5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending May 5, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Google Cloud, GreenPages, Cisco Systems, Databricks and SonicWall.


The Week Ending May 5

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Google Cloud for its bold new program to help customers move to the cloud.

Also making this week’s list are solution provider GreenPages for a blockbuster executive hire, Cisco Systems for a new payment deferral program to help customers and partners in these uncertain economic times, data lakehouse tech developer Databricks for a strategic acquisition, and SonicWall for its own savvy recruitment of a Cisco channel veteran executive to oversee its North American channel operations.

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Google Launches Cloud Migration Program To ‘Move The Needle’ For Partners, Customers

Google Cloud went on the cloud migration offensive this week with the launch of its Rapid Migration Program (RaMP) aimed at getting customers to accelerate their cloud transformation efforts and move more IT workloads to the cloud.

RaMP pulls together Google Cloud’s products, programs, engineering expertise, best practices and engagement models into a unified program aimed at accelerating cloud migrations by a factor of 10, according to the company. Google intends to tie together the RaMP offerings with channel partners’ own cloud migration capabilities and services.

The program includes the new RaMP Deck for tracking large-scale migration projects, as well as existing Google services such as StratoZone, for discovering and assessing workloads for potential migration, and the Migrate to Virtual Machine Service that “lifts and shifts” servers.

Other RaMP offerings include a slew of database, storage and container migration services tied to best practices based on successful Google Cloud migration use cases.

Google Cloud is recruiting partners who have attained the company’s Data Center Modernization and Google Cloud Migration specializations to join RaMP.

GreenPages Hires Channel Superstar Richardson As New CRO

GreenPages scored a major win in the personnel department this week when it hired channel sales superstar Terry Richardson to be the fast-growing solution provider’s new chief revenue officer.

Richardson joins GreenPages from AMD where he stepped down as the chip company’s North American channel chief just two weeks ago. His 30-plus year career also includes partner management posts at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and EMC.

The blockbuster hire brings to GreenPages one of the most respected channel leaders in the business as the Portsmouth, N.H.-based company looks to continue to drive its cybersecurity, cloud and managed services sales growth.

Richardson’s appointment comes with GreenPages on a roll, delivering a three-year compound annual growth rate of 401 percent for cybersecurity, 62 percent for cloud subscription services and 17 percent for managed services. That performance led to the promotion of former Chief Revenue Officer Joshua Dinneen to the president’s job earlier this year.

Richardson, who will report to Dinneen, will oversee all revenue-generating activities, partner relationship management and business development at GreenPages.

Cisco Capital Launches Payment Deferral Program For Cash Flow-Conscious Customers

Cisco Systems wins kudos this week for cutting its channel partners and customers some financial slack amid the current economic uncertainty with a new buy-now, pay-later initiative.

Under the Cisco Capital Business Acceleration Program introduced this week, customers purchasing Cisco hardware, software and services before July 29, 2023 – the end of Cisco’s fiscal year – can defer payment until no earlier than Jan. 1, 2024.

The program is designed to help partners and customers manage their cash flow with more certainty at a time of financial challenges. It gives partners a flexible payment option they can extend to their customers while allowing partners to sell Cisco technology and be paid in full by the vendor.

Databricks Steps Up Data Governance With Okera Acquisition

Fast-growing Databricks made a move to expand the data governance capabilities of its Databricks Lakehouse Platform with the acquisition of Okera and its AI-centric secure data governance and access control technology.

The savvy acquisition is designed to help Databricks address customers’ growing demand for data governance tools as AI, machine learning and large language models – which make use of large volumes of data – are increasingly utilized within businesses and organizations.

Okera’s software is used to discover and classify sensitive data, maintain proper data access and management, and provide intelligence about sensitive data usage for audit, security and privacy compliance teams. It helps ensure compliance with data protection regulations including the European Union’s GDPR privacy laws and California’s CCPA/CPRA data privacy requirements.

A core strength of the Okera technology is its ability to extend data governance, including data discovery and data protection, to AI and machine learning data assets.

SonicWall Hires Cisco Vet Michelle Ragusa-McBain As North America Channel Chief

Returning to the topic of strategic hires, SonicWall makes this week’s list for recruiting Cisco Systems veteran Michelle Ragusa-McBain to oversee the cybersecurity vendor’s extensive North America channel operations.

The hire comes as SonicWall looks to enlist the help of partners to expand beyond its core network security business. The company has 9,000 North American channel partners and 100 percent of its sales are through the channel.

Ragusa-McBain, a well-known leader in Cisco’s global partner organization, joined SonicWall as North America channel chief this week. She brings to the role 18 years of experience working with channel partners, 15 of them at Cisco. She also worked in channel-related jobs at Office Depot and JS Group.