Software company mergers and acquisitions were fewer on the ground in Q3, and the value of the acquisitions also shrank, according to investment bank Altium's TechMonitor report.
There were just 196 transactions in the quarter, down from 218 in Q2, and the reported total deal value slid to €8.0bn (£6.8bn) although there were several notably large transactions, it said.
"Larger transactions were driven by strategic acquisitions. As such, Cisco has acquired cybersecurity specialist Sourcefire in a public takeover and D+H acquired Harland Financial Solutions. In Q3 2013, three IPOs were placed -- all in the US.
"With proceeds of over $300m, the IPO of security solutions provider FireEye was the largest offering in the last quarter, with a market cap of circa €3.5bn, [and] around 10 per cent [up] in performance since the IPO," according to the report.
The Cisco deal was for $2.4bn. Four of the five biggest deals in the quarter were in the US, with only the number-five spot going to the EU, with the £210m acquisition of financial services apps company Avelo by Iress.
Software for specific applications did well in the quarter compared to Q2, seeing a 7.6 per cent rise in sales, as did systems software sales, which enjoyed a 5.8 per cent quarterly boost in shipment terms. In value terms, however, both categories decreased, by 1.4 per cent and 1.1 per cent in sales terms respectively.
Which vendors saw the best growth in Q3?
Breaking down the results into sub-categories revealed that SPS Commerce was the top vendor in the quarter for sales of supply chain and product life cycle software, seeing a 424 per cent expansion by volume.
Many of the more spectacular leaders in growth terms may well have been growing from a small baseline – but Altium's report did not provide growth figures per company in value terms.
In business analytics and CRM, Qlik Technologies enjoyed the best Q3 growth, boosting sales 55.8 per cent.
ERP, ECM and human capital management's leading vendor was Tyler Technologies, which saw 335.5 per cent growth in the quarter. In vertical markets (led by financial, healthcare and retail specialists), FairIsaac Management enjoyed a 126.6 per cent expansion.
BPM, network performance management, and systems management apps saw Pegasystems grow fastest, with 30.4 per cent expansion.
In the highly competitive security and storage app sectors, Symantec led the market with a whopping 135.2 per cent growth rate.
In the SaaS and virtualisation apps category, Altium found that the top quarterly performer was Concur, with a 124.4 per cent expansion by volume in Q3.
Reply was the top IT services app vendor, according to the TechMonitor report. It enjoyed growth of 186.0 per cent.
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