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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

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

The Week Ending Nov. 15

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Microsoft and its Azure public cloud, which scored a competitive win this week with Salesforce’s selection of Azure to be the public cloud provider for Salesforce Marketing.

Also making the Came to Win list this week is OpenText for its $1.4 billion deal to acquire cloud data storage company Carbonite. Business analytics software developer Tableau wins kudos for launching a new partner program that recognizes the growing importance of service provider partners, while Juniper Networks makes the list for its own partner program revamp. And Check Point Software Technologies makes the list for its acquisition of startup Cymplify and its security technology for IoT devices.

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 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

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Microsoft Azure Scores Big Win, Tapped As Public Cloud Provider For Salesforce Marketing Cloud 

Microsoft scored a significant win this week in the battle between the public cloud giants when Salesforce chose Microsoft’s Azure as the public cloud provider for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

The two companies also said they are developing integrations to connect Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds with Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s unified communications and collaboration platform. Many customers use both Teams and Salesforce’s CRM applications.

Salesforce Marketing currently runs on the vendor’s own IT infrastructure. Salesforce said moving the system to Azure will optimize performance as demand scales up, reduce on-boarding times and enable customers to expand more quickly through Azure’s global reach. Customers can also address local data security, privacy and compliance requirements more easily.

Salesforce and Microsoft were once bitter rivals and still compete in the CRM arena. But they established a strategic partnership in 2014 to link Salesforce CRM applications with Microsoft Office and Windows.

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OpenText To Acquire Carbonite For $1.4 Billion 

OpenText, a developer of enterprise information management (EIM) software, made a big bet this week when it struck a deal to acquire Carbonite for $1.4 billion.

OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea said the acquisition will strengthen OpenText’s position in cloud platforms and security. The company will leverage Carbonite to extend its lead in the EIM market by complementing OpenText’s security offerings in data loss prevention, digital forensics, and endpoint detection and response with the addition of Carbonite’s data protection and endpoint security technology.

OpenText also plans to leverage Carbonite’s marquee SMB channel and products to develop a new route to reach customers. Carbonite channel partners told CRN that they were optimistic about the acquisition as long as OpenText maintains an SMB focus.

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Tableau Launches New Partner Program, Recognizes Growing Importance Of Service Providers 

Business analytics tech developer Tableau Software made a big move this week to expand its use of the channel, debuting its new Tableau Partner Network program at the company’s .conf19 in Las Vegas.

The new partner initiative replaces a program that’s been in place since 2011 and was very focused on resellers. The Tableau Partner Network offers tracks for resellers, service partners and technology partners with requirements, incentives and benefits tailored for each.

The move recognizes the growing importance of strategic service providers to software vendors like Tableau, especially as their applications move to the cloud.

The program also offers more benefits, as well as consistency and transparency in partner requirements and how partners are evaluated. Development of the program was overseen by Julie Bennani, who joined the company in May as senior vice president of worldwide partners and alliances.

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Juniper Networks Revamps Partner Program To Zero In On Software, Recurring Revenue 

Speaking of partner program overhauls, Juniper Networks has redesigned its global partner program so that partners can focus more on software and generating recurring revenue and spend less time on transactional sales.

The makeover, introduced this week at the company’s NXTWORK 2019 Americas customer and Partner Summit in Las Vegas, also included new specializations and incentives for partners, a new partner relationship management system and revamped partner portal, a new sales education curriculum to help partners learn and sell emerging technologies, and new joint marketing funds.

The expanded partner program is designed to provide the infrastructure to support partners as Juniper transitions to software and services and partners move more into cloud services and adopt recurring business models, Helda Lopes, head of global partner programs and marketing at Juniper, told CRN.

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Check Point Buys IoT Security Startup Cymplify To Safeguard Edge Device Firmware 

Check Point Software Technologies has purchased early stage security tech developer Cymplify in a move to help it defend IoT devices, such as internet cameras and smart TVs, against highly sophisticated attacks by hardening and protecting the devices’ firmware.

Check Point said its partners are excited about the access control, threat prevention and runtime workload capabilities that Cymplify brings to the table.

With growing concerns about the vulnerability of IoT and endpoint devices to attacks by hackers, demand for IoT security tools from solution providers and their customers is expected to grow quickly. Check Point’s acquisition is a far-sighted move to expanding its security technology portfolio.

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