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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending April 24, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending April 24

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make headlines, some of this week’s 5 Companies That Came to Win roundup remains focused on 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 Dell Technologies for its new financing and payment options, including $9 billion in financing, to help partners and customers weather the economic crisis.

Also making the list are Hewlett Packard Enterprise and its Aruba business for suspending partner revenue targets in a move to help solution providers maintain their Partner Ready program levels. AMD and Penguin Computing win applause for boosting the performance of a U.S. government supercomputer that is conducting COVID-19 research. Big Data startup Confluent is on the list for raising $250 million in funding. And McAfee has filled its long-vacant global channel chief post as the security company steps up its channel efforts.


Dell Provides $9B In Financing Through New DFS Payment Program

Dell Technologies wins kudos this week for launching a new Payment Flexibility Program that includes zero-percent interest rates for infrastructure solutions and up to 180-day payment deferral to help channel partners and customers cope with the “new normal” of the economic slowdown.

Dell’s financial arm, Dell Financial Services, this week unveiled the new program that also makes $9 billion in financing available to help fund customers’ critical technology needs.

DFS is offering zero-percent interest rates for servers, storage and networking systems with no up-front payment required. First payments are deferred for up to 180 days for all data center infrastructure and services. And the company is offering short-term options for remote work and learning solutions with six- and 12-month terms and refresh options for laptop and desktop computers.

Channel partners hailed Dell’s financing options, saying they provide themselves and their customers with the flexibility they need to preserve cash in these uncertain times.


HPE, Aruba Suspend Partner Ready Revenue Targets

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has suspended revenue thresholds for both its HPE and Aruba Partner Ready channel programs as part of a broad relief package for partners during the economic slowdown.

The move ensures partners will maintain the same level in the two Partner Ready programs for 2021 even if they fail to meet revenue commitment levels in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting decline in the economy.

HPE has also provided financial relief to distributors aimed at helping partners who are focused on small and mid-size businesses. Those include suspending or significantly reducing strategic development initiative targets and providing extended payment and early payment discount terms.


AMD, Penguin Computing Fight COVID-19 In Supercomputer Deal

AMD and Penguin Computing have teamed up to upgrade the U.S. Department of Energy’s Corona supercomputer with AMD Radeon Instinct GPUs in a move that’s expected to accelerate coronavirus research.

Under the deal announced this week, AMD is donating hundreds of its Radeon Instinct MI50 GPUs as part of the new COVID-19 HPC (high-performance computing) Fund. Penguin Computing, an HPC integration service provider, is offering free upgrade services for the AMD-based Corona supercomputer that Penguin delivered to the Energy department in 2018.

The move accelerates plans by the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which operates the supercomputer, to outfit the system with more of the Radeon Instinct GPUs. The upgrade will support COVID-19 research at the laboratory, which is part of the White House-led COVID-19 HPC consortium.


Streaming Big Data Startup Confluent Raises Stunning $250M In Additional Funding

Big data startup Confluent caught everybody’s attention this week when it raised an impressive $250 million in Series E funding, pushing the company’s total financing to $456 million and its market value to $4.5 billion.

Confluent, started by the developers of the open-source Kafka event stream software, develops a Kafka-based platform that helps businesses and organizations manage and act on huge volumes of real-time, continuously produced data such as streams of financial transactions or data from operational IT systems.

Also winning big in venture funding this week was identity security tech developer ForgeRock, which raised an impressive $93.5 million in its own Series E round of funding.


McAfee Hires Ex-Apple Sales Exec For Global Channel Chief

After a nearly two-year vacancy, platform security vendor McAfee has filled its global channel chief position with the hire of former Apple sales executive Kathleen Curry.

Curry worked at Apple for five-and-a-half years as a sales executive where she was primarily responsible for global client development and the company’s Enterprise Design Lab. She spent her first year at Apple supporting global alliances. Before joining Apple she worked at NCR Corp. managing global retail channels, and before that leading enterprise channel sales at Motorola.

Curry’s appointment comes as McAfee is stepping up its channel game. The company plans to launch a new partner program this year and Curry is tasked with bringing together McAfee’s channel, operations, alliances and OEM teams as well as expanding partner program initiatives to accommodate the growing number of remote workers.



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