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Harman acquires Red Bend, Symphony Teleca

Posted: 28 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Software development? software-over-the-air? internet of things? cloud computing? infotainment?

Infotainment giant Harman International signs a takeover agreement with OTA solutions provider Red Bend Software and Symphony Teleca, a mobile software company. The investment has a total value of about $950 million. With the move, Harman will strengthen its position in technology fields like car software development, software-over-the-air (OTA), IoT and cloud computing.

After the recent acquisition of infotainment development S1nn GmbH of Stuttgart (Germany), Harman now reaches deeply into its pockets and buys Silicon-Valley based Symphony Teleca, a company with some 8,000 employees. Symphony Teleca focuses primarily on software development and engineering; According to market watcher IHS Automotive, it achieves 50 per cent of its revenue with automotive and mobile verticals; from the rest, 25 per cent is achieved in healthcare.

The other acquisition, Red Bend Software, is probably even more important for Harman: Red Bend is the leading provider of solutions for software-over-the-air. While Red Bend's clientele can mainly be found in handset manufacturers and mobile carriers, the company is seeking to expand its business with companies in the automotive value chain. In this context, Red Band has established a strategic collaboration agreement with software and services provider Vector Informatik (Stuttgart, Germany) who in turn achieves most of its sales with carmakers and tier ones. Red Bend is said to be a technology leader in IoT and cyber security technologies. With 230 employees in Israel, France, UK, US, Japan, Korea and Germany, the company is much smaller than Symphony Teleca, but applications like OTA updates for automotive firmware and software (FOTA / SOTA) are a very promising market for the future.

According to IHS automotive expert, the Red Bend takeover could help Harman to grab the leadership position in the global automotive FOTA and SOTA markets. In addition, both acquisitions would likely create synergies between Harman's Aha Cloud platform, Red Bend's OTA infrastructure and Symphony Teleca's OTA and analytics infrastructure. The move is also likely to strengthen Harman's position against other tier ones like Bosch, Continental, Delphi, Panasonic and Visteon; IHS believes this could trigger another round of software acquisitions in the related markets.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
??EE Times Europe

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