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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending March 5, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

The Week Ending March 5

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is cybersecurity company Okta for a blockbuster acquisition that will make it the company to beat in the identity management arena.

Also making the list are cybersecurity asset management startup Axonius for an impressive round of funding, Novacoast for launching new security operations centers that extend the strategic service provider’s MSP reach, Microsoft for showcasing a long list of new products and technology enhancements at its Ignite 21 virtual conference, and Pluribus Networks for launching a revitalized partner program to help partners capture more data center opportunities.


Okta To Acquire Red-Hot Identity Vendor Auth0 For $6.5 Billion

In one of the IT security industry’s biggest acquisitions ever, Okta struck a deal this week to buy rising star Auth0 for $6.5 billion in an all-stock deal that will allow businesses and organizations to address a broader set of identity use cases.

Okta will combine Auth0’s developer-centric identity technology with its own Okta Identity Cloud, building what Auth0 CEO Eugenio Pace said will be “the identity platform of the future.”

The acquisition will accelerate Okta’s growth in the $55 billion identity market. The COVID-19 pandemic has spiked the demand for identity security solutions by forcing millions of people to work from home and use the Internet for communications, ecommerce and other tasks.

The price tag of the Okta-Auth0 deal is exceeded in the IT security space only by Broadcom’s $10.7 billion acquisition of Symantec in 2019 and Intel’s $7.6 billion purchase of McAfee in 2010.


Asset Management Firm Axonius Raises $100M To Go Global

Cybersecurity asset management startup Axonius achieved unicorn status this week when the company raised $100 million in an impressive Series D round of financing that pushed the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion.

Founded in 2017, Axonius has now raised $195 million in five rounds of funding. The company, which achieved triple-digit annual recurring revenue growth in 2020, plans to use the latest financing to expand its platform and scaleup globally.

The Axonius system collects and correlates data from hundreds of IT products, providing businesses and organizations with a comprehensive asset inventory to discover security gaps and automatically validate and enforce security policies.


Novacoast To Open Two New SOCs Amid Exploding Managed Services Demand

Solution provider Novacoast is seeing surging demand for its managed security services and the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company plans to open two new security operations centers in the coming months to meet that demand.

The new centers will bring to six the number of SOCs operated by the company, No. 257 on the CRN Solution Provider 500. The new SOCs will be in Orem, Utah, and Wichita, Kansas.

Novacoast is expecting revenue growth of 20 percent this year, compared to the relatively flat revenue of 2020. The company has continued to acquire new managed services customers, especially in managed security, to meet growing demands for remote IT and security due to widespread work from home.


Microsoft Launches Mesh, Updates Power Platform At Ignite 21

Microsoft used this week’s virtual Ignite 21 conference to step up its technology game in a number of key product areas, including the company’s Power Platform and Dynamics 365, as well as share the company’s vision for the biggest partner opportunities with Microsoft’s cloud-focused strategy.

Ignite 21 featured multiple Power Platform announcements, from security improvements and new AI capabilities in the business applications platform to reporting and governance enhancements. Also prominent were a number of improvements to the Dynamics 365 application set including better integration with Teams, LinkedIn and other Microsoft products, and an upcoming new Intelligent Order Management application.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, not surprisingly, was a focus of the event with announcements that included the new Azure Percept system to bring AI to edge computing, the new Azure Synapse Pathway for data warehouse migration, and enhancements to existing Azure software including Azure Arc, Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Migrate.

And looking to crank up its “cool” quotient, Microsoft debuted Microsoft Mesh, the company’s next big step in the realm of mixed reality. The Microsoft Mesh platform creates a holographic space that users at different locations can enter into and interact with each other.


Pluribus Networks Revamps Partner Program To Target SDN, Data Center Opportunities

Pluribus Networks wins applause this week for launching Pluribus Partners First, an upgrade from the earlier Pluribus Networks partner program, in a move that the company says will help partners capture more SDN wins.

Pluribus Partners First will provide channel partners with the expertise they need to compete in the fast-growing open networking and hybrid/multi-cloud segment of the data center switching market, according to the company.

The new program includes more resources to generate demand and leads and provides differentiation for partners selling disaggregated networking solutions. The new program also offers a simpler two-tier structure.


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