Top 8 Tech World Acquisitions of 2021

In 2021 we were witness to plenty of acquisitions ranging from a couple of thousand dollars to a few billion. Most often, the driving force for these purchases is the opportunity to get a strategic edge over the competition without needing to reinvent the wheel. So, in that spirit, let’s check out some of the reasons behind what we consider to be the top 8 acquisitions of the tech world for 2021. 

1. Oracle acquiring Cerner 

Around the end of the year, Oracle decided to give themselves a Christmas present in the form of Cerner – a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) software. This particular acquisition was special in two ways.  

First off, this dive into the healthcare field very much solidified Oracle’s intentions to rumble in the healthcare world’s data management and analytics arena and also opened up some new opportunities for its partners. 

Second, this acquisition is now the largest one in Oracle’s history, so that alone should tell you something about the gravity of the situation. Of course, the deal will need to be finalized in 2022, so there’s still time for dynamics to occur; however, once everything is stamped, signed, and shook on, Oracle will have a more prominent presence on the healthcare market than ever before. 

2. Salesforce acquiring Slack 

While we’re on the subject of last-minute acquisitions, let’s talk a bit about Salesforce’s biggest deal to date, which actually was initially confirmed in December 2020 but was finalized in July 2021. And yes, if you haven’t already gathered from the title, we’re talking about the procurement of the messaging app Slack. 

Prior to the acquisition, the chatting application struggled to get the spotlight away from its biggest rival – Microsoft Teams. So, joining forces with another one of Microsoft’s rivals seems like a very sound and strategic move, does it not? From our experience of working with Salesforce, the platform really could use a dedicated collaboration section, and that’s precisely the role Slack will play in all of this. 

Serving as the front-end “engagement layer” now, this duo has the potential to make Microsoft sweat a little, and it’s interesting to see where this healthy competition will lead in the future. 

3. Microsoft acquiring Nuance 

Well, we mentioned Microsoft quite a bit in that last section and managed to summon them in our article like in that Beetlejuice movie. So, let’s take advantage of this and talk about their most intriguing acquisition of 2021

Nuance is a company that specializes in conversational AI and voice recognition technology; so far, nothing the big tech giant hasn’t dealt with – just look at Cortana. However, Nuance used its technology to help healthcare workers facilitate the capture of clinical information and save them time, and that’s what Microsoft is truly seeking. 

So, with the help and reach of their office cloud suite, they aim to deliver these conversational AI capabilities to as many healthcare professionals as possible. It’s something to look out for in the coming years, seeing as obviously the COVID pandemic has pushed Microsoft and other big companies to actively shift their gaze to the healthcare world. 

4. Okta acquiring Auth0 

Speaking of recognition technologies (yeah, we’re killing it with these transitions) let’s not forget about another big deal that occurred in the tech world – between Okta and Auth0.  

This one makes a lot of sense, actually. Since both companies aim to lessen the burden of cloud authentication, or in other words, they both help enhance the single-sign-on capabilities. So, seeing as they have this shared vision for the identity market, it’s only a matter of time to see how well this partnership will reflect in the service Okta provides. 

This acquisition could be the start of a beautiful identity friendship, and as a superhero duo, Okta and Auth0 can finally bring innovation (and justice) to the city of IAM (identity and access management). 

5. UiPath acquiring Cloud Elements 

Well, we’ve got another acquisition for you that also fits like a glove, and that’s UiPath striking a deal with the API integration specialists – Cloud Elements. 

Software needs to be able to communicate with other software and what better way to connect the two than with an API. After all, it’s a key component in the current technological world. Well, that and also having machine learning (ML) and/or AI capabilities, but let’s put a pin in this and carry on. 

Turning our attention back to this acquisition, though, it could be a real game-changer for UiPath. With API-based automation capabilities at their fingertips, users would be able to link up tasks that span several systems within their enterprise, no problem. This connection has the potential to upgrade UiPath’s robotic process automation (RPA) to the next level, so it’s good to keep a lookout for the transcendence. 

In short, as Cloud Elements’ CEO Mark Geene put it – “automating the enterprise requires connecting the enterprise”. Ah, a truly Disney-inspired happy ending, is it not? Well, only time will tell. 

6. Qlik acquiring Big Squid 

It’s time to remove the proverbial pin we placed in the previous section and talk about those advanced capabilities now. More specifically, let’s talk about Qlik’s acquisition of Big Squid and the taming of the ML-based Kraken*. 

So, a business intelligence platform acquired another business intelligence platform; what’s the big deal? Well, actually, the big deal is exactly in and because of Big Squid’s platform – Kraken. After all, its focus on no-code automated machine learning (AutoML) utilized for predictive analytics is enough to grab any data scientist’s attention. However, when you take this tool and place it among the other augmented analytics capabilities Qlik has to offer, the deal starts to make more sense

Between AutoML, Insight Advisor, and Qlik’s Associative engine working with Qlik Sense will feel more like taking a ride on those futuristic spaceships that cater to your every whim, as long as your whim relates to data, of course. 

7. Atlassian acquiring Chartio 

While we’re still on the topic of analytics, we really ought to mention Atlassian’s acquisition of the cloud-based business intelligence solution – Chartio. Seeing how there’s potentially tons of data going through Atlassian’s products, it’s a wonder that this deal didn’t occur any earlier. 

Well, as the saying goes, “better late than never”. It’ll be interesting to see visualizations being implemented in JIRA, seeing as that’s where this feature will initially be integrated. Coupled with the roadmaps and automation already in place, we can probably expect a very balanced end product from Atlassian. 

So, as they’re getting ready to unleash the potential of their users’ data, the users need to be prepared to unleash the data to test their potential. Funny how that works out, isn’t it? 

8. Google acquiring Provino 

And speaking of data, do you know which company has tons of it? Google, of course! So, let’s talk a bit about their acquisition of the small tech startup – Provino. They develop network-on-chip (NoC) systems for machine learning, so that’s bound to be an exciting get for Google, right? 

Well, yes! The NoC systems that Provino makes will reportedly improve the efficiency of Google’s machine learning systems by reducing their power usage and speeding up chip-to-chip communication. Truly the deeds of a next-gen chip design if we ever saw one. 

Considering Google’s current features and capabilities, these NoC technologies will likely be used to test out and enhance a new wave of artificial intelligence and machine learning. So, don’t be alarmed when the search engine provider springs that on us in the (probably) near future; we’re not nearing Skynet-level AI just yet. 


Stiliyan Neychev
Stiliyan Neychev

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