computing. In a recent survey, our sister organization ChangeWave Research asked both IT purchasers and users at companies to rate the security of current cloud offerings on a scale of 1 (very unsecure) to 10 (very secure). The median response was a distinctly middling 5.6. As a point of reference, the rating for cloud security was actually lower than the median rating for the reliability of cloud offerings, even after several high-profile outages at Amazon Web Services so far this year.