5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Oct. 20, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including AMD, Intel, Microsoft, ScalePad and Palo Alto Networks.


The Week Ending Oct. 20

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is AMD, which debuted its powerful Ryzen Threadripper 7000 workstation CPUs this week

Also making the list is Intel for its own move in the desktop CPU space with the launch of its new 14th-gen Core processors. Microsoft was a winner this week with word that cloud rival Amazon is paying $1 billion to use the Microsoft 365 application set for 1 million Amazon employees.

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ScalePad wins applause for a savvy acquisition that should please its MSP partnerss. And Palo Alto Networks unveiled new capabilities for its Prisma Cloud cloud security platform.

AMD Unveils Threadripper 7000 Series, Marks Return Of High-End Desktop CPUs For ‘Prosumers’

AMD showed off its technological prowess this week when it took the wraps off the next generation of its Ryzen Threadripper workstation CPUs.

The new CPUs, the Threadripper 7000 series for prosumer workstations and Threadripper Pro 7000 WX-Series for professional workstations, mark the company’s return to the market for high-end desktop chips.

Both CPUs will be available in the component channel starting Nov. 21. The CPUs will also be available in workstations from a wide spectrum of OEMs and regional system builders, including Dell Technologies, HP Inc., Lenovo, Maingear, Velocity Micro and Puget Systems.

With the new generation of semiconductors, AMD is returning to a bifurcated CPU strategy for workstation PCs that was last seen in the Threadripper 3000 series.

AMD said the new Threadripper Pro 7000 WX CPUs provide anywhere from a 12 percent to 46 percent performance boost over the Threadripper Pro 5000 series across a wide range of applications and benchmarks in key workstation segments. Most tests showed improvements of 21 percent or higher.

Intel Launches 14th-Gen Core Desktop CPUs Ahead Of Meteor Lake AI PC Shakeup

AMD wasn’t the only company making news in the desktop CPU space this week. Intel launched its 14th-generation Core desktop processors with up to 24 cores and a 6GHz boost frequency. And they’re landing ahead of the much-anticipated release of a new CPU brand that will bring new AI capabilities to laptops.

The six new 14th-gen Core processors are based on Intel’s hybrid architecture that debuted with the 12th generation in 2021, which means the cores on each CPU are divided between performance cores that handle main applications and efficient cores that take care of background tasks.

The semiconductor giant marked the launch of the 14th-gen Core CPUs as it plans to shake up its client processor brand with the Dec. 14 release of the Core Ultra CPUs for laptops. Code-named Meteor Lake, the CPUs will come with new AI acceleration capabilities thanks to their inclusion of a neural processing unit, which Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said will help the lineup “usher in the age of the AI PC.”

Intel also earns a shoutout for announcing its AI PC Acceleration Program, a bevy of engineering, design and marketing resources for ISV partners in advance of the Meteor Lake CPUs.

Microsoft Reportedly Wins $1B Sale To Cloud Rival Amazon

Microsoft was a big winner this week according to reports that Amazon—which operates Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s archrival in the cloud platform arena—is spending $1 billion for its employees to use Microsoft 365 cloud productivity and collaboration applications.

Amazon has committed more than $1 billion over five years to secure more than 1 million Microsoft 365 license seats to be used by Amazon corporate employees and workers in frontline roles, according to an Insider report.

The sheer scale of the $1 billion deal is unprecedented for Amazon in terms of giving a competitor such a large contract. So much so that groups within Microsoft’s Office and security organizations are reportedly starting to scale up to meet the anticipated demand.

While Amazon currently uses on-premises versions of Microsoft Office products, the cloud reportedly had chosen to stay off Microsoft’s cloud products until now because it didn’t want to store anything on its competitor’s cloud infrastructure.

ScalePad Acquires Quoter To Automate IT Sales Quoting, Contract Management

MSP-focused software vendor ScalePad has acquired Canadian startup Quoter in a savvy move to help MSPs adopt quote-to-cash and contract management capabilities, making price quoting more efficient and timely.

ScalePad said Tuesday it acquired Vancouver-based Quoter, the maker of a cloud-based quoting platform that helps MSPs save time, eliminate mistakes and get paid faster. Its contract management functionality even helps MSPs simplify agreement workflows and capture lost revenue. Eric Torres, vice president of channel at ScalePad, said the addition of Quoter’s software to its lineup will further help MSPs automate and get back the time they spend on quoting.

“Most of the established MSPs have one full-time employee that just sits there and does quoting,” he said. “This is a way that will limit the amount of time it takes. [It will] automate and speed up the time it takes while integrating into all of their tools.”

Palo Alto Networks Unveils New Prisma Cloud Features

Palo Alto Networks this week unveiled what it’s calling the biggest release yet for its cloud security platform, Prisma Cloud, including an array of new features that provide greater intelligence and context to security teams as well as developers.

The cybersecurity giant said the “Darwin” release for Prisma Cloud includes new capabilities to help organizations better prioritize their cloud security risks while giving customers a much-improved user interface.

The updates unveiled Wednesday also heavily utilize AI, although they do not include any use of generative AI, the company said. Palo Alto Networks has major aspirations for GenAI but has not yet released capabilities powered by the technology.

The new Prisma Cloud release does, however, stand out in the crowded cloud security field in a number of respects with its new capabilities, said Ankur Shah, senior vice president and general manager for Prisma Cloud.

The Prisma Cloud updates come as the platform has been seeing strong adoption from partners and customers, executives have said. The Prisma Cloud business surpassed $500 million in annual recurring revenue as of the end of the company’s fiscal 2023 ended July 31.

The new capabilities cover code-to-cloud remediation, code-to-cloud vulnerability management, AppDNA, Infinity Graph and code-to-cloud dashboard.