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I've previously highlighted both Cloud startups and Big Data startups that struck me as having a unique value proposition for enterprise customers. As the IT world continues to rapidly evolve, it is fascinating to see what types of technologies are emerging and how these new technologies will change the face of enterprise IT.

By the same token though, let's not forget that the ultimate goal of most startups is to be acquired by larger technology corporations that crave access to it's technology to fill in portfolio gaps that the legacy vendors may have in their own product portfolio. In this context, it seems worthwhile to highlight two recent acquisitions in the B2B space. What I found interesting about these acquisitions is not so much the "buzz" surrounding the buyouts themselves, but rather what may have motivated the acquiring firms - Google and Aruba Networks - to make the purchases and what this means for the larger tech firms going forward. Let's take a look:

Aruba Buys Indoor Location Startup Meridian Apps

As many tech enthusiasts know, Aruba Networks is one of the leading enterprise mobility solution providers to enterprises. Aruba has a major focus on wireless LANs and WiFi connectivity, and supplies wireless connectivity for everything from corporate campuses, to hospitals and museums.  Meridian Apps specializes in building applications that offer location awareness capabilities to their visitors or customers, a capability that many organizations want. 

Museums are a perfect example of the type of organization that can benefit from providing a wireless location awareness to their customers.  As a visitor wanders the halls looking for a particular exhibit, Meridian's software can guide them there via their smartphone, just as GPS would outdoors.  Just to take one example, Chicago's Art Institute - one of the largest museums in the country - recently used Meridian's technology to implement what they describe an an "indoor GP" capability for it's visitors.  

Aruba's press release on the acquisition spells out their motivation for buying Meridian:

"With this acquisition, Aruba Networks enables new location-based services by combining its unique, network-based contextual information about users,  devices and applications with Meridian's Wi-Fi based way finding solution for smartphones and tablets."

While Aruba may dominate the WLAN space, they are clearly anticipating that more organizations will want to have a their wireless networks to possess location awareness built into it, and hence Aruba simply simply purchased the technology through Meridian rather then building it from scratch themselves.

Google Acquires Web Application Server Startup Talaria

As is clear after Google's recent IO 2013 event, the internet search giant is making a major push into Cloud Computing services where it intends to compete with Amazon Web Services, the industry leader. Talaria makes high performance servers that allow developers to build and run apps and websites more quickly and efficiently. Given that Google runs literally millions of servers, a technology that is able to make it's servers perform more efficiently - which includes using less power - would clearly be attractive to Google's as it makes it prepares to make it's IaaS offering "Google Cloud Compute" (GCE) generally available in the marketplace. Since GCE is tightly integrated with Google Apps - it's PaaS product for developers - it is easy to see why Talaria's solution fits neatly into Google's Cloud division. 

What was also interesting about Google's acquisition is that Talaria has been in so-called "stealth mode" for almost two years. In fact, even details about the acquisition itself seem to be somewhat "stealthy", as there is no press release from Google on their news page, while a visit to Talaria's website simply has an announcement of it's acquisition by Google and a link to Google's Cloud webpage. In that context, one other possible motivator for Google swooping in when they did is that they wanted to beat Amazon, Microsoft, Rackspace and other major Cloud players to the punch to purchase what Google clearly feels is a technology that offers a significant improvement to it's Cloud product suite. F

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