5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending April 16, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel.


The Week Ending April 16

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Microsoft for a blockbuster acquisition deal – the second largest in its history – that will expand its presence in the healthcare software arena.

Also making the list are chipmaker Nvidia for its new data center CPU that will compete head-to-head with chips from Intel and AMD, Dell Technologies for advancing its plan to spin-off VMware, IBM for a savvy acquisition in the business process automation space, and Aruba Networks for stepping its competition with Cisco Systems and other rivals by expanding the capabilities of its Edge Service Platform.

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Microsoft Buying Nuance In $19.7B Voice Recognition, AI Blockbuster

Microsoft struck a deal this week to buy Nuance Communications, a developer of leading-edge voice recognition and artificial intelligence technology, for a whopping $19.7 billion – second only to Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in December 2016.

The move is expected to boost Microsoft’s presence in the healthcare software space where Nuance has been offering its technology for clinical intelligence and clinical speech recognition applications.

Many of Nuance’s products, including the Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One and PowerScribe One for radiology reporting, are built on Microsoft Azure. The acquisition will provide a significant boost for Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, which debuted last year.

Beyond healthcare, the acquisition will provide Microsoft with AI expertise and customer engagement solutions in interactive voice response (IVR), virtual assistant, and digital and biometric technologies across multiple industries.

Nvidia Reveals Arm-Based Data Center CPU To Take On Intel, AMD

Nvidia this week unveiled an ARM-based data center CPU for AI and high-performance computing with which the chipmaker will compete more directly with rivals Intel and AMD when it becomes available in early 2023. Nvidia said the new “Grace” chip provides 10-times faster AI performance than AMD’s 64-core EPYC Rome processors.

With the introduction of CPUs to Nvidia’s portfolio, CEO Jensen Huang, speaking at Nvidia’s GTC 2021 conference this week, said the company’s data center product road map now includes GPUs, CPUs and data processing units (DPUs). The product lines will include both x86 and Arm platforms.

Nvidia this week also provided more details about its next-generation BlueField-3 DPU; debuted new workstation GPUs for desktops, laptops and servers; announced an enterprise computing push with servers from OEMs and ODMs running the Nvidia AI Enterprise software; and unveiled a new version of its DGX SuperPOD reference architecture for AI supercomputers.

Dell Unveils Plan For VMware Spin-Off To ‘Unlock Significant Value’

Dell Technologies this week unveiled its plan to spin-off the 81-percent stake it holds in virtualization leader VMware in a move that will “unlock significant value for stockholders” and “additional growth opportunities” for the two standalone companies, according to CEO Michael Dell (pictured).

Dell previously disclosed that it was mulling a VMware spin-off. But this week’s announcement confirmed its plans and provided the financial details of the transaction and a timetable: The companies expect to complete the spin-off in the fourth quarter of this year.

Dell acquired the VMware stake when it bought storage system giant EMC in 2016.

IBM Buys MyInvenio, Another Weapon In Its Process Automation Arsenal

IBM expanded its growing portfolio of business process automation tools this week when it acquired MyInvenio, an Italian developer of software that quickly identifies business processes in sales, procurement, production, accounting and other operations that can be automated.

The MyInvenio tool is expected to be a boon for IBM solution providers who can use it to tackle business process automation tasks for their clients, providing them with an evaluation of where processes can be automated to improve efficiency and cut costs.

IBM has been building up its business process automation offerings over the last 18 months, including last year’s acquisitions of robotic process automation software maker WDG Automation and application performance monitoring software developer Instana. IBM also has a strategic partnership with workflow software provider ServiceNow.

Aruba ESP, Now With Silver Peak, Has Cisco In Its Crosshairs

Aruba Networks is going on the offensive against Cisco Systems and other rivals with its updated Aruba Edge Service Platform (ESP), now integrated with SD-WAN technology from its recent Silver Peak acquisition.

ESP helps partners and their customers manage their increasingly complicated wired, wireless, SD-WAN and security infrastructure.

Aruba is baking more edge-to-cloud security integration capabilities into the one-year-old ESP, including Silver Peak technology such as the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform, and integrating Aruba Threat Defense with the EdgeConnect platform.

Aruba’s goal is to provide a networking and security offering, with industry-leading wired switching, wireless, comprehensive security and SD-WAN, that competes against Cisco and other rivals, according to Aruba executives.