5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending April 12, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.


The Week Ending April 12

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Google Cloud, which made it clear during its Google Cloud Next '19 event that it intends to aggressively compete against rivals AWS and Microsoft.

Also making the list this week are Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Nutanix for their strategic alliance in servers and hyper-converged infrastructure. CenturyLink made the list for debuting a new consolidated partner agreement that's designed to provide incentives to sell strategic IT services, while Fortinet wins applause for its efforts to develop a new partner program to meet modern channel needs. And Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are on the list for being named finalists for the Pentagon's massive $10 billion JEDI cloud services contract.

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Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Google Cloud Goes On The Offensive

Google Cloud is preparing to step up its competition against rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. This week at Google Cloud Next '19, recently named CEO Thomas Kurian and other Google Cloud executives outlined plans to expand the Google operation's cloud service offerings and work more closely with the channel.

Topping the list of announcements was the launch of the long-awaited Anthos multi-cloud platform, which extends the application delivery and management capabilities of the earlier Google Cloud Services platform. Anthos puts new emphasis on deploying workloads across multiple cloud systems.

Google Cloud also encroached into AWS territory with a set of new retail and digital shopping services and began delivering its Google Cloud Security Command Center.

And on the channel side, Google unveiled a new open-source partner program designed to bring developers of other open-source technologies into its cloud ecosystem.

HPE-Nutanix Partnership Takes Aim At Dell EMC-VMware

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Nutanix debuted a strategic partnership this week under which Nutanix is offering its flagship Enterprise Cloud OS software on HPE's GreenLake consumption-based, pay-per-use IT solutions.

The two vendors are also creating a new line of integrated, turnkey appliances that allow partners to sell HPE ProLiant and Apollo Servers with Nutanix's software.

Solution providers hailed the alliance as taking aim at the market leadership Dell EMC and VMware now enjoy in servers and hyper-converged infrastructure.

CenturyLink's New Partner Program Agreement Incentivizes Partners To Sell Strategic Services

CenturyLink wins kudos this week for rolling out a highly anticipated, consolidated channel agreement for all partners that is designed to provide more incentives to sell strategic IT services such as hybrid networking and cloud.

The new agreement was developed following a lengthy review process that included feedback from the communications company's partner community, including both master agents and solution provider partners.

The new CenturyLink Channel Partner Program Agreement replaces a plethora of 40 or 50 different contracts the company used to govern its relationships with its partners. It also covers Level 3 partners who joined CenturyLink's program after its acquisition of Level 3 in November 2017.

In addition to simplifying partner relationships, the new agreement includes a commission structure based on performance and rewards partners for selling strategic services. The carrier also wants to encourage partners to work with its growth products including Ethernet, security, cloud and VPN offerings.

Fortinet Developing New Partner Program For The Evolving Channel

Security vendor Fortinet is developing a new channel program that better aligns with the technology and go-to-market strategies of each solution provider and better supports channel partners based on the market segments they sell to.

The company expects to launch the new program at the start of 2020.

Fortinet executives disclosed the plans for the new program this week at the company's Accelerate 2019 conference in Orlando. They said the new program will replace the current decade-old program that was designed for a traditional reseller channel.

AWS, Microsoft Shortlisted For $10B Pentagon JEDI Contract

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft got word this week that they made the shortlist for the companies competing for the Pentagon's massive $10 billion JEDI cloud services contract.

That also made it a bad week for IBM and Oracle, as the Pentagon's announcement means they are out of the running for the contract. Both companies have protested the procurement process through the Government Accountability Office.

This week's announcement is particularly good news for AWS, given that there is an ongoing investigation of "potential ethical violations" surrounding two former Amazon employees who were involved in the military's vendor selection process. This week the Pentagon said that it has found no potential conflicts of interest that affected the integrity of the acquisition process.