In the IT industry, shattering the status quo is the status quo. While big vendors generate their share of ground-breaking products, startups are a major driver of innovation and are changing the rules of the game.
That's why it's important for solution providers to be aware of the up-and-coming IT companies that just might be the big name of the future.
Here we present CRN's 2016 Emerging Vendors list, our annual compilation of startup technology companies that are committed to developing innovative products to meet the ever-changing demands of the IT market.
CRN assembles this list to make the channel aware of the broad range of leading-edge products available from young companies that offer opportunities for solution providers to create competitive, high-margin solutions for their customers.
[Related: 25 Emerging Vendors You Need To Know About]
The 2016 Emerging Vendors list includes more than 100 companies founded in 2010 or later, have annual sales of less than $1 billion and are actively working with channel partners in North America.
Some of the companies on our list are well-established: Big data management software company Hortonworks is a publicly traded company while software-defined networking developer Big Switch Networks is well-known in its market space.
Others may still be young, but have already attracted attention: Security startup Cylance snagged a whopping $100 million in a round of venture funding in June, as did security startup CrowdStrike one year earlier.
And some are just getting started, including security startup SafeBreach, which exited stealth in January, and Workspace-as-a-Service provider CloudJumper, which was founded early this year.
The following is the complete list of 2016 Emerging Vendors, organized by technology, along with a snapshot description of each company. Big data and security are big categories this year, but there are plenty of innovative startups in cloud computing, data center, storage, networking and VoIP, managed services and mobility.
In addition to this list, we provide more details about these companies - including information about their channel programs and activities, in an online database.
It's a given that not all of these upstart startups will survive. Big IT companies are sure to acquire many of them as they try to maintain their own technology edge. Others will simply fail. But some will succeed and - who knows - could become the big IT companies of tomorrow. That's why solution providers should take note of them today.