5 Companies That Came To Win This Week12:05 PM EST Fri. Aug. 09, 2013
The surprise news that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is buying The Washington Post tops this week's list of companies that came to win.
Also making the list are significant channel program additions made by Websense and Juniper Networks, savvy cloud computing moves by a pair of leading systems integrators, and a major IT vendor's expansion of its converged system offerings.
It was hard to miss the irony this week when The Washington Post disclosed it is being acquired by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is perhaps more responsible than anyone else for pushing the publishing industry into the digital age.
Monday the Washington Post said Bezos is buying the newspaper and its other properties for $250 million.
Bezos, in an email to Washington Post employees, said he has no specific plans yet for making changes at the newspaper. "There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment," he wrote.
The Washington Post's newspaper division has seen its revenue drop 44 percent in the past six years. While Bezos might seem to come from a different universe, he's known for his out-of-the-box thinking and might be just the person to turn things around.
Web security software developer Websense stepped up its channel game this week when it hired Shawn Pearson, a veteran channel executive at RSA, to manage the company's global channel operations.
Websense said Pearson would help drive Websense's worldwide channel sales, with particular emphasis on boosting the channel's adoption of the company's Triton security gateway. Websense was taken private earlier this year by the Vista Equity Partners private equity firm and Pearson's hiring indicates the new owners will retain the vendor's channel focus.
Pearson worked at RSA for three years, serving as senior director of Americas inside sales and channels. Before that he worked at RSA parent company EMC where he helped launch its Velocity partner program.
IBM expanded its line of PureSystems converged infrastructure servers this week in a move that could help the company shore up its struggling hardware business.
IBM debuted three Power7-based systems, one x86-based system, and new management and software-defined networking software for its IBM Flex Systems. Those Flex products are part of the company's broader PureSystems line that combines compute, storage and networking capabilities in a single chassis.
IBM's hardware sales, including sales of its x86-based servers, have been on the decline: This week IBM said it's furloughing its Systems and Technology Group workers for a week later this month to cut costs. Converged infrastructure is one of the few bright spots in the hardware industry and adding to its PureSystems lineup should give IBM a boost.
Systems integration giants Accenture and Computer Sciences Corp. both made savvy moves this week to strengthen their positions in the fast-growing cloud computing arena.
Accenture expanded its Accenture Cloud Platform to offer cloud management services for public and private cloud infrastructure deployments. That allows customers to manage the services through multiple service provider platforms including AWS, Microsoft Windows Azure, Verizon Terremark and NTT Communications.
CSC, meanwhile, inked an agreement with AT&T under which the telecommunications company will host CSC's BizCloud private cloud offering. That not only allows CSC to scale out BizCloud, but will help it compete more aggressively against other cloud service providers, including Amazon Web Services.
Juniper Networks hasn't had a lot of good new recently, including the recent surprise announcement that CEO Kevin Johnson plans to retire. The good news is Juniper isn't letting those changes distract it from its efforts to give its channel program a boost.
This week Juniper said it's expanding the Partner Advantage Program to include new professional and support services for Elite-level partners. The services, available through the program's Partner Support Services and Partner Professional Services specializations, should drive new recurring revenue streams for Juniper partners.