5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending April 21, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Cisco, Fulcrum IT Partners, EdgeQ, Deepwatch and CrowdStrike.


The Week Ending April 21

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Cisco Systems for a strategic acquisition that will boost its efforts in the observability space.

Also making this week’s list are solution provider Fulcrum IT Partners for its acquisition of a U.K.-based MSP, 5G wireless tech startup EdgeQ for an impressive funding round, managed detection and response security provider Deepwatch for a significant upgrade of its channel program, and security heavyweight CrowdStrike for its expanded foray into managed XDR.

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Cisco To Scoop Up Smartlook As Tech Giant Prioritizes Observability, Digital Experience

Cisco Systems this week said it has a deal to buy Smartlook, a developer of qualitative analytics technology for websites and mobile applications, a move that’s expected to boost Cisco’s digital experience monitoring (DEM) offerings.

Smartlook, based in Brno, Czech Republic, specializes in real-user monitoring as a critical component of DEM, according to Cisco. Cisco said that combining Smartlook with AppDynamics, the network giant’s application performance monitoring software, will give Cisco a “big step forward” with its full-stack observability (FSO) lineup with application and user experience insight, analytics and troubleshooting capabilities.

FSO lets IT teams bring together telemetry data from their own content and serve up correlated insight across the entire IT estate, whether they are DevOps engineers, site reliability engineers, Cloud Ops, ITOps, line of business users or members of the C-suite.

Cisco’s own FSO platform is slated for general availability in June.

Fulcrum IT Partners Acquires Fast-Growing London MSP Viadex

Staying on the topic of strategic acquisitions, solution provider Fulcrum IT Partners continued its acquisition spree this week, buying U.K.-based MSP Viadex in a move that boosts the company’s global expansion plans.

Fulcrum said it’s on course to generate $1 billion in revenue this year with the acquisition of Viadex, which provides IT equipment and managed services to geographically dispersed midmarket companies.

The Viadex acquisition is the latest of several acquisitions by Fulcrum over the past two years. The New Rochelle, N.Y.-based company bought U.K. resellers Pure Technology Group and Prodec Networks in 2021 and 2022, respectively, and acquired Canadian cybersecurity firm iON United last year. Just last month Fulcrum made its first acquisition in the U.S,

buying Everything-as-a-Service provider Advizex.

EdgeQ Raises $75M In Series B Funding To Further 5G Wireless Tech

5G wireless infrastructure startup EdgeQ this week said it had raised an impressive $75 million in a Series B funding round, financial resources the company will devote to the development of its next-generation chip technology as enterprise interest in 5G and private wireless gains momentum.

Three-year-old EdgeQ bills itself as a 5G systems-on-a-chip company that’s bringing AI to the edge of the network with 5G. The company’s Base Station-on-a-Chip lets operators, cloud service providers and enterprises build, configure and deploy public and private networks that are simple, scalable and affordable, according to the company.

EdgeQ will use the new funding to accelerate its 5G + AI Base Station-on-a-Chip technology as well as its next chip.

Venture funding is tough to find in the current economy, making EdgeQ’s financing round all the more impressive. “It’s a tough time to raise money and there’s a lot of down and flat rounds. Ours is neither down nor flat, so we’re lucky. It’s also a validation of our 5G chipset business,” CEO Vinay Ravuri told CRN.

Deepwatch Revamps Partner Program To Accelerate MDR Deployment

Deepwatch, a managed detection and response (MDR) platform provider that generates 100 percent of its sales with the help of partners, this week said it had revamped its channel program with updates including deal renewal protections for incumbent partners.

The move represents the biggest overhaul of Deepwatch’s channel program since it was introduced in 2019, according to Lori Cornmesser (pictured), senior vice president of global channel sales and alliances at Deepwatch.

Cornmesser told CRN that the new program is aimed at helping to accelerate the deployment of the company’s MDR platform by addressing some of the key items partners are looking for, while also maintaining the “guaranteed” profitability that has been a hallmark of the program to date. In the MDR space, Deepwatch is the “only company that guarantees margin for the partner,” she said.

Major updates in the new program include incumbency protection, through which incumbent partners will now receive higher margin “than anybody else coming in” at renewal time on customer deals, Cornmesser said.

Identity security tools provider SailPoint also wins a shoutout this week for its own channel program overhaul with an eye on helping partners capture a piece of the fast-growing services opportunities in this market. The debut of the new SailPoint Partner Fleet program is the largest revamp of the company’s channel program since its 2015 debut.

CrowdStrike Creates New Partner Opportunities With New Managed XDR Offering

Cybersecurity giant CrowdStrike this week launched its next major foray in the XDR (extended detection and response) arena with the unveiling of Falcon Complete XDR, a new managed XDR service that aims to make the technology applicable to more customers and channel partners than it has up to now.

The new XDR offering can “become the control plane that they use to manage cybersecurity end to end,” said CrowdStrike’s chief business officer, Daniel Bernard, in an interview with CRN. “That’s revolutionary in the market. But also, folks need help doing it.”

As a managed XDR offering, Falcon Complete XDR follows the model of CrowdStrike’s popular managed detection and response (MDR) service. Falcon Complete XDR aims to provide management of the vendor’s XDR platform to make the technology relevant to more customers and partners, including resellers and managed service providers, Bernard said.