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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending May 1, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending May 1 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make headlines, some of this week’s 5 Companies That Came to Win roundup includes what IT and channel companies are doing to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic and the economic slowdown.

Topping this week’s list is NetApp for making a savvy acquisition in the VDI technology space that will strengthen the company’s hand in cloud computing.

Also making the list are Intel for its contribution to help 100 hospitals increase their intensive care unit bed capacity, IBM for providing channel partners with a broad range of assistance to help them prosper during the economic crisis, Nvidia for closing its blockbuster acquisition of Mellanox Technologies, and Dropbox for expanding its channel program with new partner tiers and certifications.


NetApp Acquires CloudJumper In 'Leapfrog' VDI Move 

NetApp made a big move in the virtual desktop infrastructure space this week when it bought VDI superstar CloudJumper, a deal that will allow NetApp to leapfrog the VDI competition.

NetApp said the deal boosts its NetApp Virtual Desktop Service, providing a way to help customers resolve challenging VDI problems across multiple cloud platforms.

The acquisition will allow NetApp to build a single management platform that combines VDI and the underpinning storage and data services infrastructure to deliver high-performance, easily managed virtual desktops across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. IDC already ranks NetApp the industry’s No. 1 VDI storage vendor.

NetApp partners said the CloudJumper acquisition offers them a way to leverage NetApp’s position in the storage arena to reach deeper into cloud computing.


Intel Offers 100 Hospitals Free Virtual ICU Software For 90 Days 

Intel wins applause this week for a new program through which the chipmaker is offering 100 hospitals three months of free software that can turn acute care beds into monitored intensive care unit beds in a matter of minutes.

The Scale to Serve program, established in partnership with health-care software developer Medical Informatics, addresses the need for higher ICU capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic and to help protect front-line health-care workers.

As part of its previously announced $50 million pandemic response tech fund, Intel is covering the implementation costs for Medical Informatics’ virtual ICU software, called Sickbay, for 100 qualified hospitals while Medical Informatics is waiving the software licensing fees for three months.

Intel wins double-kudos this week for revealing its long-awaited 10th-generation Intel Core S-Series processors that pack up to 10 cores and 5.3GHz in clock speeds with improved tunability features for desktop PCs. The announcement shows that Intel continues to be a tech innovator even in a time of great economic uncertainty.


IBM Offers Partners Financial Incentives And More To Weather The Coronavirus Pandemic

IBM is taking a number of steps to help its channel partners weather the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, preserving their current PartnerWorld program levels and competencies until 2021, providing partners with expanded digital marketing capabilities, and offering additional financial incentives for solution providers and distributors and flexible financing options for customers.

The measures, coming just before next week’s Think Digital 2020 virtual event, are designed to help alleviate solution providers’ two major current challenges: Supporting their clients in tough economic times and maintaining their own liquidity, said David La Rose, general manager of the IBM partner ecosystem, in an interview with CRN.

IBM is adding millions of dollars into second-quarter performance incentives for IBM Power and IBM Storage competency partners. The company is also increasing base value incentives for hardware products by half a point of margin from the first dollar of sales in the quarter and offering value-added distributors an additional 1.2 points of guaranteed growth incentives during the quarter.

A key element of IBM’s lineup of partner assistance offerings is a new, state-of-the-art marketing platform, IBM My Digital Marketing, that partners can use to execute end-to-end digital marketing campaigns. That complements the My Digital Marketing Promotion assistance the company launched in February to help solution providers build and execute second-quarter marketing campaigns.


Nvidia Closes $7 Billion Mellanox Acquisition, Set To Move Into Next-Gen Data Center Technology 

Nvidia closed its blockbuster $7 billion acquisition of high-speed interconnect technology developer Mellanox Technologies in a move that will advance Nvidia’s ambition to expand into next-generation data center systems.

With its many-core GPU processors Nvidia has already been providing systems for high-performance computing and artificial intelligence workloads. The Mellanox acquisition gives the company a broad portfolio of AI computing and networking technologies, processors and software, and what company executives described as “significant scale to advance next-generation data centers.”

The acquisition is expected to improve Nvidia’s competitive posture in a range of vertical markets and applications. Partners expect to see the chipmaker build more products that integrate Mellanox’s Ethernet and InfiniBand technologies for such applications as artificial intelligence, data science, cloud computing, edge computing systems and robotics.


Dropbox Beefs Up Partner Program, Launches Certifications 

Cloud-based storage and collaboration technology developer Dropbox unveiled significant enhancements to its channel program this week aimed at formalizing partner tier levels and the certifications partners need to expand their Dropbox practices.

New accreditations—the first offered for partners—include a certified sales accreditation, certified administrator to help partners manage Dropbox operations, a HelloSign sales certification, and a certified deployment specialist to manage solutions design and deployment including integration with Microsoft Active Directory.

Dropbox now offers a three-tier channel program with partner tier levels based on the number of certifications solution providers have achieved. And the company introduced a more structured marketing process for partners, added to its partner portal content and marketing collateral, and improved support for Select and Elite partners.

Dropbox launched its first formal partner program two years ago and now the company is taking its channel operations to the next level.


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