5 Companies That Came To Win This Week


The Week Ending Sept. 21

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Adobe, which is acquiring cloud marketing application developer Marketo in a $4.75 billion bid to expand its position in the digital transformation space.

Also making the list this week are Symantec for making peace with activist investor Starboard Value; IoTium for snagging a big-name investor; Rubrik for launching its first channel program; and Zailab for relying on the channel to bring its cloud-based contact center software to the U.S. market.

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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Adobe Makes Digital Transformation Play With Planned Marketo Acquisition

Adobe Systems made a bold bid to strengthen the company's position in the digital transformation arena this week when it struck a deal to acquire cloud marketing application developer Marketo for $4.75 billion.

Combining Adobe’s creative, marketing and digital document management applications with Marketo’s business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing applications will create a powerhouse provider of customer experience and engagement software—a key component of many business’ digital transformation efforts.

The Marketo acquisition deal comes just months after Adobe bought e-commerce platform developer Magento for $1.68 billion.

Symantec Declares Truce With Starboard, Names Three New Directors

When faced with demands from activist investors, some companies have taken a hard line and found themselves involved in prolonged battles that can leave the business and its stakeholders the worse off.

Symantec wins kudos this week when it declared a truce with activist shareholder Starboard Value, announcing a deal under which three of the five-person slate of candidates Starboard proposed to nominate to Symantec’s board will join Symantec’s board of directors. A fourth independent director mutually agreed upon by both sides will also join the board.

In return Starboard will withdraw its full five-person slate of board candidates and will vote all of its shares in favor of the agreed upon nominees at Symantec’s upcoming annual meeting.

Last month, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Starboard said it believed Symantec’s shares were undervalued and that it would push to “unlock” more value. That set the stage for a possible fight for control of the company.

By avoiding a lengthy fight with Starboard, Symantec can focus on its security software business to the benefit of its customers, its shareholders and its channel partners.

IIoT Startup IoTium Gets Funding From Big-Name Source

IoTium, the industrial Internet of Things startup, raised $13.6 million in Series B financing this week. While that alone is worth a round of applause, IoTium had the added bonus of having some of that funding come from the venture capital firm founded by former Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Having the financing "stamp of approval" from a high-visibility IT industry luminary like Chambers certainly gets the industry's attention.

In addition to Chambers' JC2 Ventures firm, investors in the new round of funding included March Capital Partners, Honeywell Ventures, Hanna Ventures, GE Ventures, Juniper Ventures and former Cisco executive Pankaj Patel.

The new round brings IoTium's total funding to $22 million.

Rubrik Debuts First Formal Channel Program

Rubrik, the developer of automated data protection and data management technologies for hybrid cloud environments, launched its first formal channel program this week.

While Rubrik derives 100 percent of its revenue through indirect sales channels, the company has never had a formal channel program, instead working informally with partners to develop their business.

Rubrik is seeking to change that with the new Rubrik Velocity program that it unveiled this week. Through the three-tier program Rubrik is expanding its partner rewards and rebates, providing a deal registration program, and providing more comprehensive training through the Rubrik Academy.

The new partner program was developed by Bertrand Yansouni, Rubrik’s vice president of worldwide channels. He joined the company in January after leaving Google in September 2017.

Contact-Center-As-A-Service Provider Zailab Makes U.S. Debut Via The Channel

Zailab, a cloud-based contact center software provider, is entering the U.S. market and giving solution providers a multi-channel, pay-per-use Contact-Center-as-a-Service offering for the underserved SMB market.

The South African-based company said this week that it is partnering with master agent Intellisys, a ScanSource company, to reach SMB customers by way of MSPs, agents and VARs.

While Zailab has sold its CCaaS services directly in the South African market, founder and CEO Nour Addine Ayyoub said the company is going all-in with the channel in the U.S. market.