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A big (over $4.6 billion) week in enterprise M&A highlights the business market’s critical needs

TechCrunch TechCrunch 1/06/2016 Jonathan Shieber

It’s been a blistering start to summer if you’re an investor interested in business software.

With the U.S. Memorial Day holiday in the rearview mirror and temperatures beginning to climb across the country, the heat index for dealmaking among companies focused on selling technology to businesses seems to have gone up as well.

But beneath the big deals for Demandware (bought by Salesforce) and Marketo (acquired by the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners), which have led to a $4.6 billion week for enterprise M&A, there are smaller deals that help to round out the picture of what’s hot in the enterprise this summer.

Indeed, with IBM’s acquisition of EZ Legacy announced today highlighting the continued interest in developer operations tools and ServiceNow’s purchase of Brightpoint Security underscoring the continued need for… security (in addition to the marketing toolkit that Vista Equity bought and Salesforce making its push into e-commerce services), that’s pretty much the state of play in enterprise software these days.

So, beneath the billion dollar deals… what’s going on?

Ole “Big Blue” is getting into the developer operations game again with its acquisition of  EZ Legacy, a software development company that helps developers understand and change mainframe code based on information from its dashboard and visualization toolkit.

IBM’s interest in the toolkit is more than just academic, there’s a lot of value in being able to talk to developers about how to build the bridge between old-school mainframe systems and newer cloud-based applications, especially since IBM happens to be still selling mainframes. And that’s what EZ Legacy’s EZSource technology ostensibly does.

“The mainframe is the backbone of today’s businesses. As clients drive their digital transformation, they are seeking the innovation and business value from new applications while leveraging their existing assets and processes,” said Ross A. Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems, in a statement. “By adding EZSource’s technology to our enterprise DevOps and API management offerings, we are making it easier and faster for developers to modernize key applications that previously were manually intensive and many times required specialized skills.”

ServiceNow, a cloud service provider, which offers digital workflow for service workers including IT help desks, also works with those same IT workers around security operations. That’s probably the rationale behind acquiring BrightPoint Security today (for an undisclosed amount) in an all-cash transaction.

EMC Ventures-backed BrightPoint Security has developed a predictive analytics tool that can identify potential security threats. In a world where 93% of security executives say their response process is hindered by manual and informal processes (according to a study by the Enterprise Strategy Group).

According to a study by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), 93% of security executives surveyed said their response process is hindered by manual and informal processes.

“ServiceNow has spent a decade building the industry’s most advanced cloud platform for orchestration and workflow that now excels at responding to security incidents and vulnerabilities,” said Anne Bonaparte, president and chief executive of BrightPoint Security in a statement. “Joining forces with ServiceNow will allow BrightPoint and our customers to realize our founding vision of delivering a closed-loop workflow for security response.”

For those of you keeping score at home, if you’re going to invest in the enterprise: sales and marketing, e-commerce, security, and developer and IT back-end tools. Those’re your new moneymakers, boys. Get to seeding.

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