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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

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

The Week Ending Feb. 14 

Topping this week’s list of companies that came to win is Amazon Web Services, which won a preliminary–but significant–victory in its bid to reverse the award of the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI contract to Microsoft.

Also making the "Came to Win" list are Xerox for upping its per-share offer to acquire HP Inc., Intel for gearing up to release more powerful Xeon Scalable processors in its competitive battle with AMD, Hewlett Packard Enterprise for mounting a campaign to acquire new customer accounts in North America, and DevOps pioneer Chef for launching its first-ever channel program.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.


AWS Wins Court Order To Pause JEDI Project 

Amazon Web Services this week won a round in its legal battle to overturn the U.S. Department of Defense’s award of the massive JEDI cloud computing contract to rival Microsoft.

A federal judge granted AWS’ request for a temporary injunction that will prevent Microsoft from moving forward with task orders and substantial implementation work on the contract—potentially worth $10 billion—that has caused a firestorm of controversy in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.

Amazon filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in November, alleging that President Donald Trump’s animosity against Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos influenced the vendor selection process for the JEDI contract.

Amazon has asked the court to order Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis to sit for questions in a deposition.


Xerox Increases Takeover Offer Price For HP To $24 Per Share

Xerox isn’t letting up in its campaign to buy HP Inc., increasing its offer this week for the PC and printer maker to $24 per share, up from its earlier bid of $22 per share.

The latest offer, consisting of $18.40 in cash and 0.149 Xerox shares for each HP share, surpasses the previous offer made in November. Xerox said the $24-per-share offer represents a 41 percent premium to HP’s unaffected 30-day volume weighted average trading price of $17.

“Xerox’s offer provides HP stockholders with both significant, immediate cash value, and meaningful upside via equity ownership in the combined company,” Xerox said in announcing the increased offer.

The new offer puts pressure on HP’s board and CEO Enrique Lores, which had said that HP had nothing more to discuss until Xerox changed the terms of its offer.


Intel Set To Debut New Xeon CPUs That Widen Speed Gap Over AMD EPYC 

Intel is gearing up to launch its fastest Cascade Lake server processors yet in the form of two new Xeon Scalable chips that will give the semiconductor giant an extra edge in clock speed over rival AMD’s EPYC processors.

The company plans to unveil the new Xeon Gold 6256 and Xeon Gold 6250 processors, alongside new Cascade Lake Refresh processors, later this month.

The new Xeon processors are expected to be optimized for per-core performance and deliver the kind of leadership frequency needed for demanding workloads and software cost optimization.

The new Xeon processors and Cascade Lake Refresh processors are all part of Intel’s continued effort to narrow the competitive gap with AMD’s EPYC server processors.


HPE Mounts Massive North America New Account Acquisition Offensive 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is mounting a major new account acquisition sales offensive that the company said is resulting in a dramatic increase in the sales pipeline for new customers.

HPE is leveraging its GreenLake pay-per-use, Everything-as-a-Service offering as it targets more than 8,000 enterprise accounts that have not purchased HPE products in the past three years, along with tens of thousands of SMB business accounts.

HPE, which stacked its sales leadership team with channel-savvy tech sales veterans last year, is working closely with its channel partners as part of the new sales push.


DevOps Pioneer Chef Launches First-Ever Partner Program 

DevOps technology developer Chef wins kudos this week for launching the company’s first channel program in a move to formalize previously opportunistic relationships with resellers and service providers who specialize in automating enterprise IT operations.

The launch of the program comes less than a year after Chef made a strategic shift in its business model by transitioning from an open-core approach to a true open-source business model, eliminating the final proprietary pieces that sometimes put the company at odds with its partners.

Chef, which got its start a decade ago with its infrastructure-as-code configuration management software, has expanded to offer “coded enterprise” technology that encompasses infrastructure, security and compliance, and application life-cycle management.

The new tiered Chef Partner Program is designed to attract partners who, rather than resell Chef products, focus instead on delivering services around Chef’s software. The program—with its Principal, Senior and Junior tiers—is based on the number of successful customer deployments a partner is driving, what they are doing to differentiate their practices, and the number of technical staff trained or badged on Chef.


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