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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Aug. 14, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

The Week Ending Aug. 14 

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Dell Technologies for its expanded efforts to provide partners and customers with more payment and financing options in the midst of the recession.

Also making the list are Hewlett Packard Enterprise and SAP for teaming up to provide an SAP HANA private cloud offering on HPE’s GreenLake, Intel for introducing new processor design approaches to help avoid production delays, and UCaaS company Nextiva for doubling down on the channel with a new partner program and investing millions in new channel resources.

Also winning applause this week is artificial intelligence chip startup Blaize for taking on giants Intel and Nvidia with its upcoming hardware accelerators that the company says outperform competing CPU and GPU technology.

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Dell Offers Partners, Customers New Financial Options To Help Weather The Economic Slowdown 

Expanding its efforts to help channel partners and customers improve cash flow in these tough economic times, Dell Technologies is extending payment deferrals through 2021 and offering new financing term options on laptops, desktops, and storage and server systems via a revamped Payment Flexibility Program.

In April Dell Financial Services (DFS), the vendor’s finance arm, launched the Payment Flexibility Program and $9 billion in financing to help fund customers’ capital technology needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown.

This week the company extended the program -- which offers zero percent interest rates and six-month deferred payments -- through Oct. 30, 2020.

The company also introduced new rates and payment options for PowerStore storage arrays, PowerEdge servers, and Dell laptops and desktops as part of the company’s Technology Rotation offering. Customers, for example, can defer their first PowerStore payment until 2021 to help conserve cash.

Partners said Dell’s creative financing options through DFS, including deferred payments, step leases, short-term leases and more, help customers conserve cash in the current economic environment.

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HPE-SAP Alliance Brings SAP’s HANA Enterprise To HPE GreenLake Platform 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and SAP have teamed up to launch an on-premises, private cloud edition of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on the HPE GreenLake on-premises clod service.

The new offering is expected to appeal to SAP customers who, despite broad industry adoption of cloud computing, prefer to run the HANA platform and SAP applications like the S/4HANA suite as a private cloud within their data center.

Executives of the two companies said the new SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud Customer Edition on HPE’s GreenLake will open doors for both HPE and SAP partners and create opportunities to provide integration services and build and customize applications that run on the system.

HPE will supply, install and manage the infrastructure for the new offering while SAP will provide application management services and integration expertise from the operating system, to the database, to the cloud. SAP is expected to begin selling the cloud service in the fourth quarter and begin delivery in the first quarter of 2021.

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Intel Adopts ‘Transistor-Resilient Design’ Approach To Speed Chip Production 

Intel this week disclosed plans to utilize what it called a new “transistor-resilient design” approach that will allow the company to innovate its processor designs and avoid manufacturing issues that have delayed some next-generation processors.

The announcement, made at the Intel Architecture Day pre-briefing event, addresses recent manufacturing issues that have led to production delays. Last month Intel said a defect in the company’s manufacturing process would delay the delivery of its 7-nanometer products by six months.

Intel’s traditional design methodology tightly links processor design with the ability to manufacture chips with higher transistor densities—an approach that makes it difficult to move to new semiconductor architectures and new manufacturing process technologies.

The new “intranode improvement” design approach relies on a new technology called 10nm SuperFin, which the company said will significantly increase the performance of its upcoming Tiger Lake mobile processors.

Intel is pushing the design envelope in other ways, including changing the way it packages different silicon functions and technologies on a system-on-chip. And a new design methodology called “Client 2.0” will speed the development and manufacture of purpose-built client processors.

Intel also said the Tiger Lake processors will provide a “more than generational performance leap” combined with graphical and AI improvements; disclosed that Alder Lake desktop CPUs, due this year, will use a hybrid architecture approach; and provided more details for upcoming Ice Lake and Sapphire Rapids server CPUs.

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UCaaS Specialist Nextiva Investing ‘Millions’ in Partners, Launches First Channel Program 

Nextiva, a provider of cloud-based unified communications for the SMB space, wins kudos for kicking off a major channel investment with the launch of the company’s first formal channel partner program that will help solution providers grow their business and expand their reach within enterprise customers.

The new NeXus program, along with recent Nextiva hires and other investments, will help the company zero in on new opportunities through the channel, according to channel veteran Eric Martorano (pictured), who recently joined the company as chief revenue officer and is spearheading the company’s channel initiatives.

Nextiva is also expanding its channel management ranks. Martorano has hired former Microsoft colleague Eric Roach as vice president of channel development and former Dropbox channel chief and Google channel executive Hank Humphries as vice president of revenue strategy and operations. Cathryn Valladares, Nextiva’s director of solution engineering for four years, has been promoted to vice president of enterprise solutions.

The company is also investing in hiring partner account managers, engineers and field marketing managers to assist partners and is developing new resources on the Nextiva CoNEXtion digital marketing platform, including deal registration, enhanced MDF, spiffs, and partner training and certification.

Nextiva already does about 50 percent of its business through its more than 4,500 channel partners. Martorano aims to aggressively grow the company’s channel sales with the new structured program.

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Blaize Takes On Nvidia, Intel With Xplorer Edge AI Chips 

Artificial intelligence chip startup Blaize this week said that its Xplorer Accelerator cards for industrial PCs and edge servers, as well as its Pathfinder P1600 embedded modules, are now sampling with customers and are expected to enter full production in the fourth quarter.

The company says that edge AI computing requires a different hardware architecture approach from traditional CPU and GPU processors—manufactured by competitors like Intel and Nvidia—that were initially built for different purposes.

Co-founder and CEO Dinakar Munagala said the new Blaize products, based on the company’s Graph Streaming Processors architecture, better address edge computing’s unique efficiency and latency requirements and can better function in field-deployed systems.

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