There are plenty of networking companies that bear watching for M&A activity, but three major channel players might look considerably different by the end of the year, if market speculation is to be believed. First is Alcatel-Lucent, which in July stopped just short of saying its enterprise networking business unit was definitely for sale. Second is Siemens Enterprise Communications, which several months ago was said to be a frontrunner in a potential Alcatel-Lucent unit buy and has made smaller acquisitions in the past year, but has also been an occasional subject of acquisition rumors itself.
Third is Brocade, which despite being spurned by Dell may yet find an acquirer. It's no big secret that Brocade has been enlisting the services of Qatalyst Partners for the past two years to help it find a buyer. There's lots of potential, noted ThinkEquity LLC analyst Rajesh Ghai, who in an interview with Bloomberg this month named Oracle as a potential suitor.