5 Companies That Came To Win This Week


The Week Ending Nov. 2

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is IBM for its blockbuster $34 billion deal to acquire hybrid cloud software developer Red Hat.

Also making the list this week are solution provider Perficient for its acquisition of a marketing automation services provider, Cisco for creating an SMB track for partners within its Express specialization program, Ingram Micro for opening a new Business Transformation Center to assist partners, and PTC for a savvy channel executive hire.

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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IBM To Acquire Red Hat For $34 Billion In High-Stakes Bid To Lead Hybrid Cloud Market

IBM, which has struggled to sustain revenue growth in recent years, made a blockbuster move this week to turn itself around with a $34 billion deal to acquire Red Hat, the $2.9 billion developer of open-source and hybrid computing software.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty called the acquisition a cloud industry game-changer that she said will make IBM the leader in the market for hybrid cloud systems.

Some observers applauded the move while others said it was more akin to a "Hail Mary" pass on IBM's part. Some said the $190-per-share price tag—a 62 percent premium from Friday's Red Hat stock closing price—was too much.

And there's certainly no guarantee that acquiring Red Hat will significantly alter IBM's trajectory. But a bold move on IBM's part was called for and this week's deal was certainly that.

Perficient Boosts Marketing Automation Services With Elixiter Acquisition

Speaking about savvy acquisitions, solution provider Perficient, which has aggressively acquired companies to expand into new areas, this week bought Elixiter in a move that will expand Perficient's service offerings in marketing automation and specialized services around Marketo applications.

Elixiter is a $6 million marketing consulting firm, specializing in Marketo marketing automation services.

The acquisition also adds 40 consulting, technology, sales and general administrative professionals to Perficient's workforce.

Perficient has made a number of acquisitions in the digital agency arena in recent years including Stone Temple Consulting Corp. in July, Bluetube in 2017 and Enlighten in 2015. Other Perficient acquisitions include data analytics services provider Southport Services Group in April and unified communications specialist Clarity Consulting last year.

Cisco Opens New SMB Track For Express Specialization Program

Cisco wins kudos for opening a new SMB track within its Express specialization framework that the networking giant said will help partners establish long-term relationships with small and midsize customers and generate strong recurring revenue opportunities.

The new SMB track is designed to help partners take advantage of the estimated $7 billion addressable SMB market.

The new track will focus on solutions that SMBs are generally most concerned with, according to Cisco, including collaboration, security, on-premises and cloud networking, and data center solutions.

Discounts, rebates and rewards provided in the new SMB track include lead generation, earned market development funds and expanded marketing campaigns. Partners who complete the track’s training requirements will be Cisco Select Certified partners.

Ingram Micro's New Facilities Accelerate Its Move From Product Focus To Solutions

Normally the opening of a new facility by a distributor wouldn’t be considered significant news. But this week's introduction of Ingram Micro's new Business Transformation Center (BTC) is especially newsworthy because of how it signifies the distributor's increasing focus on providing solutions, not just products.

The new BTC focuses less on demonstrating products and more on helping partners test IT solutions. The Buffalo, N.Y., facility, which replaces an older solutions center, was established at the behest of channel partners who often came to Ingram Micro without knowing exactly what kind of IT solution they needed.

The BTC includes rooms showcasing the classroom of the future, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lab, and vertical industry solutions in such areas as health care and retail.

The new facility comes on the heels of the launch of Ingram Micro's new custom integration center, a 15,000-square-foot operation within the company's Mira Loma, Calif., distribution facility. The custom integration center is designed as a place for vendors to do final integration of solutions before shipping them to partners and their customers.

PTC Hires Oracle, Datadog Veteran As New Channel Chief To Push IoT, Subscriptions

PTC has made a big channel move with the hire of John Gray as the company's new channel chief. Gray will be tasked with expanding subscription sales through the channel as Needham, Mass.-based PTC doubles down on the Internet of Things.

Gray, who is officially senior vice president of global solution provider sales, is taking the channel chief reins from Kerry Grimes, who now has the expanded role of divisional vice president of PTC Partner Network and emerging geographies.

Gray was most recently senior vice president of alliances at Datadog and before that held channel executive posts at New Relic, Oracle and BEA Systems.

Gray has deep experience in the channel, especially in cloud- and SaaS-based businesses, and is well-suited to help PTC as it transitions to a subscription-based revenue model and bets big on its industrial IoT and augmented reality businesses.