It's been quiet on the social media data acquisition front the past few months, but today's announcement — that salesforce.com plans to acquire Radian6 — is the biggest news yet, both financially ($326 million) and for what it means to the social space. First off, congratulations to both parties involved; this deal will benefit you both.
Watching the two companies over the past year, this acquisition comes as a natural extension of what was already a strong partnership. Radian6 was one of the first listening platforms to identify the need for — and implement — salesforce.com integration. Salesforce.com recently announced a Radian6 app as part of its service cloud. Last month Radian6 began feeding salesforce.com's Chatter data into its Engagement Console. And just last year, Radian6 brought on a new director — former salesforce.com CMO, Tien Tzuo — to advise on its SaaS offering. The deal is a logical step for salesforce.com and a testatment to Radian6's strength in the listening platform market.
Yesterday, NetApp announced the acquisition of the Engenio storage division of LSI for $480 million. Engenio is mainly known as an OEM provider of storage systems with a broad partner list that includes IBM, Sun, Blue-Arc, Teradata, Panasas, RAID Inc., SGI and Huawei.
This move follows a busy year of storage acquisitions with HP, EMC and Dell each spending more than a billion dollars on buys in the space. $480 million represents the biggest acquisition ever for NetApp, more than they spent this past year on Bycast and Akorri, or previously on Onaro, Topio, Decru or Spinnaker.
Most of the money in storage acquisitions has gone to software that can be mated to industry standard (or nearly standard) hardware, but this deal goes in a different direction with LSI being a vendor known for meat and potatoes Fibre Channel storage hardware without a lot of frills. NetApp is largely a software company that sells OEM hardware running their DataONTap operating system, chock full of some of the most features and protocol options in the industry. Focusing on differentiated software has allowed NetApp to enjoy high margins and a consistent, unified family of products from entry level to enterprise class. So why would NetApp want to jump into the fairly commoditized storage hardware business?