Mergers and Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Content, Networking

Networking M&A: HPE Acquires SSE Provider Axis Security

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has acquired Axis Security, a cloud security provider. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though HPE said the transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of the HPE 2023 fiscal year, subject to customary closing conditions.

This is technology M&A deal number 63 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2023. See more than 2,000 technology M&A deals involving MSPs, MSSPs & IT service providers listed here.

HPE Acquires Axis Security for SSE Push

Axis Security, founded in 2018, is headquartered in Plano, Texas. The company has 134 employees listed on LinkedIn. Axis Security’s areas of expertise include SSE, SASE, zero-trust, cybersecurity, networking, ZTNA, CASB, web gateway, SWG, digital experience, VOIP, ICMP, cloud, AWS, Google, Oracle, security solution, digital experience monitoring, network transformation, VPN alternative, and secure access.

This acquisition will allow HPE to expand its edge-to-cloud security capabilities by offering Axis' security services edge (SSE) solution that builds on Aruba’s existing software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and network firewall offering. Post-acquisition, the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform will integrate Axis Security’s cloud-native SSE platform to round out its SASE offering.

Phil Mottram, EVP and GM, Aruba Networking, HPE
Phil Mottram, EVP and GM, HPE Aruba Networking

Phil Mottram, executive vice president and general manager, HPE Aruba Networking, commented on the news:

“The convergence of Aruba and Axis Security solutions will transform edge-to-cloud connectivity with a comprehensive SASE solution that provides enterprises with the highest levels of security for both IoT devices and all users’ access across geographically distributed locations. Today, we also accelerate our vision to help our customers expand their secure connectivity needs with SASE and private 5G solutions, building on our recently announced agreement to acquire private cellular technology provider, Athonet.”

Dor Knafo, CEO of Axis Security, added:

“We developed Axis Security to enable a world where connectivity to every business resource, from anywhere, could always be simple, safe and reliable. Our SSE platform is a natural complement to Aruba’s SD-WAN, network firewall, and dynamic segmentation offerings. Together, we create a unified SASE platform, designed to extend connectivity to edge, and do so through a combination of modern access services – all working together in harmony.”

This is HPE's third acquisition so far in 2023 in roughly two months, following the acquisitions of Athonet and Pachyderm. HPE will integrate Axis Security’s solutions with its edge-to-cloud security solutions and plans to make them available to customers in the third quarter of the HPE 2023 fiscal year.

HPE’s HPC, Cloud and AI/ML Push

HPE of late has focused on its GreenLake cloud data platform, expanding to support Microsoft Azure Stack HCI and Microsoft SQL Server database; forming cloud services groups to extend its hybrid cloud as-a-service business model and acquiring Zerto to help its SMB MSP partners deliver cloud data protection services.

The move into AI and machine learning solutions makes sense in this context; AI and machine learning-enabled solutions align with HPE’s HPC and GreenLake managed services strategy. In 2021, Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired Determined AI, an open source machine learning (ML) platform.

Overall, HPE’s business appears to be performing reasonably well, though the rumored acquisition of Nutanix never took shape. HPE’s revenue was $7.9 billion in Q4 of 2022, up 7% from the corresponding quarter last year, the company ($HPE) disclosed on November 29. The revenue figures represented a company record, HPE said.

HPE had cash on hand of $4.45 billion as of July 2022, according to MarketWatch, and the company’s overall valuation is $19.8 billion as of December 1, 2022.