5 Companies That Came To Win This Week
For the week ending Sept. 29, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Amazon, Ingram Micro, SHI’s Stratascale cybersecurity business, ServiceNow and Dell Technologies.
The Week Ending Sept. 29
Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Amazon for its bold move to make a big investment in GenAI startup Anthropic.
Also making the list are distributor Ingram Micro for its new Staff Assist program that helps partners with highly in-demand employee talent, SHI Stratascale for an acquisition that expands its cybersecurity portfolio, ServiceNow for its own savvy acquisition, and Dell Technologies for creating a new business unit focused on boosting the company’s AI strategy.
Amazon To Invest Up To $4B In Anthropic As GenAI Race Heats up
Amazon is putting its money where its AI is, disclosing plans this week to invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic, a top competitor to ChapGPT developer OpenAI.
The acquired minority stake investment in Anthropic is part of an extensive strategic alliance between Amazon and the two-year-old San Francisco startup founded by former OpenAI executives Dario Amodei and Daniela Amodei.
The investment deal also includes a commitment by Anthropic to use AWS’s Trainium training chip and Inferentia AL accelerator chip to build, train and deploy AI foundation models. And the two will work together to further develop the Trainium and Inferentia technology.
Anthropic is also making a long-term commitment to provide AWS customers with access to future generations of its AI foundation through the AWS Bedrock fully managed AI service. And AWS will become Anthropic’s primary cloud provider for mission critical workloads.
The Amazon-Anthropic partnership comes nine months after Microsoft invested $10 billion in OpenAI as part of an all-out generative AI offensive that included last week’s launch of Microsoft 365 Copilot.
Ingram Micro Launches Staff Assist Program To Help Partners With Offshore Talent
Ingram Micro wins applause this week for debuting its new Staff Assist program through which the distributor will help MSPs and IT service providers with the ongoing challenge of finding and retaining talent by pairing them with offshore talent at a fraction of the cost of hiring in the U.S.
Under the Staff Assist program IT service partners can hire Ingram Micro employees at offshore locations around the world and make them part of an MSP’s team. The offshore talent will be staffed in India, the Philippines and Latin America with Ingram planning to soon tap into other regions it has access to.
Ingram can supply talent for cloud, network operating center, server administration, network administration and cybersecurity tasks.
Service providers can hire as many or as few people as they need, allowing them to scale up to meet the demands of enterprise customers or down to serve the SMB market. Ingram says the hiring cycle typically takes 30 to 60 days.
Ingram said partners will be paying between 30 and 50 percent less, conservatively, than the cost of hiring IT talent in the U.S.
SHI’s Stratascale Eyes Security Service Expansion With 1st Acquisition
Stratascale is looking to enhance its portfolio of cybersecurity services with the acquisition this week of attack surface management provider Vector0.
Vector0, founded in 2021, provides continuous internet scans for customers to identify potentially vulnerable assets through its DarkWave attack surface management platform.
Stratascale Senior Vice President David Olzak said in a statement that Vector0 brings “extensibility” that will enable Stratascale to integrate its managed services with “some of our most strategic cybersecurity partners’ threat and vulnerability management capabilities.”
SHI International President and CEO Thai Lee said the move is the latest in the effort to establish SHI, and Stratascale in particular, as a “leader in the cybersecurity consultancy and implementation market.”
ServiceNow Acquires Occupational Health And Safety Practice Assets
Staying on the topic of savvy acquisitions, digital workflow technology developer ServiceNow added to its industry expertise this week with its acquisition of the ToolBox OH&S digital assets from an Australian service provider.
ToolBox OH&S, occupational health and safety management assets built on the ServiceNow platform, were developed by Enable Professional Services, an Australia-based ServiceNow Elite partner that was acquired by Fujitsu in July 2022.
ServiceNow will add ToolBox OH&S to the ServiceNow practice that’s focused on workplace delivery systems.
“ToolBox OH&S just gives us a way to accelerate our roadmap,” Eric Schroeder, vice president of product for ServiceNow’s NowX internal incubator arm, told CRN. “It gives us a deeper capability that our customers are going to demand. They come with a great deal of experience in this space. It helps us to advance our health and safety practice.”
Customers in Australia can continue to use ToolBox OH&S while ServiceNow is integrating it more tightly with its own systems. Eventually it will be available to all ServiceNow partners and customers.
Dell Creates AI Business Unit, Names Jeff Boudreau Chief AI Officer
Signaling that it’s all-in for the red-hot generative AI space, Dell Technologies this week created a new AI business unit that will lead Dell’s AI strategy across the company.
Dell also named Jeff Boudreau, head of the company’s Infrastructure Solutions Group since 2019, as the company’s first Chief AI Officer, reporting to Dell COO Jeff Clarke. Boudreau will be responsible for Dell’s strategy as the company positions its technology to lay the foundation of generative AI efforts in the enterprise.
Boudreau and his team will partner across the company to understand domain-specific use cases for AI and build, define and standardize architectures and integrate AI across the Dell product portfolio, Clarke said. The business unit will also build relevant AI partnerships, lead the Center for AI Innovation that sets policies, and help educate the rest of the company.
Clarke has previously said that Dell is looking at how AI may drive a refresh in PC sales. Dell foresees PC users adopting applications such as Microsoft’s Copilot and other, similar AI-based assistants, and running several in tandem to increase productivity.