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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Aug. 27, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is cable giant and business communications service provider Comcast for a key acquisition that will expand its hybrid networking and SDN offerings – and its channel presence.

Also making the list this week are Amazon Web Services for launching a new competency for MSSP partners, data observability technology developer Cribl for an impressive funding round, email security vendor Proofpoint for a significant court victory, and SAP for launching a new pay-as-you-go licensing option for partners around its Business Technology Platform.

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Comcast Business To Acquire Masergy In SD-WAN Blockbuster

Cable giant and business communications service provider Comcast made a bold acquisition move this week when it announced a deal to buy Masergy Communications, a channel-first hybrid networking and software-defined networking specialist that will provide Comcast with more SDN muscle.

The deal, announced Wednesday, will help Comcast expand its SD-WAN and cloud-based security capabilities at a time when demand for software-defined and cloud services are rapid growing. Comcast is expected to couple those capabilities with its robust fiber network.

Masergy, which does about 80 percent of its business through partners, specializes in managed SD-WAN and security as well as cloud-based unified communications solutions. Masergy also has a significant presence in large enterprise accounts whereas Comcast has historically been more successful with SMB customers.

Masergy partners described the acquisition as a big win for Comcast, but cautioned the cable company to work to maintain Masergy’s channel momentum.

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AWS Sets MSSP Beachhead With New Security Competency

Amazon Web Services wins kudos this week for launching a new partner competency for managed security service providers (MSSPs) and will make partners’ cloud software solutions and services available in the AWS Marketplace.

The AWS Level 1 MSSP Competency, which AWS has been piloting for a year, creates a new baseline standard for managed security services in the AWS universe.

AWS will validate AWS Partner Network members in 10 security service areas defined by AWS security experts, who also will work with partners to develop offerings around native AWS security services such as Amazon GuardDuty and AWS Security Hub, as well as third-party solutions from AWS Security Competency ISV partners.

The new competency, which AWS channel chief Doug Yeum called an “industry first,” is designed to help partners differentiate themselves in a crowded security technology market and make it easier for customers to procure their services.

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Data Observability Tech Developer Cribl Scores $200M In Funding

Cribl, a developer of data observability pipeline technology, raised an impressive $200 million in Series C funding, the company said Wednesday, bringing the startup’s total financing to $254 million.

Cribl’s observability data engineering software, including its flagship LogStream system, is used to build pipelines for moving high volumes of machine log, instrumentation, application and metric data between operational, storage, analytical and security systems.

The San Francisco-based startup plans to use the additional financing to expand its go-to-market efforts – including its channel operations – and expanding its product portfolio.

Greylock and Redpoint Ventures led the round, joined by new investor IVP and existing investors Sequoia and CRV, and included strategic investments from Citi Ventures and cybersecurity tech developer CrowdStrike.

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Proofpoint Wins $14M Jury Verdict In Trade Secret Theft Case

Email security technology developer Proofpoint is owed $14 million this week after it prevailed in a court trial that charged competitor Vade Secure and its chief technology officer with theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement.

A U.S. District Court jury in California concluded that Vade Secure was guilty of infringing upon at least one of Proofpoint’s copyrights and unlawfully using most of the trade secrets flagged by Proofpoint. Vade Secure CTO Olivier Lemarie, who was a vice president at Cloudmark from 2010 to 2016, was accused of sharing trade secrets with Vade Secure after joining the company in 2017. Proofpoint bought Cloudmark in 2017 for $110 million.

Of the 20 trade secrets Proofpoint accused Lemarie and Vade of misappropriating, the jury found that Vade’s improper use of the trade secrets was “willful and malicious” in 15 of those instances, which allowed U.S. District Court Judge Maxine Chesney to increase the amount Proofpoint is owed.

According to the 19-page verdict, Proofpoint will get $13.5 million for unjust enrichment and $480,000 for breach of contract, but $0 for actual loss. Proofpoint said the court’s decision on punitive damages is expected in late October.

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SAP Offers Partners Pay-As-You-Go Option, Free Service Trials For Its Business Technology Platform

SAP wins applause for debuting a new pay-as-you-go licensing option for partners for the company’s Business Technology Platform and for providing partners with access to a free tier of BTP services.

The new licensing model and free-tier access allows solution providers to develop and demonstrate BTP-based solutions for customers without a big up-front financial commitment. The new options also make it easier for ISV partners to develop and test software that works with BTP.

The SAP Business Technology Platform, one of SAP’s core software systems, is a collection of some 90 products and services including database, data management, analytics, application development and application integration. The platform also serves as an integration hub for application and data assets from SAP and third-party companies.

Until now SAP has licensed BTP to partners either through an enterprise agreement annual contract or a subscription license. But SAP executives acknowledged that can be problematic for partners as they develop and implement solutions for customers without knowing what the final solutions will be.

The new pay-as-you-go option is designed to accommodate that uncertainty by providing partners with the flexibility to buy only the BTP capacity they need during the early stages of customer engagement, including needs assessment, solution design and development. And the free tier of services provides a way to access, for a limited time on a trial basis, such BTP services as SAP Business Application Studio, SAP Mobile Services and SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation.

 

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