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5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

For the week ending May 17, CRN looks at IT companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.

The Week Ending May 17

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Salesforce.com, which found itself working to rectify a major service outage Friday.

Also making the list is ConnectWise, which this week dealt with the fallout from a ransomware attack that hit the company earlier this month, and Conduent, which continues to be in management turmoil in a tussle with activist investor Carl Icahn. Apple was on the list for the prospect of having to face consumer antitrust lawsuits after it lost a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, as was Huawei for effectively being locked out of the U.S. market.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves – or just had good luck – check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

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‘Major’ Salesforce Outage Whacks Company's Marketing Automation Customers

Salesforce was in scramble mode Friday as it tried to deal with a "major" service outage that impacted customers of the company's Pardot marketing automation software.

Salesforce co-founder and CTO Parker Harris issued a tweet at 12:40 p.m. ET Friday acknowledging the "major issue" with the service and that the company was working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible."

The company said the service outage was due to the deployment of a database script that resulted in granting users broader data access than intended.

Customers began reporting issue as early as 9:22 a.m. ET Friday. By 1:00 p.m. ET a Downdetector.com map showed problems with Salesforce in major cities across the country including Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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ConnectWise Hit In EU Ransomware Attack

ConnectWise suffered a ransomware attack that took its ConnectWise Manage platform offline in the European Union, but did not compromise any personal data, the company disclosed this week.

The attack, which occurred May 3, came through an off-site machine that ConnectWise used for cloud-performance testing outside of its network. ConnectWise has hired a forensics firm to investigate the incident and has taken steps to make sure the attack cannot be duplicated.

This is the latest security incident to involve the IT service management company. Earlier in April the company found itself embroiled in a breach at Wipro when it was discovered that bad actors had used ConnectWise Control to seed 100 Wipro servers and distribute their attack. In February an integration between ConnectWise and rival MSP platform Kaseya was exploited by cyber criminals.

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Icahn takes Bigger Stake In Conduent, Further Clouding Company's Future

Activist investor Carl Icahn has increased his stake in Xerox spin-off Conduent to the point that an industry analyst told CRN that Conduent "is basically his company."

Icahn increased his stake in Conduent in the last week, adding 9 million shares to the approximately 19 million he already owned.

Last week Conduent was in turmoil after the company announced poor financial results and CEO Ashok Vemuri announced that he would step down as soon as the board hires a replacement – likely by the third quarter.

Vemuri and Conduent's board has been in a war of words with Icahn over the company's management decisions. Last month the company accused Icahn of attempting to take control of the company.

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Apple Faces iPhone App Store Antitrust Lawsuit Following Supreme Court Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that a group of iPhone users can pursue an antitrust lawsuit against Apple charging that the company's App Store online application marketplace is a monopoly that artificially keeps prices high.

The 5-to-4 ruling does not conclude that Apple violated antitrust law, it holds that consumers have the right to sue Apple for monopolistic behavior because they buy applications directly from Apple, reported CNN Business.

The ruling could add pressure on Apple to cut the 30 percent commission it charges on application sales through the App Store, according to a Bloomberg story. Lawyers representing the consumers have said they intend to seek hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of overpaying consumers, Bloomberg said.

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Trump Executive Order Effectively Bans Huawei From Selling Telecom Gear In U.S., Blocks Access To Suppliers

President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week that bars U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment that could pose a risk to national security.

While the order does not name specific companies, it is generally seen as a move to ban the sale of Huawei telecom gear in the U.S. After Trump signed the order the U.S. Commerce Department formally added Huawei to a list of companies the U.S. government considers to be undermining American interests, according to a CNN Business story, ensuring that Huawei is covered by the executive order.

Putting Huawei on the Commerce Dept. list also means that companies like Qualcomm that supply Huawei with components may have to apply for U.S. export licenses to continue supplying technology to Huawei, CNN Business said.

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