In a year that’s been full of surprises and important news, a big acquisition in the IoT (Internet of Things) space still has the power to draw our attention. Canadian end-to-end IoT solutions provider SmartWave Technologies today announces that it has acquired leading industrial IoT supplier MultiTech Systems.

The two companies will join forces and operate under the MultiTech brand, maintaining the Mounds View, Minn., MultiTech headquarters and U.S. manufacturing operations, now with an added presence in cities such as Toronto, Chicago, London, Tokyo, and Munich, plus expanded manufacturing capabilities in North America and Southeast Asia. Current MultiTech CEO Stefan Lindvall will step into the role of CEO of the combined business.

Those in the IoT space know MultiTech, which designs, develops, and manufactures components, devices, and end-to-end solutions for the industrial and commercial IoT. The company has a long and respected legacy in the IoT space and, before it, the M2M (machine-to-machine) space. It has been a mainstay in the industry for decades and has frequently been a mover and shaker through continual M2M product innovation, R&D (research and development), and technological advancement in low power, wireless access and broadband, low-latency communication technologies, machine protocols, and integrated sensors.

With the SmartWave Technologies acquisition, the “new MultiTech” will be even better positioned to drive innovation and support market growth by accelerating time to market. The companies say that as a combined entity, they will offer expanded expertise in wireless standards, electromagnetic sensor technologies, component and refill authentication, plus extended capabilities in industrial design and manufacturing and mobile applications. The move will allow the new MultiTech to appeal to a broader customer base. It will benefit SmartWave customers by giving them access to MultiTech’s impressive portfolio of modems, routers, and gateways.

Compared to previous years, M&A activity hasn’t been the focus in the tech space in 2020, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic repercussions. However, consolidation has occurred. For instance, at the end of last month, Marvell Technology announced its deal to acquire Inphi, and AMD announced its deal to acquire Xilinx, both mixing up the semiconductor space. These deals came on the heels of the announcement in September that NVIDIA will acquire Arm.

Other 2020 deals include Amazon’s acquisition of Zoox to advance the autonomous ride-hailing services space and Microsoft’s acquisition of CyberX, which will enable unified IT/OT security across the enterprise. In May, Cisco announced its acquisition of ThousandEyes, and Intel also made public its acquisition of Moovit, a MaaS (mobility-as-a-service) company that will help Intel better position itself in the mobility-service space as a complete mobility service provider.

There’s still time for more M&A activity before the close of the year, and the tech space will likely see more early next year, around CES (which is all digital in 2021). These deals will be one factor in how the industry shapes up and moves forward in a post-COVID world.

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