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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending June 4 CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

The Week Ending June 4

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Microsoft for a small, but potentially strategic acquisition in the IoT security tech space.

Also making the list this week are data intelligence software developer Alation for an impressive funding round, OpsRamp for stepping up its channel with additions to its partner program, solution provider SoftChoice for a successful IPO, and Cisco Systems for its new Unified Computing Systems offering that partners hailed as a game-changer.


Microsoft Buys IoT Security Startup ReFirm Labs

Microsoft made a small but strategic acquisition this week when it acquired ReFirm Labs, a startup developer of IoT security technology.

Microsoft said the acquisition of Fulton, Md.-based ReFirm Labs, with its Centrifuge firmware platform and firmware expertise, will help device builders and customers discover and protect networked devices and assess device risk—all at the firmware and network levels. The technology also can be used to patch devices via the cloud.

Refirm Labs was on CRN’s Emerging Vendors list in 2020 and on the list of 10 Coolest IoT Security Companies on the CRN 2021 Internet of Things 50.

Vulnerabilities in network, IoT and edge devices are seen as a significant and growing security risk that can leave businesses, organizations and consumers open to cyberattacks. With this acquisition, Microsoft is looking to obtain the technology needed to protect its partners and customers.


Data Intelligence Software Developer Alation Raises $110M In New Funding Round

Alation, a developer of data catalog and data governance software used by businesses to identify and manage their data assets, raised $110 million in an impressive Series D round of funding this week.

The round brings the Redwood City, Calif.-based company’s total financing to $217 million and its market value to $1.2 billion.

As a bonus, one of the company’s new investors is Snowflake Ventures, the investment arm of high-flying data cloud service company Snowflake. Alation and Snowflake plan to build links between their offerings and develop joint go-to-market plans.


OpsRamp Ramps Up Partner Program Under New Channel Chief

OpsRamp, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of digital operations management software, wins kudos this week for making some significant additions to its partner program under recently hired channel chief Paul Brodie.

Updates to the OpsRamp channel program include a new profit-sharing model that Brodie describes as more partner-friendly, additional lead-sharing opportunities, more comprehensive sales assistance, co-marketing resources, and expanded sales and technical training offerings. The company said it is also expanding its channel team with dedicated regional channel account executives and solution engineers to assist with technical sales support.

Brodie joined OpsRamp as vice president of global channel sales earlier this year. The company said partner-involved sales deals have increased 50 percent since late 2020.


Softchoice Closes Successful IPO, Cements Status As Largest Microsoft Cloud Partner

Software and cloud solution provider Softchoice became the latest channel company to go public when it successfully completed its initial public offering (IPO) on the Toronto Stock Exchange this week, selling 17.5 million common shares for gross proceeds of CAD$350 million (about $249 million U.S.).

The IPO comes as Toronto-based Softchoice, No. 32 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, reports robust growth as it meets increased demand for Microsoft’s Azure, Office 365 and Teams offerings. Microsoft has identified Softchoice as its largest Azure partner and largest cloud deployment partner in North America.

Cybersecurity company SentinelOne also deserves mention for filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its own IPO. In the filing the company disclosed that it has seen skyrocketing sales and that 96 percent of its fiscal 2021 revenue came through channel partners.


Cisco Targets Hybrid Cloud Applications With New UCS X-Series

Cisco Systems reminded us this week how the networking company is a technology innovation leader when it debuted the new UCS X-Series, a major update to its Unified Computing Systems line for data centers.

The new Cisco UCS X-Series is designed for hybrid data center operations, helping businesses and organizations as they move resources and workloads between data centers and the cloud, including across multiple public cloud environments.

The new rack and blade systems, launched at the company’s Future Cloud virtual event, include next-generation processors, accelerators and computing interconnects, according to the company.

Cisco channel partners said the biggest innovation may be the X-Series integration with Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator, an automation framework that can simplify complex workflows. With Intersight, IT teams and channel partners can better orchestrate IT infrastructure and workloads to accelerate IT service delivery.



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