5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Nov. 8, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.


The Week Ending Nov. 8

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Xerox, which launched a high-stakes bid to acquire PC and printer maker HP Inc.

Cisco Systems made this week’s list with a wave of new products and channel initiatives at the Cisco Partner Summit 2019. Also making the list are Broadcom for completing its $10.7 billion acquisition of Symantec’s enterprise security business, Nvidia for its new “mini-supercomputer” for AI applications at the edge, and Google Cloud for its move to enlist channel partners to sell its Anthos cloud platform.

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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.

Xerox Makes Bold Bid To Acquire HP Inc.

In a move that stunned the industry this week, printer and copier maker Xerox moved to acquire PC and printer manufacturer HP Inc., offering $22 a share for the company.

Reports of the potential deal surfaced earlier in the week and HP Inc. confirmed the offer Wednesday. HP said it has had previous conversations with Xerox about “a potential business combination.”

Xerox had a market capitalization of $8.28 billion, as of Friday morning, while HP’s market capitalization, at $28.38 billion, was more than three times bigger. The price of both companies’ shares initially surged on news of a possible merger.

While printers and copiers are widely seen as a declining market, some observers said the deal could pave the way to a combined enterprise that is not just bigger, but smarter in its approach to the industry.

Xerox was also a winner this week in that Fujifilm said it is buying Xerox’s remaining ownership in Fuji Xerox for $2.3 billion and dropping a $1 billion lawsuit stemming from last year’s abandoned merger of the two companies.

Cisco Courts Solution Providers At Partner Summit With New Technology, Rewards

Cisco went all out this week at the Cisco Partner Summit 2019, debuting leading-edge cellular gateway and collaboration technology and highlighting new incentives, specializations and opportunities for partners.

On the product front, Cisco filled a gap in its Meraki product line with a new cellular gateway that will compete head-to-head with Cradlepoint. In collaboration, Cisco announced deeper integration with Microsoft, two new WebEx devices and a new channel-focused Hardware-as-a-Service option for its phones, desk- and room-based video systems.

Of particular interest to partners was the new Cisco Designed for Business portfolio that includes traditional products, such as Meraki and WebEx, that have been specifically created and priced for SMBs.

Cisco emphasized customer experience as the biggest area of channel opportunity. The vendor is evolving its reward structure for partners, unveiling two new customer entitlements for enterprise agreements that are expected to boost channel business. And the company unveiled a new DevNet partner-level business specialization to recognize solution providers with software development capabilities and business practices around network automation, DevOps and digital transformation.

Broadcom Completes $10.7 Billion Acquisition Of Symantec Enterprise Security Business

Semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom this week completed its massive acquisition of Symantec’s $2.5 billion enterprise security business, a major step toward its goal of becoming a leading IT infrastructure company. The deal carried a price tag of $10.7 billion. Broadcom intends to focus on selling Symantec security products to Global 2000 organizations.

Broadcom plans to enhance its investment around the Symantec enterprise security endpoint, web and data loss protection products, while scaling back investment in other technology areas with less profit potential. The company also intends to realize savings of $1 billion in the coming year through cuts in sales, marketing, general and administrative operations.

Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier NX Is World’s Smallest Supercomputer For AI

Nvidia was strutting its technology prowess at the GPU powerhouse’s Nvidia GTC conference this week, showing off its new Jetson Xavier NX that the company called “the world’s smallest supercomputer” for artificial intelligence applications at the edge.

Nvidia said the Jetson Xavier NX will provide robotics and embedded computing companies with the ability to deliver “server-class performance” in a 10-watt power envelope.

At 70 x 45 millimeters, the $399 Jetson Xavier NX is the smallest form factor in the Jetson computing board lineup. Nvidia said the product has achieved the fastest results across five benchmarks in the MLPerf Inference Suite.

Google Cloud Gives Channel Partners The Green Light To Sell Anthos

Solution providers who have been chomping at the bit to sell Google Cloud’s Anthos hybrid- and multi-cloud platform will now get their chance.

Google Cloud wins kudos for this week’s announcement that it has authorized 50 partners to start selling Anthos in early 2020. Anthos is the company’s platform for building and managing applications across multiple environments including on-premise data centers, on Google Cloud and on rival cloud systems Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Carolee Gearhart, Google’s global channel chief and vice president of worldwide channel sales, said partners have been “clamoring” to be able to sell Anthos. She described the move authorizing the first partner sales as “part of our ongoing commitment to the channel.”