5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending March 20, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.


The Week Ending March 20

Topping this week’s list of companies that came to win are Microsoft, Cisco and other IT vendors who saw huge growth in demand for their collaboration, video conferencing and other technologies and services, due to the number of people working at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also making the list was DevOps company HashiCorp for a very impressive round of financing, cybersecurity vendor CrowdStrike for reportedly winning partners and customers from recently acquired Symantec, Samsung for launching an updated partner program to continue channel sales growth for its business-focused mobile devices, and OpenGear for expanding its partner program with a new Elite tier for its most productive partners.

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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 Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Microsoft Adds 12 Million Teams Users In One Week

With many employees working from home because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, vendors who supply the technology that makes that possible are seeing a surge in demand.

Case-in-point is Microsoft, which reported Thursday that the number of users of its Teams collaboration platform has seen explosive growth, adding 12 million daily users in just the last week.

Microsoft was just one company this week that saw demand surge for specific products and services because so many people are working from home. Cisco, which operates WebEx, reported that during the first 11 business days of March the company logged 5.5 billion meeting minutes on the popular global videoconferencing platform.

HashiCorp Valuation Surges Above $5 Billion with Latest Funding Round

DevOps superstar HashiCorp scored big this week when it raised $175 million in Series E funding, financing that brings the company’s valuation to more than $5 billion.

HashiCorp is among the fastest growing independent developers of open source cloud automation technologies.

The company plans to invest the new financing across its product portfolio in field, engineering and support organizations, as well as use it to continue to drive demand for services through the company’s rapidly growing channel operations.

CrowdStrike Attracting Symantec Partners, Customers In Wake Broadcom Acquisition

Cybersecurity tech developer CrowdStrike has landed many Symantec channel partners and their customers following the November sale of Symantec’s enterprise business to Broadcom.

During an earnings call with investors this week CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz said the company has seen “significant demand” from solution providers as they look to protect Symantec customers searching for alternatives as that vendor “abandons large segments of the market.”

Broadcom has not responded to Kurtz’s comments. In August Broadcom CEO Hock Tan told investors that the company planned to focus on selling the Symantec security portfolio to Global 2000 customers.

Samsung Launches New Ascend Partner Program With Improved Rebates, New Portal

Samsung wins kudos this week for debuting an updated partner program with new growth incentives for partners and a refreshed partner portal.

The company touted the expanded program as a signal of how it plans to continue its expansion with solution providers to meet the strong demand for its business-focused mobile devices, including the Galaxy Note 10 Plus smartphone and the Galaxy Tab Active Pro rugged tablet.

The new Ascend partner program and portal replace the former STEP (Samsung Team of Empowered Partners) program. Ascend offers a new growth incentive rebate tied to achieving higher sales volumes. The new portal speeds up the process of submitting special pricing requests and improves access to training, deal registration, demo unit requests, discounts and marketing content.

OpenGear Debuts New Partner Program “Elite” Tier

Sticking with the topic of stepping up for partners, OpenGear serves applause this week for expanding its channel efforts by adding an Elite Partner tier to its channel program to reward its most productive partners.

The manufacturer of network monitoring, data center and IT infrastructure management technology has more than doubled its reseller count in the last four years to more than 500 partners. The company’s partner program has included Authorized and Premier partner tiers.

Last year 60 percent of the vendor’s revenue was transacted through Premier partners with a subset of those recording especially rapid growth. The new Elite designation carves out a new tier for those high-producing partners.

Elite partners can expect benefits such as customized marketing materials, access to turnkey demand generation campaigns, and product sample budgets. They will also have access to additional resources such as increased marketing funds.