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1HP Buys Autonomy

The acquisition of British company Autonomy is just one of the surprising moves that got former HP CEO Leo Apotheker run out on a rail last September. HP paid an unbelievable $12 billion dollars for the “Meaning Based Computer” leader, infuriating shareholders and putting smirks on the faces of tech analysts everywhere.

2Dell Buys SecureWorks

It never formally announced the figure, but Dell’s SEC filings this spring showed that it coughed up $612 million to gobble up SecureWorks for the cloud and SaaS capabilities, not to mention adding a major MSP to its roster.

3Compuware Buys Dynatrace

Compuware dropped a huge (and probably not coincidental) $256 million to buy up competitor Dynatrace, consolidating the attractive APM market. The move should give Compuware a bigger capability to help customers dynamically manage workloads. As for Dynatrace’s workload, it will continue to be distributed across its 180 employees worldwide, who will stay with the new company.

4CA Buys ITKO

CA Technologies laid out a cool $330 million in cash to pick up Interactive TKO, a provider of largely cloud-focused service simulation solutions. The intention is to lock down the whole service delivery lifecycle and increase productivity by eliminating silos and other centralized data locations.

5Oracle Buys RightNow

Oracle bought a $1.5 billion piece of the cloud by acquiring RightNow Technologies. The move is likely a response to SalesForce and its tear of acquisitions this year. Oracle should be better poised to compete in an increasingly SaaS marketplace as a result of the deal.

6Microsoft Buys Skype

Microsoft, becoming more innovative in its attempts to stay relevant, bought Skype for $8.5 billion dollars. Charles Songhurst and other Microsoft executives have quietly suggested that the core VOIP function will probably stay free, while more business-oriented features could now come with a price tag.

7Apple Buys C3 technologies

Easily the sexiest mega-acquisition of the year, Apple paid anywhere from $240 million to a possible $1 billion for C3 Technologies. The buy should let Apple navigate away from its custom Google-build mapping iOS and toward a slick, maybe even 3D, interface.

8SAP Buys SuccessFactors

Stumbling giant SAP announced that it will buy SuccessFactors for a whopping $3.4 billion. Chasing after Oracle’s lead, SAP is staking a lot on adding better cloud presence. The cloud provider is expected to keep its own name and identity, but expectations of the move’s likelihood of success are guarded at best.

9Best Buy Buys mindSHIFT

Big-box retailer Best Buy continues to make a play as a SMB solutions provider with its purchase of mindSHIFT Technologies. The purchase of the company gives a greater cloud and data center presence to the global electronics chain. The deal went down for $167 million. The service plan will cost you extra.

10Thoma Bravo Buys Blue Coat

As more information floats around the cloud, content security becomes increasingly important. This month private equity firm Thoma Bravo shelled out $1.3 billion to take Blue Coat private and nurture the purportedly ailing vendor back to health.

11Symantec Buys Clearwell

Security powerhouse Symantec ponied up $390 million to shore up its archiving and backup business with the necessary eDiscovery tools to help customers know where the important data is when the lawyers come knocking.

12IBM Buys DemandTec

IBM has announced an agreement to purchase data-analytics company DemandTec. The $440 million purchase puts IBM at the reigns of a cloud-based retail price and promotion product, currently in use at retail mega-chains Wal-Mart and Target.

13Salesforce Buys Assistly

In September, Salesforce picked up Assistly for $80 million, mostly in cash. The cloud-based business services company is combining resources, gaining the ability to crawl social media sites, mining all discussions that refer to the client’s brand.