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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending May 29, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending May 29 

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Hewlett Packard Enterprise for CEO Antonio Neri’s plans to “double down” on R&D innovation this year despite the uncertain economy.

Also making the list are Zscaler for a savvy acquisition in application-to-application security technology, Cisco for its own deal to buy application visibility and monitoring technology ThousandEyes, Intel for the growing demand for its Optane technology for VDI and vSAN applications, and Apple for its plans to open nearly half of its U.S. retail stores.


HPE CEO Vows To “Double Down” On R&D Innovation Amid COVID-19 Downturn 

Businesses often rein in spending during times of economic distress. But this week Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri said he is “doubling down” on R&D and maintaining investments in product and technology innovation amidst the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You don’t want to penalize R&D,” Neri told investors during a fireside virtual chat Thursday at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference with analyst Toni Sacconaghi. “(In times like this) you want R&D to go faster. R&D is absolutely a top priority. Obviously, you want to make the rest of the company way more efficient. So, for us, we are doubling down on R&D and doubling down on the things that will drive long-term, sustainable, profitable growth.”

Neri did not disclose any dollar figures related to his R&D plans. In its last full fiscal year HPE increased its research and development spending to $1.84 billion compared to $1.66 billion the year before.


Zscaler Buys Application Security Startup Edgewise Networks 

Cloud security vendor Zscaler scored this week when it acquired Edgewise Networks, a developer of security technology used to protect application-to-application communications in public clouds and data centers.

Zscaler said the acquisition adds to its technology portfolio with software that significantly improves the security of east-west communications by verifying the identity of application software, services and processes. That, according to Zscaler, reduces the potential attack surface and lowers the risk of application compromise and data breaches.

Application-to-application security has become a challenge as workflows move to the cloud. With the acquisition of Edgewise, Zscaler will help its partners and customers address that need.


Cisco Buying Network Monitoring Tech Provider ThousandEyes

Cisco Systems is making a major acquisition with its reported deal to buy ThousandEyes, a developer of application visibility and monitoring technology, for nearly $1 billion.

Cisco has been on a mission over the past three years to increase its focus on software and services as it pivots away from hardware. An acquisition of ThousandEyes would complement Cisco's application performance and monitoring business, AppDynamics, which it acquired in 2017.

Cisco also wins applause this week for launching a new DevNet Specialization that’s expected to help partners build practices around software development and automation – skills that Cisco says will be key as businesses and organizations adjust their IT environments to handle the “new normal” once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

And Cisco wins kudos for expanding its SMB product portfolio, including a single-subscription WebEx package, to help small businesses better cope with the changed business environment.


Intel Sees VDI, vSAN Driving Optane Memory, Storage Sales 

Intel is seeing growing demand for its Optane memory and storage products, including the Optane DC persistent memory that debuted last year, driven by increased need for virtualized desktop infrastructure and virtualized storage systems.

Demand for VDI and vSAN solutions is up due to the huge number of workers who have moved to home offices and are consuming more digital resources. That has increased the need to improve and accelerate VDI and vSAN storage and memory capabilities, according to Laura Crone, vice president of sales for Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group.

Intel is seeing increased use of Optane DC persistent memory to improve VDI efficiency, Crone said, while demand is up for Intel memory and storage products across VMware systems such as the EXSI hypervisor with Optane DC and Optane SSD products with VMware’s VSAN storage systems.


Apple Reopening More Than 100 Stores In The U.S. 

In a sign that the U.S. tech industry is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown, Apple this week began reopening as many as 130 of its 271 retail stores in the U.S. – more than two months after the company closed all of its stores outside of China as the coronavirus pandemic took hold globally.

Initially the company plans to provide only storefront or curbside service for online order pickup, as well as Genius Bar appointments.

Stores are expected to open in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Earlier this month it was reported that the company would reopen stores in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho and South Carolina.



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