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Acquisitions, mergers and rapid growth were just some of the findings when CIO revisited its 20 companies to watch in 2010. The software world has certainly transformed in three years.

In 2010, Sonoa Systems, now Apigee, was one of a few small vendors focusing on helping companies manage and govern cloud services. Apigee is now the leading provider of API technology and services for enterprises and developers and companies including Cisco, eBay, Dell and Telefonica use the firm for the delivery, management and analysis of APIs and apps.

UK BPM vendor, Nimbus Partners, was bought by Tibco in August 2011. At the time of the acquisition, BPM analyst Neil Ward-Dutton observed that Nimbus typically sells its Control product to a business audience, while Tibco is highly IT-focused. Nimbus still sits under its brand name and boasts high-profile customers including HM Revenue and Customs, JP Morgan, Sony and Mercedes Benz.

Original Software, a testing vendor, has worked for RBS, increasing the reliability of core systems in a complex environment using its TestBench solution. At the current time, more than 400 organisations in 30 countries use Original Software solutions with other high profile customers including HMV, HSBC and Unilever.

Even in 2010, Brightcove was making waves in the emerging market for online video platforms (OVP). Later in 2010, Brightcove announced a content delivery partnership with Akamai Technologies; then in 2011, the firm launched a content app platform called App Cloud. Now the company has a 6,000-strong customer base spanning broadcasters, music labels and publishers including AOL, BSkyB and Sony Music.

As CIO UK predicted in 2010, Software as a Service (SaaS) firm IntraLinks filed an IPO later that year. There were people changes too when 2011, Ronald W. Hovsepian was appointed chief executive officer. IntraLinks, which provides virtual data rooms, is used by firms in industries including pharmaceuticals, banks and law firms with customers including DuPont and JP Morgan Chase. The company has two million users globally.

In 2010, Google's business-to-business side was obscured by the success of its search and ads offerings. Although Google Apps looked promising at the time, the firm has had more success in the mobile space, where Android has made a huge impact - although some CIOs worry about its security implications. In 2011, Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion - its biggest acquisition to date.

Open source software firm, Alfresco is still going strong in its own right, without a pending acquisition. In January 2012, Alfresco 4.0 was released, improving the user interface. The company, which says it is the only enterprise document management solution that can be used in the cloud, on-premise and both, has seven million users in over 3,000 businesses. High profile customers include NASA, the NHS and Fox.

At the start of 2010, Neon Enterprise Software had already upset IBM with its radical take on mainframe computing and clever workaround on IBM licensing. However, this came back to bite the firm after a 2011 IBM lawsuit saw it forced to remove its zPrime product from sale as part of the settlement. A month later, the NEON IMS Database Utilities were acquired by BMC Software.

SaaS firm NetSuite is still going strong with customers including manufacturing and engineering service provider iCONN Technologies, which it helped save $100,000 yearly and grow by 120% without adding staff. The company has won a host of awards and in 2012 was ranked among top 20 cloud computing companies in the world.

In 2010, SuccessFactors launched the first ever cloud calculator, allowing business users to do analysis of real-time data for insight and predictions. In 2011, SAP AG and SuccessFactors and SAP's subsidiary, SAP America entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of SuccessFactors. The firm counts Time Warner as a customer, for which it has built a successful 'talent community'.

At the end of 2011, Oracle entered an agreement to buy Endeca for just over $1bn. Oracle added Endeca Latitude software to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBI EE) to provide a single unified user interface for analysis of structured and unstructured data.

Enterprise cloud platform Cordys, headed by entrepreneur Jan Baan, has customers including Siemens Healthcare Sector, which uses the cloud platform to continuously monitor and improve its processes across 125 countries. Other clients include Fujitsu, Tata Motors and The Ministry of Defence.

In 2011, database firm Ingres became Actian, with an expanded strategy concentrating on consumer-style applications that automate business actions triggered by real-time changes in data, called Action Apps. Actian released Ingres Database 10.0 to meets the needs of those looking to migrate from cost prohibitive database solutions, as well as those who are seeking a standards based alternative. has gone from strength to strength since 2010, joining the Government's G-Cloud framework in 2012. Since 2010, the firm has launched innovative social platform Radian6, after buying it earlier in 2011; and acquired mobile and social cloud consulting services company, Model Metrics. Salesforce has also partnered with VMware to launch VMforce to allow users to build enterprise Java apps.

IBM continues to be a stable and powerful force in the connectivity market following its acquisition of Telelogic. IBM had closing value of $214 billion in 2011, which surpassed rival Microsoft's $213.2 billion for the first time in 15 years. The firm continues to make acquisitions, including Texas Memory Systems and Kenexa in 2012.

Cisco is continuing in its bid to boost its networking platform through a series of mergers and acquisitions, having just bought Cognitive Security as well as networking firm Intucell. The firm is looking at cloud-based products having invested in virtualisation firm Parallels; bought Cariden Tech; and offered a buyout bid for Cloupia.

Despite a focus on mobile devices in 2010, after a continuing battle with Apple, Adobe announced in 2011 it would cease development of Flash for mobile. The firm is now focusing on HTML5 instead but still remains a provider of key technologies and services that CIOs will be looking to support.

Microsoft's 2012 launch of Windows 8 has put it back at the front line, with a renewed focus on linking mobile devices with laptops and desktops through its software. The new operating system has been generally well-received as have its mobile devices and tablet the Surface.