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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Jan. 17, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Jan. 17

Topping this week’s list of companies that came to win is Google Cloud for its launch of a premium support option for enterprise customers.

Also making the "Came to Win" list is Microsoft ISV partner AvePoint, which plans to take its business focused on Microsoft cloud to the next level after the company received $200 million in private equity funding. DevOps-focused startup GitLab, which is eyeing a possible IPO, made the list for moving to expand its use of the channel. Microsoft wins accolades for its ambitious carbon reduction plans while chipmaker AMD is on the list for its big stock price gains in 2019.

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 Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

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Google Cloud Launches Premium Support Offering

Google Cloud stepped up its competitive game this week with the launch of Google Cloud Premium Support to address the mission-critical needs of large enterprise customers. The service will provide 15-minute target response times, 24x7, from Google customer support for high-priority cases.

The new Premium Support won a thumbs up from Google Cloud partners, who can resell the new service offering. Partners said the service will help them deliver more value to customers with support needs that exceed services currently available through Google’s Technical Account Management program.

The company said it has designed Premium Support to bring more consistency to the support plans for the Google Cloud Platform and G Suite. Other features include a case management API tool that integrates customers’ and Google Cloud’s systems, operational system health reviews and simplified pricing models.

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AvePoint Thinks Big On Microsoft Data Management/Protection With $200M Funding

Microsoft ISV partner AvePoint plans to take its business focused on Microsoft cloud to the next level after the company said it had received about $200 million in private equity funding commitments – a figure that could rise to $200 million.

AvePoint develops data governance, protection and migration software for Microsoft 365, Teams and SharePoint environments. The Jersey City, N.J.-based company, which has a profitable and growing business, originally focused on Microsoft SharePoint and has become one of the largest software providers for Microsoft Azure environments.

The company sees growing opportunities to provide data migration, governance and backup for fast-growing Teams – especially within enterprise environments – and data governance tools for smaller clients as they adopt Software-as-a-Service applications.

AvePoint said the $200-million funding round – the 18-year-old company’s third – will provide the company with the resources it needs to take advantage of these opportunities.

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GitLab Ramping Up Channel Engagement Ahead Of IPO

DevOps-focused startup GitLab, which is eyeing a possible IPO later this year, is making significant investments in expanding its use of the channel.

GitLab recently hired seasoned executive Michelle Hodges as vice president of channel and is gearing up to implement its first real channel program.

Demand for the company’s full-lifecycle DevOps platform is growing and the company needs more partners to help meet that demand. While the company has about 200 resellers, only about 25 are seriously committed to the company’s products, moving beyond sales transactions to recurring engagements.

GitLab is recruiting partners, especially systems integrators, who can develop comprehensive DevOps practices and provide the ongoing services and support customers need.

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Microsoft To Spend $1B On ‘Climate Innovation,’ Sets ‘Carbon Negative’ Goal

Microsoft wins applause this week for its ambitious plans to become “carbon negative” – removing more carbon than the company produces – by 2030 with the goal of removing from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted since its 1975 founding by 2050.

To achieve those goals, Microsoft is creating a $1 billion “climate innovation fund” that’s focused on advancing carbon reduction and removal technologies, said Microsoft President Brad Smith in a blog post.

The plans include moving to 100-percent renewable energy by 2025, adopting electric vehicles for campus operations worldwide by 2030, and expanding Microsoft’s internal carbon tax – paid by the company’s various divisions based on their carbon emissions – to cover emissions that are produced indirectly.

The extensive plans even account for carbon emissions generated through the company’s supply chain, employee business travel, the materials in its buildings and the full life cycle of its products.

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AMD More Than Doubles Its Stock Price In 2019

CRN this week published its analysis of the 2019 stock price changes for 44 of the leading, publicly traded IT companies and resurgent chipmaker AMD wins applause for coming out on top.

The price of AMD’s stock surged more than 148 percent between the closing prices of Dec. 31, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2019, ending the year with its shares trading at $45.86.

The chipmaker had a very good year in 2019, debuting a stream of innovative, highly competitive products such as its Ryzen and Epyc processors and giving rival Intel a competitive run for its money.

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