Once upon a time, tech companies tended to be gun-shy when it came to discussing plans for merger-and-acquisition activity. Today though, talking about possible deals is about as shameful as losing your virginity before the wedding night or drinking one too many at the weekend. On Wednesday, I spoke by phone to Siemens Enterprise Communications CEO Mark Stone - recently parachuted in from the company's private-equity backer Gores Group --about his plans for the company and the state of the unified communications sector. As we'll see, Stone, a likeable American, came out strong when the conversation turned to shopping opportunities.
First up though, I asked about Siemens' traditional position of being Big In Germany (and pretty big in Europe) but not such a big deal in the US.
"If you look at the competition it's 'hey lets be north American'," he says. "It's half the global market so it's a good place to start. You can't be irrelevant there and one of our aims is to grow there. It's going to require M&A though and we're not going to be passive - we're going to be aggressive."
Stone makes no bones about the fact would have liked to have got its hands on the enterprise chunk of Nortel Networks that eventually went to Avaya.
"They say two-thirds of larger-scale M&A fails but we were very excited about what it would do ... but not at any price."
In the end, Avaya spent somewhat less than $100m more than what Siemens was prepared to stump up but he says that it's not the end of the world.
"Siemens [Enterprise Communications] is one of the most amazing companies we've come across [at Gores]. It created the telephony industry [and it can be] a company far beyond what it's got today. We want to release the hounds."
As well as building out resellers, pushing managed services and some tweaking, that means spending big on acquisitions that extend the firm's reach on scale, geography or areas of opportunity, and Stone insists he is already well advanced on analysing possible deals.
One area of business comms technology where Siemens could push, I suggest, is video. Stone concedes that "Cisco has done a good job" in priming the pump with its all-out marketing and deal making from Flip to Tandberg and "CIOs that haven't been tainted with failures in videoconferencing are interested again."
One ship that has sailed is LifeSize, which recently agreed to sell out to Logitech. "LifeSize is a very interesting company," he concedes, but the first he heard of the company being up for sale is when he was told about the deal having been done.
More partnering is also on the cards with Siemens having "naively turned a blind eye to what was happening with co-opetition", he believes. So how about Microsoft? The only danger with getting into bed with such a big 'un is "you might get lost under the covers" though, Stone suggests.
Whatever the eventual dealmaking, Stone says that "the adolescent has left the home" and Siemens is primed for growth, possibly with the eventual help of a move onto the public markets.