5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Sept. 9, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.


The Week Ending Sept. 9

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is distributor Ingram Micro for its new AI-powered platform to improve partner business transactions.

Also making this week’s list is Apple for unveiling its long-awaited iPhone 14 line at its “Far Out” event this week.

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Security testing tech developer Cymulate is on the list for a successful funding round at a time when venture funding is harder to come by, as is cybersecurity technology developer Kaspersky Lab for a partner program upgrade, and networking startup Graphiant for looking to take on industry heavyweights in the SD-WAN space.

Ingram Micro Launches AI-Powered Xvantage Platform

Ingram Micro this week launched its AI-powered, self-learning Xvantage platform that is expected to make doing business with the distributor much easier for partners.

With its automation intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the much-anticipated new system is expected to help partners focus on solutions by removing complexity and personalizing the partner experience, Sanjib Sahoo, Ingram Micro executive vice president and chief digital officer, told CRN.

Xvantage provides real-time transactional capabilities including up-to-the-minute order status, tracking, renewals, subscription billing and real-time customer service capabilities.

The Xvantage platform is powered by a global real-time data mesh containing decades of operating and transactional data enhanced by the AI and machine learning abilities. Xvantage is also integrated with Ingram Micro’s cloud marketplace, making it easy to integrate cloud services into solutions that combine hardware, software and professional services.

Apple Launches iPhone 14 At ‘Far Out’ Event

Apple debuted much-anticipated updates to its popular iPhone line this week, unveiling the iPhone 14 line, including new Plus, Pro and Pro Max models, at the company’s Far Out event.

Apple also launched the Series 8 watch line, including the new rugged Apple Watch Ultra, and the first update to the company’s AirPods Pro earbuds in three years.

The new iPhone and Plus models have a 6.1-inch screen and utilizes the same A15 Bionic chipset that’s used in the current generation of iPhones. The Pro models have a 6.7-inch screen and use A16 chip with 16 billion transistors, making it the fastest chip ever in a smartphone.

The new phones offer improved battery life and a better camera system with low light photography enhancements.

Cymulate Raises $70 Million For Channel Growth, Potential Acquisitions

Venture capital has been noticeably harder to get in recent months. So Cymulate, a developer of automated continuous security testing technology was a winner this week when it reported raising $70 million in a Series D funding round.

The company, with headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel and New York, has raised a total of $141 million since its 2016 founding. Investors in the latest round included One Peak and Dell Technologies Capital.

CEO Eyal Wachsman told CRN that Cymulate will apply the additional capital to expanding sales and marketing initiatives, including boosting channel sales, toward a goal of reaching $100 million in total revenue within two years.

Some money may also be used to buy smaller companies whose technologies complement Cymulate’s cloud-based testing system.

Kaspersky Revamps Channel Program With New Rebates, Expanded Training

Cybersecurity software developer Kaspersky Lab launched a revamped channel program this week with new features designed to make it more attractive to managed service providers and solution providers. The United Partner Program offers a revised rebate system, expanded partner training programs, and more rewards for MSPs.

The rebate changes, already in effect, cover more Kaspersky products and services and make the rebate system “more transparent and predictable,” according to the company. Kaspersky said the amount of partner rebates paid out in the first half of this year were up by 47 percent over the first half of 2021.

The new training offerings include new courses specifically for MSPs and 10 new authorized training centers across the globe.

The partner program improvements come on the heels of the company’s June launch of three “transparency centers” around the world that provide partners and customers with an opportunity to review the company’s source code. The centers are seen as part of Kaspersky’s efforts to build partner and customer trust in light of U.S. government suggestions that the company has ties to Russia’s government, a claim that Kaspersky denies.

Viptela Founder Takes Aim At Cisco With SD-Edge Startup

Khalid Raza, the co-founder and former CTO of Viptela, this week launched a new edge networking company that is challenging Cisco Systems and other leading SD-WAN providers.

Graphiant emerged from stealthmode this week to deliver MPLS-level connectivity between the enterprise WAN, hybrid cloud, network edge, customers and partners. The company’s solution is delivered as a service through the Graphiant Network Edge

Raza, whom some have dubbed the “father” of SD-WAN, said Graphiant is solving a big networking problem that other SD-WAN players – including Cisco – are ignoring: The increasingly distributed workloads and network complexity that is in turn creating more complexity and security issues for businesses.

SD-WAN emerged to support bandwidth-heavy applications such as Office 365 and mobile video, according to Raza, while the move to MPLS was driven by the confluence of voice and data networks. With distributed workloads and increasingly complex networks creating less predictability, Raza says it’s time for the next generation of SD-WAN.