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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

Rick Whiting

For the week ending Aug. 26, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

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The Week Ending Aug. 26

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is OpenText for striking a $6 billion deal to acquire information systems management tech provider Micro Focus.

Also making this week’s list are HP Inc. for its plans to tackle supply chain disruption challenges, Lumen Technologies for winning regulatory approval to sell off its ILEC business, and Incorta for its new data applications and marketplace that create opportunities for partners.

Also winning applause this week are all the solution providers at this week’s XChange conference who spoke about their diversity, equity and inclusion progress and vowed to step up their DEI efforts.

 

OpenText To Acquire Micro Focus In Blockbuster $6B Deal

OpenText got everyone’s attention this week with its move to acquire Newbury, U.K.-based Micro Focus, in a $6 billion deal that will make OpenText one of the world’s largest software and cloud technology companies.

Both companies offer a broad range of information and IT management, digital transformation and cybersecurity products. But OpenText, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said there are significant differences in the two companies’ product lines that limit overlap in their technology portfolios.

If the acquisition goes through OpenText will have annual revenue of $6.2 billion. Together the two vendors do business with 98 of the world’s 100 largest companies and government customers.

The companies expect to complete the acquisition in early 2023.

Micro Focus is the latest in a string of software acquisitions for OpenText. Previous acquisitions include email encryption company Zix and cloud data protection provider Carbonite, the latter including security vendor Webroot, which Carbonite had itself just acquired.

 

HP ‘Going On Offense’ To Battle Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply chain disruptions have been one of this year’s biggest challenges for IT vendors and their channel partners. So HP Inc. wins applause this week for addressing supply chain issues head on with Chief Supply Chain Officer Ernest Nicolas and other HP executives devoting a significant part of this week’s Amplify Executive Forum to discussing supply chain strategy.

“We are going on offense,” said Nicolas, who was hired by HP in May.

Nicolas said that everyone, including HP, its suppliers and its partners, need to change the way they think about supply chains and that “agility, resilience and visibility” should be used as weapons to overcome supply chain problems.

More specifically, Nicolas said changes HP has made internally to connect multiple ERP application systems have improved supply chain monitoring. And HP is working on improving its supply chain forecasting processes by accessing more data.

HP channel partners who attended the Amplify event praised HP for the candid discussion about supply chain challenges and for communicating a plan to tackle the problem.

 

Lumen Wins FCC Approval For $7.5B ILEC Business Sale

Lumen Technologies’ bid to sell off its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) business cleared a major hurdle this week when the Federal Communications Commission approved the sale of the ILEC business to Brightspeed Internet for $7.5 billion.

ILEC includes parts of Lumen’s network and related assets, largely its local fiber and copper network including broadband-enabled homes and businesses, fiber- and copper-enabled buildings, and other assets in 20 states, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast.

Brightspeed Internet is owned by investment management firm Apollo Global Management. Lumen struck the sales deal for ILEC with Apollo in August 2021.

Lumen sees the ILEC sale as one of the steps it must take to return to financial growth. Lumen expects to complete the sale early in its fiscal fourth quarter that starts in November.

 

Incorta Expands Partner Opportunities With New Component SDK, Marketplace Launch

Data analytics platform provider Incorta this week unveiled new data analysis applications, a component development toolkit and an online marketplace that will help partners build and sell analytical content around the Incorta platform.

Of particular importance for Incorta partners is the new component SDK that partners can use to build extensions to the vendor’s analytical platform and data applications, as well as develop their own custom data applications, data visualizations, dashboard controls and other analytical content that work with the Incorta platform.

And the online marketplace will provide partners with a new go-to-market route to offer those products to a wider audience.

 

Solution Providers Detail Their Top DEI Investments

Forward-thinking solution providers are making diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) an integral part of their hiring and employee retention processes with the goal of boosting profitability, employee diversity and overall innovation.

DEI enablement was a major topic at this week’s XChange 2022 conference in Denver, hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company, and solution providers told CRN they are doubling down on their DEI initiatives around employee recruiting and internal operations.

Quantum Symphony of Dallas, for example, reaches out to high school and college students who, because of their last name or ZIP code, may face discrimination when looking for a job. Quantum brings many students in as interns, providing them with experience and, in some cases, hires them full time.

Faisal Ahmed, CEO of Durham, N.C. -based Benchmark Network Solutions, left an XChange DEI session vowing to make changes in how it recruits employees such as altering the language it uses in job ads. “What I learned … is how much more profitable you can get if you have a diverse mindset because everyone’s bringing all these different ideas to the table so you can have more innovation in the stuff you’re doing,” he said.

San Jose-based CloudWerx may not have a formal DEI program, but Betsy Reed, co-founder and sales and marketing vice president, said her company has assembled “an extremely diverse team” more organically rather than by design. She said the company’s diverse workforce leads to “unique opinions, different mindsets [and] different people backgrounds” that make CloudWerx more competitive.

 

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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