Becton, Dickinson & Co Buys C.R. Bard in Cracker US$24 Bn Acquisition

Anyone operating in the medical equipment and technology sector should have an insight into this recently discovered ‘mother of all acquisitions.’ C.R. Bard, a medical device behemoth, has been sold to fellow giant company Becton, Dickinson and Company. Bard has agreed to function under the leadership of Becton Dickinson in a titanic deal of US$24.0 bn or thereabouts.

Companies that supply to hospitals and healthcare centers have attracted eyeballs after the mega deal. The eye-watering acquisition deal kicked Bard’s shares up to almost 20.0% on Monday. Bard will receive an approximately over 25.0% than its share close price of April 21, 2017. This means that Becton Dickinson will bless Bard with a handsome US$317.0 per share, which could be in cash and shares.

Medical Supply and Healthcare Sectors on Merger and Acquisition Spree

Pricing pressure and the need to expand product portfolio are the top reasons that the medical devices sector is witnessing a series of mergers and acquisitions. However, Bard has a different, rather positive, perspective this its acquisition by Becton Dickinson. It will look to leverage the superintendence of Becton Dickinson in infection prevention and medication management to offer worthwhile advantages to patients and customers.

A couple of years back, CareFusion Corp was acquired by Becton Dickinson for exactly half the price of the Becton Dickinson-Bard deal, whereas Abbott Laboratories had acquired St. Jude Medical, Inc. for a billion more than the mega deal price in January 2017.

The scenario of mergers and acquisitions is not merely followed by medical equipment companies, hospitals are also part of the strategy as they share office with larger centralized operations and health systems.

Microsoft Integrates LinkedIn Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365

Microsoft is ushering to create the next-generation of cloud-based businesses. In a major business move, Microsoft integrates LinkedIn Sales Navigator data with Dynamics 365. This was one of the first deliverables that Microsoft promised last year after it acquired LinkedIn for US$ 26.2 billion last year.

Unfolding as a boon, professional salespeople can view LinkedIn sales navigator data along with other information on the Dynamics 365 sales dashboard. However, this has come as an unpleasant move for Salesforce – Dynamics 365’s biggest rival in the CRM market.

Integration Lucrative for Investors in Microsoft CRM Solutions

Following this integration, users with both the systems will be able to view information from LinkedIn profiles in the inner pages of Dynamics 365 Sales. They can obtain contextual recommendations and can provide tailored content along with account and lead updates. LinkedIn sales navigator and Dynamics will sync information on a daily basis so that both the systems are up to date on information exchange.

The integration makes sense for users of Sales Navigator to invest in Microsoft’s CRM and vice versa. This is all the more important for Microsoft to woo companies that are considering CRM applications from rivals such as Salesforce and Oracle.

Not only this, there lie some other announcements from Microsoft as well. It has launched Dynamics 365 for Talent, which is a new human resource app for companies to manage their workforce. Another major announcement from Microsoft is Dynamics 365 for Retail. This service is for retailers who want a centralized system for managing employees, inventory, customers, and financials.

Facebook’s New 360 Degree Cameras a Breakthrough in VR World

Last year, Facebook unveiled Surround 360, a 360-degree camera that is able to capture footage in 3D and then render it online through specially designed software. To add more to this lineup of products, the company on April 19, 2017, introduced two new 360-degree cameras – the x24, with 24 cameras, and x6, with six cameras. The difference between the first product unveiled and the latest products announced is that the latter can shoot in six degrees of freedom, which comes with the promise of making the 360-degree footage more immersive than before.

Facebook Plans to License Designs to Commercial Partners

Facebook doesn’t have any plans to sell these two cameras directly to consumers. Instead, the company is looking for a select group of commercial partners who will do its job and release the product later this year. The versions we are seeing on the internet were prototyped in Facebook’s on-site hardware lab, Area 404, using off-the-shelf components. While the x6 prototype was entirely home-made, the x24 was made in partnership with FLIR.

One celebrated thing about these products is that the camera is smart enough to recreate what the view looks like from various angles. Another pleasing aspect of videos created with six degrees of freedom is that each pixel is in 3D and has depth. This is a cutting-edge technology for VR content creators, and it unfolds tremendous prospects in visual effects editing. With x24 and x6, Facebook plans to have a stronghold in the field of virtual reality and augmented reality; or as the company calls it “Act 2”.

Apple Sets Sights on Self-driving Automobiles Business

Latest rumors in the self-driving car segment of the automotive industry reveal ambitious plans by electronics giant Apple Inc. While these rumors have long been a staple for the automotive industry, recent activities suggest a strong inclination from Apple towards this field.

DMV Listings Point to Apple Initiative

Apple has recently acquired a permit to test autonomous cars, according to the website maintained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This is big news for the company, as now that they have a permit, Apple can take the leap of faith into becoming competitive in one of the biggest upcoming markets in the world. According to the DMV, Apple has been given permission to test three autonomously driven vehicles within the state of California.

Automotive industry experts are optimistic about the quality with which Apple can potentially roll out their autonomous cars or devices and software, pointing to an imminent entry by the electronics giant into the automotive industry.

Fierce Competition Ahead

The would-be competitor in the market for autonomous cars is expected to face companies that are already in the development phase of autonomous systems. Not only that, but some of the challengers are well on their way to build electrically powered autonomous cars, promised to hit the production lines by 2020. Meanwhile, it is still far too early to gage whether Apple is going to be a strong contender in the market, with respect to their own self-driving software. Spokespersons from Apple have so far declined to comment directly in regards to the DMV filing. They have, however, indicated at the statement Apple made in November 2016, to the U.S. NHTSA, regarding the regulation of self-driving cars.

At the same time, there is a tremendous number of promising startups that are fighting for a place in the autonomous cars markets. Several players are also on the verge of releasing open-source software for the same, such as Udacity, Inc. The company was co-founded by one of the developers in a self-driving automotive initiative formed by Google, and it offers training to anyone who wants to be a part of incoming wave of self-driving car engineers.