5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending June 9, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including network giant Cisco Systems, chipmaker Intel, cybersecurity tech company Imperva, MSP powerhouse Ahead and security development platform provider Synk.


The Week Ending June 9

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Cisco Systems, which unleashed a wave of networking, security and observability platform news at its Cisco Live 2023 event this week.

Also making this week’s list are chipmaker Intel for its latest GPU unveiling, cybersecurity tech company Imperva for a major revamp of its partner program, and MSP powerhouse Ahead and security development platform provider Synk for their game-changing acquisitions.

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Cisco Launches Unified Networking Cloud, Full Stack Observability Platforms

Cisco Systems made some big moves in its product portfolio this week, using its Cisco Live 2023 event as the launch pad for Cisco Networking Cloud, the Cisco Full-Stack Observability Platform, and updates to the Cisco Security Cloud.

The new Cisco Networking Cloud strategy takes a platform approach to managing the entire on-premises and cloud-based networking environment, converging multiple Cisco network management offerings including the cloud-based Meraki software and the company’s core Catalyst portfolio.

The first steps to the Cisco Networking Cloud include providing single sign-on to simplify access across Cisco’s networking systems, an API key exchange/repository that makes it easier for disparate Cisco networking systems to connect and exchange data, cross-platform automation and a common user interface.

The platform approach will make it easier for channel partners to more tightly integrate network and security infrastructure, according to the company.

Cisco also continues to make good on its promise to unite its security portfolio under its Security Cloud platform strategy, unveiled one year ago. This week the company debuted a new security service edge offering, a multi-cloud security feature, and a firewall series aimed at applications and multi-cloud environments.

Completing the platform trifecta at Cisco Live 2023, Cisco also launched the Full-Stack Observability (FSO) platform, a vendor-agnostic observability system that pulls in operational and performance data from applications, networks, infrastructure, cloud, security and other systems. The platform is built on OpenTelemetry standards and collects metric, event, log and trace data.

Intel Reveals Its Fastest Arc Pro Workstation GPUs Yet

Intel showed off its technology prowess this week by unveiling the fastest workstation GPUs yet in its Arc Pro A-Series lineup. The new Arc Pro A60 and Arc Pro A60M boast double the video memory, memory bandwidth, PCIe lanes and compute units over Arc Pro models launched last year.

The planned rollout of the new Arc Pro products is part of Intel’s effort to challenge Nvidia and AMD in the GPU market for PCs and data centers. The company has been expanding its Arc lineup for desktop and laptops since it began rolling out products in mid-2022.

The new GPUs are best suited for computer-aided design and modeling applications, AI inferencing tasks, as well as media processing in “dedicated business environments,” Intel said. Like other Arc GPUs, they come equipped with built-in hardware for real-time ray tracing and machine learning capabilities.

Intel said the Arc Pro A60 for desktops will be available from distributors in coming weeks while OEMs are expected to begin delivering laptops with the Arc Pro A60M in the coming months.

Imperva Aims To Boost Flexibility, Predictability With New Partner Program

Imperva this week launched a revamped channel program that the cybersecurity tech vendor said will transcend the typical one-size-fits-all approach for working with partners, while helping them to better capture the surging demand for security solutions.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company unveiled the Imperva Accelerate Partner Program with a major focus on offering partners more flexibility around choosing a go-to-market strategy with the vendor, as well as on delivering improved predictability around profits.

Accelerate features three tiers for partners—Select, Advanced and Premier—and takes the place of Imperva’s prior metal-based channel program. With the new program, partners can select from among four go-to-market models to pursue with Imperva: fulfillment, creating demand, driving sales and delivering services, according to Micheal McCollough (pictured), global vice president of strategic growth and channel at Imperva.

“What we built is a program that lets the partner choose [what] they want to focus on,” McCollough told CRN. “And we’ve made sure we have the right requirements—and the right incentives and rewards—to support those motions.”

Many customers are looking to Imperva channel partners to deliver services around the vendor’s offerings, including in such areas as API security and data security that require a high degree of expertise, McCollough said.

Imperva, which has more than 2,000 partners globally and more than 500 in North America, currently generates more than 90 percent of its revenue through the channel.

Ahead Buys MBX To Boost Edge, Supply Chain and ‘Hyperscale Solutions’

Enterprise cloud MSP this week said it had acquired MBX Systems with the goal of creating new advanced custom solutions that infuse MBX’s engineering capabilities into Ahead’s broad portfolio and customer base.

MBX is Ahead’s fifth acquisition since 2020. The company has been acquiring one to two companies each year thanks to its financial backing from Berkshire Partners beginning in 2020. That year Ahead bought RoundTower and Kovarus and in 2022 it acquired vCore Technology Partners.

Ahead is a major provider of infrastructure, automation, data analytics, software development, security and managed services.

Eric Kaplan, CTO of Chicago-based Ahead, said the two companies can build custom solutions for customers to “fulfill their expanding needs for edge and hyperscale solutions” thanks to MBX’s engineering capabilities and proprietary Hatch software, an IT asset life-cycle management platform.

Overall, the acquisition bolsters the business impact that Ahead brings to its enterprise customers by adding custom-engineered platforms, deeper capabilities in edge infrastructure solutions and Hatch. The merger will also help customers streamline global distribution of those products, according to the company.

Snyk To Acquire Enso Security For Improved AppSec Visibility

Speaking of acquisitions, Snyk makes this week’s list after reaching an agreement to acquire Enso Security, a startup that specializes in providing enhanced visibility into application security posture.

Synk, which provides a developer security platform for finding and fixing application vulnerabilities during the development process, said the addition of Enso Security will enable the company to offer the “first and only developer security platform providing a holistic view of application security posture.”

Tel Aviv-based Enso Security has been among the pioneers in the category of Application Security Posture Management (ASPM), Snyk said. “Developer-first ASPM will orchestrate coverage throughout the entire software development life cycle, with prioritization that powerfully combines both business impact and risk,” the company said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter.