5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Oct. 8 CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.


The Week Ending Oct. 8

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is VMware for unleashing a wave of new and enhanced products at this week’s VMworld conference and unveiling a number of partner initiatives and incentives.

Also making the list this week are security tech company Mandiant for a very savvy channel executive hire, Orca Security for a very impressive round of funding, Dell Technologies for unveiling new servers for SMBs and edge computing tasks, and NetApp for an acquisition that boosts its cloud and AWS optimization service capabilities.

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VMware Unleashes New Product Blitz, Partner Incentives

VMware used its VMworld 2021 annual conference this week as a launch pad for a wave of new products and services, in addition to unveiling a number of new partner incentives and channel enablement offerings.

Topping the new technology list was a number of new and enhanced products in VMware’s Tanzu portfolio of tools for running and managing multiple Kubernetes clusters—additions that VMware said will provide a competitive lead over rival Red Hat. The Tanzu unveilings included the new VMware Tanzu Community Edition and additional security and development capabilities in the Tanzu Application Platform that’s currently in beta. And Tanzu Kubernetes Grid now supports Nvidia GPUs on AWS and Azure.

Also making their debut at VMworld 2021 were VMware Edge, a new product line for running, managing and securing edge-native applications across multiple clouds; VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, a cost-effective Disaster- Recovery-as-a-Service offering; Dell Technologies Apex Cloud Services with VMware Cloud; and new Cross-Cloud integrated services for building, running and securing applications across any cloud platform.

VMware also got a boost from strategic partner Amazon Web Services with the launch of VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts.

For the channel, VMware said partners can now sell their certified, validated solutions directly to customers through the VMware Cloud Marketplace. VMware is also offering a new life-cycle deployment incentive for deploying new solutions around VMware NSX, VCF and vRealize; a new technical assessment incentive for VMware Cloud on Dell EMC and AWS; and the ability for partners to offer their own services for VMware’s Success 360 customer life cycle.

Mandiant Taps Security Veteran Dee Dee Acquista To Lead Channel Sales

Cyber defense and response tech developer Mandiant made a savvy personnel move this week when the company said it has hired Dee Dee Acquista to be its new vice president of channel sales for the Americas.

The highly respected Acquista is charged with helping Mandiant expand its presence beyond large enterprises by working with solution providers to become more involved with selling Mandiant’s threat intelligence and security validation products and consulting expertise.

Acquista told CRN that she sees an opportunity for Mandiant to work more with large national resellers and systems integrators like Optiv, CDW, SHI and NTT.

Through her career Acquista has served in top channel management jobs at Proofpoint as vice president of global channels from 2013 through 2017; SentinelOne as vice president of global channels from 2017 through 2020; and Beyond Trust as senior vice president of global channels from March 2020 through July 2021.

Acquista said she had planned on retiring after she left Beyond Trust but was convinced to take on the new job at Mandiant.

Orca Security Raises $340 Million To Scale Platform R&D, Channel Initiatives

Cloud security startup Orca Security was a big winner this week in the venture capital arena, raising an impressive $340 million in a Series C funding round.

Orca, which has experienced exponential growth in the past year, said the new capital will go toward doubling its employee head count and boosting its roster of channel partners.

On the channel side the company wants to grow its solution provider community from a few dozen partners today—including GuidePoint and Trace3—to 10 times that within a year and increase the share of business flowing through the channel from more than half currently to more than 75 percent.

On the development side, Orca plans to use some of the new funding to accelerate development, especially to integrate post-breach detection capabilities earlier in the life cycle in areas spanning Kubernetes, data discovery and vulnerability management to identity and access management and cloud posture management. That will help security managers better see all the risks in their environment and the connections between attack vectors.

Dell Launches New PowerEdge Servers With Intel For SMBs

VMware wasn’t the only company with major product unveilings this week. Dell Technologies, VMware’s majority owner, debuted five new PowerEdge servers targeting small and midsize businesses and edge computing use cases.

All of the new Dell EMC PowerEdge servers are built with Intel’s Xeon or Pentium processors and incorporate Dell’s OpenManage solutions that deliver automation and intelligent infrastructure management.

The servers can be purchased or used as-a-service through Dell’s consumption-based Apex Flex on Demand program.

Dell sold well over 500,000 servers in the last quarter.

NetApp Buys AWS Specialist CloudCheckr

NetApp moved to beef up its Amazon Web Services and cloud optimization expertise and capabilities this week with the acquisition of CloudCheckr, an AWS Advanced Technical Partner.

The acquisition will elevate NetApp’s continuous cost optimization and managed service offerings by combining the cost visibility and reporting capabilities of the CloudCheckr platform with NetApp’s Spot by NetApp portfolio of cloud automation software and services.

The acquisition builds on NetApp’s recent acquisition of Data Mechanics, a developer of cloud data analytics technology. The move also comes just one month after AWS added NetApp’s Ontap storage technology as a cloud-native file system, allowing customers the ability to run NetApp’s storage platform on AWS.