The year 2010 was a dramatic twelve months in the world of technology. Apple launched the iPad, Facebook passed 500 million registered members and WikiLeaks released the 'Iraq War Logs', dubbed the "the largest leak of classified documents in its history" by the US Department of Defence.
It was also the year that CIO and analyst firm MWD Advisors created a watch list of 20 companies to keep an eye on. They’ve enjoyed mixed fortunes since then. Some have plummeted towards oblivion, while others have revolutionised the tech landscape.
Communication and collaboration solutions provider Jive Software was praised for bridging the gap between startups and software giants, its comprehensive Social Business Suite and for targeting buyers on the IT side as well as end-users.
In 2011, Jive filed for a $100 million (£81 million) IPO, rose $161.3 million (£130.7 million) from investors that December. The California-based company has had a bumpy ride on the stock market in the intervening years, with trade prices dropping from the original $12 (£9.72) value to $4.35 (£3.53) today, but it could still be set for a bright future. Collaboration software has become a common business tool since 2010, and Jive is well placed to capitalise on the boom.
Data centre giant Equinix acquired UK operator Telecity for £2.35 billion in 2015 as part of a plan to expand into Europe. It led all wholesale collocation providers at the end of that year after revenues of $2.73 billion (£2.21 billion) and 52 consecutive quarters of growth. In December, Equinix agreed to purchase 24 data centres from Verizon Communications for $3.6 billion (£2.9 billion), giving it a total of 175 data centres internationally.
Fellow data centre services provider Interxion went public in 2011 and was on the verge of joining TelecityGroup in 2015 until the aforementioned Equinix scuppered the deal by acquiring Telecity. The company has enjoyed a highly fruitful six years regardless. In November it announced it would add to its 40 data centres in 11 European countries by building new ones Amsterdam, Dublin and Copenhagen, and two expansion phases in its facilities Frankfurt.
Open source enterprise IT solutions provider Red Hat became the first one-billion dollar open source company in 2012 and has enjoyed a steady rise in stock valuation since 2010 and revenues of $2 billion (£1.6 billion) in the last fiscal year. In 2013 it joined the OpenStack community project.
Committed observers of the startup scene may have already heard the next entry on our list, a promising upstart known as Google. The company has evolved from a contending search engine to a common verb, and the juggernaut rolls on into 2017, towing a trail of innovations from mapping navigation to artificial intelligence in its wake.
Other major successes include cloud-based business software provider SuccessFactors, which was acquired by enterprise giant SAP in 2011 for $3.4 billion (£2.75 billion), and NetSuite, often cited as the first cloud company ever established. The latter has enjoyed enormous growth since 2010, and was bought by Oracle for a whopping $9.3 billion (£7.5 billion) in November.
Another November acquisition was holding company Advantage Smollan's addition of sales conversion specialist Flixmedia to its portfolio for an undisclosed amount. The business will continue operating under its current name as it enters its next stage of growth.
Sonao Systems had high hopes of becoming the Google Analytics of APIs in 2010, but the search engine giants had plans of their own for the company now known as Apigee. Google acquired the API management services provider for $625 million (£506 million) this year, the tech titan’s largest acquisition since it purchased thermostat maker Nest in early 2014.
The company is set to play a major role in Google’s growing commitment to the enterprise market, and the acquisition reflects the growing dominance of the world’s biggest technology corporations over the API landscape.
Also under new ownership is Nimbus Partners. The company was bought by TIBCO in August 2011 and has found new life as the TIBCO Nimbus business app for process documentation and the recently released TIBCO Nimbus Maps, a straightforward tool to support business processes and operations planning.
The name Endeca derives from “entdecken”, the German word for "discover". The company was a major discovery for Oracle, which purchased the business intelligence and eCommerce software provider for a rumoured $1 billion (£810 million) in 2011.
Dutch Business Process Management vendor Cordys is another company that entered new ownership after it was bought by Canadian software provider OpenText for $33 million (£26.7 million) in 2014. It's now known as OpenText Cordys.
Database firm Ingres was rebranded as Actian in 2011, with a new focus on a Cloud Action Platform and simple applications that automate responses to Business Intelligence called Action Apps. The company left the analytical database market in 2016 in favour of more predictable business segments and appointed a new executive chairman, CEO and president later that year.
Open source software firm Alfresco is another company fostering cloud collaboration. Alfresco’s blend of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) and is accelerating its public sector business through entry to the Amazon Web Services Public Sector Partner Program. Analysts are taking note. Gartner named the company a Challenger in its Magic Quadrant for ECM for the first time this year.
Original Software continues to develop software testing solutions from its UK base, and is another recent member of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. In December 2015 it was named in the “Visionaries” section of the report for Integrated Software Quality Suites, its fifth consecutive appearance on the list.
Data hosting provider The Bunker has built a formidable reputation for its ultra-secure data centres located within nuclear bombproof ex-Ministry of Defence facilities that were first set up during the Cold War.
Intralinks is another company to have held an initial public offering. It made its cloud-based content collaboration network public in 2010, using the vast majority of the $146 million (£118 million) raised to pay off its debt obligations.
Securities litigation law firm of Brower Piven recently commenced an investigation relating to the proposed $821 million (£665 million) buyout of the company by Synchronoss Technologies due to concerns over potential breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law by the Intralinks board of directors.
Boston–based cloud video services provider Brightcove went public in 2012. The company was named a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Video Content Management in December after a rocky few years on the stock market.
Joining it on the list was open source video platform Kaltura. In August it raised $50 million (£40.5 million) from Goldman Sachs and confirmed planned to go public.
Neon Enterprise Software was forced to withdraw its zPrime mainframe workloads software from the market following a lengthy legal dispute with IBM in 2011, and its portfolio was further depleted a month later when BMC Software acquired its IMS database utilities.
The company seems to have disappeared since then, making it that rare declining force on a list full of success stories with high hopes for the years ahead.