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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Feb. 15, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Feb. 15

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Lenovo, which is wading into consumption-based data center services with its new TruScale Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering.

Also making the list this week are Oracle for improving the capabilities of its online marketplace to make it easier for partners to deploy Oracle and third-party applications; Vantage Data Centers for raising a whopping $675 million in combined equity and debt funding; Eaton's move to emphasize certifications over revenue in determining partner benefits; and Ruckus for debuting a new line of network switches that meet customers' multi-gigabit networking needs.

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.

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Lenovo Takes Aim At Competitor HPE With Consumption Subscription For Data Centers

Lenovo is changing the way it sells data center solutions with this week's launch of a new consumption-based, Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering aimed at driving channel sales and taking market share from competitors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The new Lenovo TruScale Infrastructure Services is the company's pay-for-what-you-use subscription offering for data center services. TruScale is based on electrical consumption, allowing customers to use – and pay for – on-premises data center hardware and services without purchasing hardware.

Lenovo intends to compete head-to-head with HPE's GreenLake pay-per-use model. Lenovo executives emphasized that unlike the competition, TruScale has no minimum capacity or utilization requirement with customers only paying for capacity when their workloads are actively running.

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Oracle Upgrades Its Cloud Marketplace, Speeds Partners' Ability To Deliver Cloud Applications

Oracle is adding capabilities to its cloud marketplace that empower partners to quickly deploy Oracle and third-party applications that extend their enterprise customers' core workloads.

The new "click-to-launch" functionality, unveiled this week at the Oracle OpenWorld Middle East in Dubai, includes an Image Marketplace that allows partners and customers to provision an image of an application and the underlying infrastructure it runs on in minutes. ISV partners will no longer have to direct to an outside URL to import an image.

Oracle also unveiled a Stack Marketplace feature for more complex environments, allowing partners and customers to deploy a complete system including applications, databases, dependencies, and compute and storage resources. That capability leverages the Terraform infrastructure orchestration engine from HashiCorp.

The new capabilities will help VARs, ISVs and systems integrators more quickly deliver comprehensive solutions to their customers with less manual provisioning and configuration work.

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IBM Opening Its Watson AI Platform For Competing Cloud Services

IBM announced this week a plan to open its previously proprietary Watson AI platform to competing cloud services, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud platform.

Under the IBM Watson Anywhere initiative, a portable version of the Watson cognitive system can run on any public, private or hybrid-cloud system – in addition to IBM's own cloud platform.

IBM, which announced the Watson Anywhere effort at its IBM Think 2019 conference this week, portrayed the move as a bid to "democratize" AI technology and make it available to a wider audience of users. But it's also a bid to boost Watson's revenue potential by expanding its availability.

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Eaton's New Channel Program Emphasizes Partner Certifications Over Revenue

Data Center power management technology vendor Eaton is making a bold change to its channel management strategy, announcing this week a major shift in its channel program from a focus on revenue to emphasizing certifications in determining partner benefits.

The change will reward partners who are willing to invest in the necessary training to achieve Eaton certifications. It will also lower the barriers to entry for partners looking to do more with power management.

Not every partner will be happy with the change: Emphasizing high revenue levels favors the biggest solution providers who can bid on more deals. But Eaton wants partners who can better engage with customers and drive the company's technology, not just sell in volume.

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Ruckus Unveils New Edge-To-Core Switch Line To Meet Next Wave Of Campus Networking Needs

Ruckus Networks has been through several ownership changes in recent years, but that hasn't slowed the company's ability to develop innovative technology. This week Ruckus, an Arris Company, introduced a new, highly scalable line of switches to meet multi-gigabit campus networking needs.

The new Ruckus ICX 7850 switch family is designed to bring more gigabit throughput from the core to the edge of the network, providing high-density aggregation up to 100 Gigabit Ethernet as businesses, government organizations and educational institutions continue to expand their multi-gigabit networks.

Because Ruckus does all of its business through the channel, the new line of switches creates opportunities for solution providers and MSPs to build out and manage their customers' high-capacity, high-performance networks.

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