5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending April 5, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Juniper Networks, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rubrik, Spin.AI, Tines, Aerospike and Palo Alto Networks.

The Week Ending April 5

Topping this week’s Came to Win are list Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for winning shareholder approval for HPE’s blockbuster $14 billion acquisition deal.

Also making this week’s list is data security provider Rubrik for its bid to become the first cybersecurity company in two years to go public. Cybersecurity companies Spin.AI and Tine are both here for launching their first partner programs. And next-generation database developer Aerospike this week scored an impressive $109 million funding round.

Palo Alto Networks and its channel executives deserve a special round of applause for coming out on top in this year’s CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs in what proved to be a very hard-fought match.

Juniper Networks Wins Shareholder Approval For HPE’s $14B Acquisition

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Juniper Networks were both winners this week when Juniper shareholders overwhelmingly approved HPE’s offer to buy the networking company for $40 per share or approximately $14 billion.

More than 265 million shareholders voted to approve the deal at a special meeting of stockholders held Tuesday. About 258,000 shareholders, less than 1 percent of outstanding shares, voted against the acquisition.

The vote clears another hurdle for the blockbuster acquisition that will bring Juniper’s massive service provider and enterprise campus networking business, as well as its Juniper Mist AI portfolio, to HPE.

The companies hope to wrap up the acquisition before the end of calendar 2024.

Rubrik Files IPO Plans, Reports $784 Million In ARR

Successful IT industry Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) have been a rarity since 2021. So data security tech provider Rubrik got a lot of attention this week when it publicly filed its intentions for a planned IPO – aiming to become the first company in the cybersecurity industry to complete an IPO in more than two years.

Rubrik, in a filing with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, did not disclose the number of shares it plans to offer, a target per-share price or the amount of money it expects to raise from the IPO. The company is looking to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RBRK.

In the SEC filing Rubrik did disclose that it had annual recurring revenue of $784 million as of Jan. 31, up from $532.9 million a year earlier. (Total revenue for the year ended in January was $627.9 million while the company’s net loss was $354.2 million.)

The company reported having more than 6,100 customers as of the end of January, up from 5,000 customers a year earlier.

Cybersecurity Companies Spin.AI And Tines Launch First Partner Programs

SaaS security company Spin.AI and security workflow automation vendor Tine both make this week’s Came to Win list by unveiling their first partner programs.

Spin.AI on Wednesday unveiled its first formal channel program as it looks to significantly expand its work with reseller and MSP partners, according to Spin.AI Channel Chief Rocco Donnino.

Previously, the company “had a very simple program to meet partners that were coming to Spin,” Donnino told CRN. But now, as Spin.AI aims to scale up its channel business and recruit more partners, the vendor is introducing a channel program featuring three tiers for resellers along with a tier for MSPs.

For resellers, Spin.AI will offer benefits including training and enablement, marketing assistance and “aggressive margins,” Donnino said. And for MSPs, the company is offering its cloud-based platform, SpinOne, which has been “built with managed service partners and other types of partners in mind,” he said.

IT and security workflow automation vendor Tines unveiled its first formal partner program Thursday as the company seeks to accelerate its growth with the channel and recruit more reseller and MSSP partners, Tines CRO Terry Tripp told CRN.

While Tines has focused on working with partners from the start, the company has now reached a level of growth where it makes sense to add more structure and transparency through a formal channel program — and send the signal that the company is aiming to broaden its partner base, Tripp said.

“We want to extend the number of partners as a result of this partner program launch,” Tripp said. “We also really want to deepen the relationship with our existing partners.”

Aerospike Raises $109M For Accelerated Database Development

Next-gen database developer Aerospike this week raised an impressive $109 million in growth capital, new funding that the company said validates the strength of its transaction, analytics and AI database technologies and the company’s business performance.

The funding round comes at a time when venture capital is hard to get. Aerospike said the funding infusion would be used to accelerate the company’s product development work and expand its go-to-market capabilities.

Aerospike markets its next-generation NoSQL database for high-performance transactional and analytical tasks. The company is also a player in the fast-growing generative AI application development space with its vector search database technology.

Palo Alto Networks Edges Out HPE In Razon-Thin Channel Madness Victory

A round of applause for Palo Alto Networks, the winner of this year’s CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs. The massive channel push at Palo Alto Networks over the past year—which has seen the vendor double down on its work with solution and service providers and boost the critical effort to defeat hackers—helped to deliver the first-ever win for the cybersecurity giant.

Palo Alto Networks edged out Hewlett Packard Enterprise in the championship round in one of the closest rounds of voting the contest has seen to date. Palo Alto Networks, represented by channel chief Tom Evans, emerged victorious with 51 percent of the votes as the final minutes of the match ticked down, compared to 49 percent for HPE and its North America channel chief Phil Soper.

“It's tremendous,” said Prem Iyer, senior vice president of global ecosystems at Palo Alto Networks. “This is not an easy competition. You have a tremendous amount of great partner leaders in the community that are doing amazing work for their individual vendors” competing in Channel Madness.

(Less than 24 hours before the close of voting in the final round CRN reported that Evans was departing Palo Alto Networks for another opportunity.)

Iyer said the strong showing is clearly reflective of the fact that Palo Alto Networks—from CEO Nikesh Arora and other top executives all the way down—has been leaning in with the channel more than ever before during the past year. And going forward, “the opportunity ahead of us is bigger than it ever was before because of our partner community,” he said.