5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending July 21, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Dell Technologies, Asus, Confluent, Sherweb and Hammerspace.


The Week Ending July 21

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Dell Technologies for a savvy acquisition in the application monitoring space that bolsters its DevOps and ITOps product offerings.

Also making this week’s roundup are Taiwan electronics giant Asus for a deal with Intel around the chipmaker’s NUC mini PC business; streaming data platform developer Confluent for launching a new partner program to assist technology and ISV partners; Sherweb for debuting its own Microsoft-backed Black Partner Growth Initiative to help underserved MSPs scale their business; and data orchestration tech startup Hammerspace for raising more than $56 million in its first round of institutional funding.

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Dell To Acquire AIOps Platform Moogsoft

Dell Technologies struck a deal this week to acquire Moogsoft, developer of an AI-driven application monitoring and anomaly detection system that supports DevOps and ITOps. Dell said the acquisition will enhance its AIOps capabilities as part of its approach of embedding AI functionality within its product portfolio.

The move helps Dell keep pace with rivals Cisco Systems, IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which have made acquisitions in the application management space in recent years.

Dell expects to complete the acquisition in its third quarter, which ends in October. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Asus To Sell And Develop NUC Mini PCs In Licensing Deal With Intel

Last week Intel said it was exiting its 10-year-old NUC (Next Unit of Computing) business, including prebuilt mini PCs as well as kits, boards and modules that enable partners to build customized NUCs and laptops.

This week Asus scored a deal with Intel that will allow the Taiwan-based electronics giant to develop, sell and support NUC mini PCs under a nonexclusive license to the chipmaker’s NUC mini PC designs. Asus can sell 10th- to 13th-generation NUC products, develop new NUC designs and support NUC customers, the two companies said.

The companies have yet to sign a final deal and neither disclosed terms of the licensing agreement.

The move likely means that broad availability of NUC PCs in the channel will continue once the Intel-Asus deal is completed. Asus runs a channel partner program and has distribution agreements in the U.S. with ASI, D&H Distributing, Ingram Micro, TD Synnex and Ma Labs.

Confluent Launches Program To Assist ISV Technology Partners

Data streaming software provider Confluent wins kudos this week for launching a new partner program to provide technical, sales and marketing support for technology partners, including database, data analytics and other big data software developers.

The new Connect with Confluent program is targeted at ISVs that develop software and services that work with the Confluent Cloud streaming data platform. Confluent’s broader partner ecosystem also includes systems integrators and cloud platform companies.

The core goal of Connect with Confluent is to make the Confluent platform—and the data that flows through it—available to a wider ecosystem of ISV partners.

“Our goal is to increase the value of the network,” said Paul MacFarland, Confluent’s vice president of the partner and innovation ecosystem, noting in an interview with CRN that the more ISVs and cloud services that connect with the Confluent platform, the more potential use cases for customers. “The goal is to proliferate as wide as we can because it benefits our mutual customer bases.”

Through the program Confluent will provide partners with technical assistance to develop native integrations with Confluent Cloud that can shorten project delivery times, create new use cases and applications, and better provide customers with fully managed data streams.

The program also offers partners a range of sales and marketing resources and support to boost go-to-market efforts. That will include lead generation and joint webinars. “I think a big portion of this is really enablement and awareness,” MacFarland said.

Sherweb Launches Microsoft-Backed Black Partner Growth Initiative

Sherweb has launched its own Microsoft-backed Black Partner Growth Initiative to help underserved MSPs scale their business.

Microsoft made a five-year commitment in 2020 to address racial injustice and inequity, starting with a $150 million investment to double the number of U.S. Black, Hispanic and Latinx managers, senior individual contributors and senior leaders by 2025.

In June 2022, the company launched the Microsoft Black Partner Growth Initiative, which provides resources, programs and tools to help partners capture opportunities throughout its ecosystem and across the globe with a goal of elevating Black-owned technology companies. The program provides Black-owned businesses that become Microsoft partners with access to information, resources and capital to fuel business growth.

Sherweb has taken parts of the program, with Microsoft’s blessing, and made it its own.

Microsoft gave Sherweb some guidelines to follow and has encouraged the company to develop its own program, Michael Slater (pictured), head of sales for channel marketplace at Sherweb, told CRN. While Sherweb is keeping the Microsoft-given name for now, Sherweb eventually wants to change the name to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Partner Program.

While the initiative will have a focus on minority-owned businesses, anyone can join if they need help with their company, Slater said.

“It’s not so much special treatment as much as it’s a leg up,” he added. “We’re going to help walk you through this process on a voluntary basis, so it’s an opt-in. We’re making sure that you get access directly to somebody that can help you grow your business.”

Data Orchestration Startup Hammerspace Raises $56.7M In First Institutional Funding

Hammerspace makes this week’s list for raising $56.7 million in what the unstructured data orchestration software developer said is its first institutional funding.

The round was led by Prosperity7 Ventures with participation from Pier 88 Ventures, ARK Invest and others, according to the San Mateo, Calif.-based company.

The funding will be used to expand the company’s customer service operations, “allowing Hammerspace to expand its team of skilled professionals dedicated to helping customers utilize unstructured data. An expanded Hammerspace team will support more customers with the full capability and transparency to activate, access and monetize their unstructured data,” according to the company.

Additional funding will also be devoted to supporting the expansion of its technology offerings. Hammerspace develops its namesake Data Orchestration System, software that automates unstructured data orchestration and global file access across any storage system, whether in a data center, the cloud or at the edge. The technology provides users and applications with read and write access to unstructured data no matter it resides.