Element Critical to go after data center acquisitions


Data center provider CentralColo has announced a comprehensive rebranding, starting with a name change. It is now called Element Critical and will be pursuing an “aggressive acquisition strategy” to combat the limited customer data center choices.

Element Critical currently has two data center facilities in Northern Virginia and Silicon Valley. It is looking to expand at a rate of two to three properties each year, with a possible interest in international acquisitions.

“We live in a world where one size doesn’t fit all and the combination of data center elements change more frequently than ever before,” states Ken Parent, CEO of Element Critical. “We’re designing solutions ranging from a customer moving a lab into a data center for the first time to hyperscale Artificial Intelligence companies requiring liquid cooling for their 30-45 kW racks. We’ve assembled an impressive roster of industry veterans who possess the vision necessary to execute upon a simple proposition – translate data center requirements into custom solutions for less than the big box providers.”

A new world for data centers

It’s been a wild few years for data centers. It’s a bit of a wild west feel as IoT needs, as well as heavier content loads driven by new technologies like AR/VR, are driving a land-grab around capacity. At the same time as large cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are building out their offering, “on-prem” data centers run by companies themselves are consolidating and modernizing, due to mergers and tech upgrades.

As well, pressures to move compute capacity to the edge to accommodate growing networks of linked devices, from wearables to autonomous cars, will continue as will the needs of data-acquiring firms to manage and process that data as efficiently and cleanly as possible.

Parent says within these forces at work, there are opportunities to acquire data centers with some existing client base but whose footprint needs optimization across to unlock value.

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With Two Acquisitions, Quarterhill Makes Its Presence Known in the Industrial IOT

sponsored iconWith Two Acquisitions, Quarterhill Makes Its Presence Known in the Industrial IOT
While smart homes, wearable technology and connected cars are among the advances that are popularly hyped when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), the smart money is on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for its potential to transform not only a vast number of industries, but the very nature of jobs and how we work.

In fact, a 2015 report by the World Economic Forum projected the IIoT to dwarf consumer applications, even though the IIoT is still in a comparatively nascent stage.

But, the pace of transformation is speeding up. The report noted that between 2012 to 2014, shipments of sensors, for example, exploded to 23.6 billion units from 4.2 billion. Statistics like these serve as a clear reflection of the growing emphasis on the use of interconnected and sensor-based data to drive results.

Business leaders like General Electric, meanwhile, are showing the world how it’s done: In 2014 alone, the conglomerate realized more than $ 1 billion in incremental revenues by helping customers improve their operations and performance through IIoT capabilities. Today, GE predicts that investment in the IIoT will top $ 60 trillion over the next 15 years.

It’s not just industrial brands like GE that are working to seize on the wealth of opportunity the IIoT presents. Other companies are branching out and carving niches in this diverse and fast-expanding space.

One such company is Quarterhill, which was formed in June of this year by WiLAN, the Ottawa-based patent licensing firm. As a growth-oriented investment holding company, Quarterhill was formed with the main focus of acquiring promising technology companies in the IIoT space. WiLAN will continue with its patent licensing focus as a subsidiary of Quarterhill.

Quarterhill logoQuarterhill’s new diversification strategy and its ambitious investment in the IIoT does nothing but reaffirm the tremendous growth potential in this burgeoning area.

Even as the company’s strategy was announced, Quarterhill was announcing its first acquisition: Saskatoon-based International Road Dynamics (IRD), a potentially significant player in the IIoT industry with its intelligent transportation system technologies that are sold around the world.

Founded in 1980, IRD develops intelligent tools that collect traffic data, monitor vehicle movement and manage highway toll and weigh stations. Besides its successful business model and strong annual revenues, Quarterhill was attracted to IRD’s portfolio of more than 80 pending and current patents.

Less than a month after announcing the acquisition of IRD, a deal to bring VIZIYA Corporation into the fold was announced. VIZIYA develops intelligent software that helps companies optimize their assets, with the company working in a wide range of industries, including the oil and gas sector, mining, manufacturing and the utilities sector.

“We’re tremendously excited to be investing in the IIoT market and coming in at an early point in the market’s growth,” notes Shaun McEwan, Quarterhill’s Interim CEO. “PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that more than $ 1 trillion a year will be spent on IoT over the next couple years, and much of that will be in the IIoT. And that’s just one of many examples of analysts supporting IoT’s growth.”

McEwan then adds: “Working within three primary verticals – mobility, city, and factory – Quarterhill’s goal as a growth-oriented investment holding company will be to seek out companies in the IIoT market that have strong management teams, solid financial track records, and room for significant growth. Quarterhill’s first two acquisitions of International Road Dynamics and VIZIYA exemplify exactly the type of investments in the IIoT we’re looking to make moving forward.”

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IoT Business News

Telit end-to-end IoT platform provider raises £39M to fund acquisitions

Telit Communications Plc (LON:TCM) , a London-based company that provides a portfolio of integrated products, platforms, and services for IoT deployments has raised £39M funding by placing 11.6M shares at 340p per share.

Group Cheif Executive of the company announced to use the proceeds to acquire complementary IoT startups and consolidate its IoT services portfolio. The products and solutions include IoT modules, IoT connectivity solutions, and cloud-based IoT subscription service, powered by deviceWISE IoT Platform.

The company which went public on April 5, 2005, was on an acquisition spree during the last six years. Telit acquired 10 IoT companies including Motorola’s M2M business, GlobalConnect, Navman Wireless OEM Solutions, CrossBridge Solutions, ILS Technology, and Stollman and Novatel Wireless in past few years.

Manufacturing, automotive, agriculture, and utilities are some key verticals that Telit serves.

Major use cases of Telit’s platform and solutions are predictive maintenance, condition monitoring, asset tracking, fleet management, and industrial automation. The Stollmann acquisition in 2016 added Bluetooth and NFC software stacks, ready-to-use modules and other intellectual property (IP) in wireless communications to Telit’s short-range IoT technology assets.

The company is led by Oozi Cats, CEO, Founder & BoD of Telit.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things