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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Nov. 16, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Nov. 16

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Cisco Systems, which this week unveiled plans to add new partner incentives and specializations to its channel program offerings and make it easier for partners to generate recurring revenue.

Also making the list this week are Hewlett Packard Enterprise for creating a new data center services bundle that partners can sell more easily; Dell Technologies for increasing its offer to shareholders for its plan to go public using VMware tracking stock; cloud security company Netskope for raising $169 million in new financing that puts the company in unicorn territory; and the 2018 winners and finalists of the CRN Tech Innovators awards.

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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Cisco Channel Chief Tuszik Moves To Modernize Partner Programs, Add Incentives

Oliver Tuszik (pictured), Cisco Systems' new global channel chief, is wasting no time reshaping the networking giant's partner programs around software, life-cycle management and recurring revenue strategies for partners.

This week at Cisco's Partner Summit event in Las Vegas, Tuszik teased a number of new partner incentives and specializations the company plans to launch later in the year, including a simplified structure for recurring revenue and a handful of adjustments to—and new bonuses within—the Value Incentive Program.

The changes, many to be implemented over the next 12 months, signify Tuszik's efforts to strike a balance between the need to propel partners into a new software and recurring revenue world while acknowledging the importance of continuing to develop traditional lines of business in networking equipment.

Cisco was also active on the technology front at the conference, including embedding its security stack within its SD-WAN platform, a move that signaled how much Cisco sees SD-WAN as perhaps its biggest opportunity. Cisco also unveiled a "unified communications on steroids" strategy that includes combining disparate parts of the company's UCaaS and collaboration portfolio into a single system.

Cisco's week also included its report of strong financial results for its fiscal 2019 first quarter, including an 8 percent revenue increase to $13.1 billion and a 48 percent increase in net income to $3.5 billion.

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Dell Increases Its VMware Tracking Stock Offer, Icahn Drops Proxy Fight Plans And Lawsuit

Dell Technologies' plans to go public through a VMware stock swap now seem more likely to succeed after the company upped its offer to $120 per share in cash and stock this week, pushing the value of the deal up to $14 billion from the original $9 billion.

On Thursday activist investor Carl Icahn, who had vocally opposed Dell's bid to go public through the VMware tracking stock, said he was dropping his plans to wage a proxy fight over the plan and has dropped a lawsuit in the case, calling the litigation "unwinnable."

A shareholder vote is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Earlier this week CEO Michael Dell (pictured) said he is confident that the increased offer will convince enough shareholders to approve the deal. The company said an "overwhelming number of shareholders" contacted by the company supported the latest offer.

Dell's plan had been opposed by Icahn and some institutional investors. With Icahn throwing in the towel, the company's effort to go public now has a greater chance of winning approval.

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HPE Steps Up Its Partner Data Center Services Offensive

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is expanding its efforts to sell its data center services through the channel, this week unveiling a Datacenter Care Services Starter Pack for the channel.

HPE offers its Datacenter Care Services to help clients modernize their data center operations. Channel partners have had access to those services, but only on a one-off basis.

The new Datacenter Care Services Starter Pack, available starting in January, is designed to provide a single bundle of data center services that partners can offer along with HPE servers and storage systems or even sell in situations where no HPE products are involved.

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Cloud Security Vendor Netskope raises $169M For Global Expansion

Cloud security technology developer Netskope caught everyone's attention this week when it announced that it had raised $168.7 million in its Series F round of financing. The company plans to use the additional funding to accelerate its research and development efforts and drive its global expansion.

The new round brings Netskope's total financing to just over $400 million and puts its market valuation in unicorn territory at just over $1 billion.

After two years of massive consolidation in the cloud access security broker market, Netskope is one of the last stand-alone CASB providers in the industry.

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Winners Of The 2018 CRN Tech Innovator Awards

And a round of applause for the winners of this year's CRN Tech Innovator Awards, as well as for the finalists, who all demonstrated their ability to develop innovative products across 35 technology categories.

To expand their business with existing customers and attract new customers, solution providers must have access to a steady stream of innovative products from their vendor partners.

This year's Tech Innovator Awards shine a spotlight on some leading-edge products that solution providers definitely need to be aware of.

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