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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week Feb 4

Rick Whiting

For the week ending Feb. 4 CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.

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The Week Ending Feb. 4

Topping this week’s Came to Win list are private equity firms Vista Equity Partners and Elliott Investment Management for their bold $16.5-billion plan to acquire Citrix Systems and combine it with Tibco Software.

Also making this week’s list are Check Point Software Technologies for its own savvy acquisition in the developer security space, security startup star Lacework for launching its inaugural partner program, AI tech developer DataRobot for a key executive hire, and Google Cloud for a new product offering in the hotly contest collaboration space.

Private Equity Firms Vista, Elliott Move To Buy Citrix And Combine It With Tibco

Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital, the latter an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management, are making a big bet on a $16.5-billion plan to acquire Citrix Systems and combine it with Vista-owned Tibco Software.

The proposed blockbuster deal, announced this week, would bring together Citrix’s remote access and virtualization technology and Tibco’s data integration and data analysis software portfolio.

Reports that Citrix was in negotiations to be acquired have circulated for weeks. Given the acquisition’s price tag, it’s the biggest buyout so far this year and one of the biggest such transactions to emerge from the pandemic deal boom, according to a Forbes posting.

The Citrix acquisition has been approved by that company’s board of directors, but still requires shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Check Point Acquires Developer Security Startup Spectral

Check Point Software Technologies acquired Spectral this week in a bid to broaden its portfolio of cloud application security tools for cloud developers.

The Spectral acquisition, Check Point’s fifth cloud security acquisition in the last three years, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to supporting the cloud developer community and the vendor’s mission of “delivering cloud security automation, usability and trust,” said Chief Product Officer Dorit Dor in a statement.

With the acquisition Check Point will add infrastructure-as-code scanning and hard-coded secrets detection capabilities to its product functionality. It will make it easier for organizations to embed security earlier in the software development lifecycle, according to Check Point.

Spectral’s tools will be integrated into Check Point’s Infinity security platform and will be available via the CloudGuard cloud security product suite.

This is Check Point’s seventh acquisition since 2018, including buying rising email security star Avanan for $234 million in August 2021.

Lacework Unveils Tiered Partner Program To Accelerate Channel Sales

Cloud security startup Lacework wins kudos this week for launching its first-ever partner program as the company looks to increase channel sales from more than half of its sales currently to nearly all revenue.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company said the new Lacework Partner Program is focused on providing partner technical enablement around the company’s software and on joint go-to-market opportunities.

Participating partners will receive higher margins, more marketing resources and funding, and more technical resources and content as they move up the tiers. Partners will also have more access to Lacework’s security, technical and engineering experts, including threat intelligence analysts and chief architects, as well as members of the company’s executive team.

Today the company has about 55 partners with most split between North America and Europe and five in Asia-Pacific. About 25 percent of partners will be in the top tier with the rest split between the middle and bottom tiers.

DataRobot Snags Google Cloud Exec For Key Management Post

DataRobot, a fast-rising developer of AI and data engineering software, made a big personnel move this week by hiring Debanjan Saha, Google Cloud vice president and general manager of data analytics, as the company’s new president and chief operating officer.

Saha will work with CEO Dan Wright to expand the use of DataRobot’s AI Cloud platform to more customers globally and help scale the Boston-based company’s product, engineering, technology innovation, security, strategy and marketing functions, according to the company.

Saha was at Google Cloud for two-and-a-half years overseeing the company’s Big Query analytics data warehouse, along with other products including dataflow, Pub/Sub, Cloud Data Fusion and Data Catalog. Before joining Google he worked at Amazon Web Services for five years in several roles including managing AWS Aurora and AWS Glue.

Google Cloud Offers Free Google Workspace ‘Essentials Starter’

Google Cloud is playing hardball in the increasingly rough-and-tumble collaboration, communications and personal productivity application space. This week the company launched Google Workspace Essential Starter, a free, but limited version of its Google Workspace offering.

Google’s move comes two months after Microsoft, debuted “Teams Essentials,” a standalone edition of its popular Teams collaboration software, which targeted the SMB market with its $4 per -user, per-month price tag. Microsoft positioned Teams Essentials between its own free entry-level edition of Teams and Microsoft 365 Business Basic, the latter of which bundles Teams with Outlook, Word, Excel and other applications.

The new Google offering provides business users with no-cost access to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Meet, Chat and Tasks using their existing email addresses. The free package’s capabilities include one-on-one and team video meetings, real-time messaging and team collaboration in Spaces.

Google rebranded the formerly named G Suite cloud-native applications to Google Workspace in October 2020.

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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