Were gearing up for our annual LIVE Broadcast - Corum's annual Global Tech M&A Review & Predictions, scheduled for January 17, 1:00pm (New York), register here. Corum Group experts and a panel of tech luminaries will share their annual predictions for software, IT and related tech. Well look at the trends in SaaS, Mobile, Social, Gaming and Big Data that will affect you.

However, now is also an ideal time for a retrospective - to learn from whats transpired in 2012. Our December webinar typically wraps up the previous year, and this year we asked the World Technology Council, Corum's 400-person advisory group, to choose the top six stories from 2012. These included all our interviews and profiles with the big decision makers, typically the CEOs of recently-acquired companies or those making the acquisitions. An overview of the top stories is below; you can check out the full transcript and recording of the December webinar here.

The stories that were identified as "cream of the crop" were certainly interesting but sometimes surprising. For example, Johan Attby, whose company Tific was acquired by PlumChoice in 2011, spoke at length about the importance of acknowledging and exploring the potential of "B-list" buyers for your company. Keep in mind that these aren't companies with less buying power or less presence; they're just the ones that require some lateral thinking to consider them at all. Generally, the bigger the pool, the better your odds of being acquired, so make sure to spend time developing the B-list. You don't know whats being discussed in their board rooms and planning sessions, and your company might be the perfect missing piece of the puzzle for a B-list buyer.

Steve Peltier's company Nefsis was acquired by Brother International, who was on the B-list. Unknown to Nefsis, Brother had been expanding their acquisition profiles, which put his company directly in the cross hairs of Brothers sights. Steve spoke about the importance of anticipating the negotiation process and due diligence. By looking ahead and being prepared, DD validated their representations and the process proceeded smoothly. Steve commented that, "In terms of the negotiation and due diligence, we were dealing with an international giant, while we were still a relatively small company. It could have overwhelmed us, but we were well prepared for most of the due diligence questions they would have, and we had the answers."

Win Sheridan, CEO of Apex Systems, merged his company with OnAssignment, helping to create the second largest IT services company in the US. He went into detail on choosing M&A as an exit rather than IPO, saying, "We also considered doing an IPO...[but] it's a very difficult thing to do; it's time consuming and costly... [and] you have to build your reputation from the ground up. [With M&A] were going into a company where we would be 55% of the revenue...so were just going to add to what they were already doing as a company."

Stay tuned for 3 more success stories from 2012.