5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Feb. 17, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Google Cloud, Intel, Cascadeo, WekaIO and Zscaler.


The Week Ending Feb. 17

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Google Cloud for unveiling a number of new licensing options and cloud pricing editions that channel partners say lower the barriers to entry for new customers and provide more choice and flexibility.

Also making this week’s list are Intel for debuting its Xeon W workstation CPUs, zero trust security provider Zscaler for an acquisition that adds SaaS protection to its technology portfolio, and data platform developer WekaIO for launching a new channel program to meet the needs of its VAR, systems integrator and MSP partners.

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And Amazon Web Services star partner Cascadeo wins applause for its efforts to boost its ranks of cloud IT talent with its new Cascadeo University.

Google Cloud ‘Removing Barriers To Entry’ With New Pricing

Google Cloud this week unveiled its new Flex Agreements licensing option that the company said allows customers to migrate their workloads to the cloud with no up-front commitments while still having access to such incentives as cloud credits and monthly spending discounts.

Tony Safoian, CEO of Google Cloud partner SADA, said the new option “really lowers the barrier of entry” to Google Cloud services and marks a new chapter in what has become a consumption-driven business.

Google also unveiled three new pricing editions for its cloud services: Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. Partners said the new tiers give customers more choice and flexibility to optimize their cloud services spending and will help Google partners aid their customers amid the current uncertain economy.

Google also announced changes in pricing, commitment plans and term options for its Workspace collaboration and productivity applications, some of which result in an increase in costs.

New Intel Xeon W CPUs Bring 56 Cores, DDR5 To Workstations

Intel is promising a “giant leap in performance” with its new wave of Xeon W processors, which will bring up to 56 cores, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support, and other new technologies to workstation PCs running content creation, modeling and data science applications.

Unveiled this week, the single-socket workstation chips include the Xeon W-3400 series for expert workstations and the W-2400 for mainstream workstations. Intel said the new chips represent the company’s most comprehensive portfolio refresh of workstation platforms.

The new CPUs will give Intel’s OEM and system builder partners a new refresh opportunity less than two years after the release of the Xeon W-3300 chips in mid-2021.

Zscaler To Acquire Canonic Security To Thwart SaaS Attacks

Zero trust security provider Zscaler struck an agreement this week to acquire Canonic Security, a startup focused on protecting against attacks targeting Software-as-a-Service applications.

Canonic, which exited stealth one year ago, allows organizations to assess the security of applications and integrations connected to a certain SaaS application before allowing access to their own business applications. The goal is to eliminate the growing threat of SaaS supply chain attacks.

Zscaler is expected to integrate Canonic’s capabilities into its recently introduced data protection software, enhancing its cloud access security broker (CASB) solution and its SaaS security posture management (SSPM) tool.

WekaIO Launches Channel Program, Enlists Partners For Expansion Into AI/ML

WekaIO wins applause this week for launching a new partner program the company will use to recruit and assist VARs, systems integrators and MSPs as the company expands beyond its file and object storage roots to providing a data platform for a range of high-performance processing tasks like AI and machine learning.

The new Weka X Partner Program offers partners a raft of new training and enablement resources and certifications, deal registration and financial incentives, flexible procurement options and other benefits specifically for top-tier partners.

WekaIO sees the data-intensive AI/ML market as being at an inflection point where a broader range of businesses and organizations are considering implementing AI and machine learning systems and are looking for solutions and services from VARs and systems integrators. That’s the impetus for the new Weka X global channel partner program and the company’s concerted push into the reseller channel.

Proofpoint also wins kudos this week for launching a revamped channel program that aims to provide partners with a simplified structure, along with enhanced incentives and training, as the company looks to work with solution providers in areas beyond its core email security offering.

And XDR security provider ReliaQuest completes a trifecta with its commitment this week to include partners on all new deals as it moves to a partner-focused sales model and accelerate growth with the help of the channel.

AWS Partner Cascadeo Creating University To Remedy Cloud Tech Talent Shortage

Like many solution providers, cloud specialist and AWS partner Cascadeo is having trouble finding skilled workers, a significant challenge for the company as customer demand for AWS and cloud computing services skyrockets.

Cascadeo is tackling the problem by establishing a formal education training program with the goal of eventually on-boarding thousands of new cloud experts into the company.

Jared Reimer (pictured), founder, president and CTO of Seattle-based Cascadeo, said the problem is that most tech workers are trained on “legacy IT,” which doesn’t meet the needs of Cascadeo’s portfolio of services on serverless and native cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Cascadeo University, launching later this year, will take computer science undergraduates or graduate students and train them on what Reimer calls “the right way” to build cloud analytics, serverless and native platform services that are native to one of the cloud hyperscalers.