5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

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


The Week Ending Aug. 16

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Apple, some of whose products are being exempted from a 10-percent tariff due to take effect Sept. 1.

Also making the "Came to Win" list this week are Intermedia for a strategic acquisition that fills a critical gap in its cloud product portfolio. Malwarebytes made the list for a savvy channel management hire, as did Microsoft for a new initiative to help channel partners help their customers transition to Windows 10, and CyberPower for debuting its innovative new UPS system with attractive margins for resellers.

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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.

Apple, Device Makers Spared Tariffs On Smartphones, Laptops

Apple and other vendors whose smartphones, laptops and monitors are manufactured in China caught a break this week when the Trump Administration decided to delay a planned, additional 10-percent tariff until at least Dec. 15.

The administration had planned to slap the additional 10 percent tariff on a broad range of products made in China starting Sept. 1. But this week the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that while tariffs on some products would take effect as scheduled, tariffs on cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles and computer monitors, along with other non-IT products, would be delayed until at least Dec. 15.

Final assembly of nearly all Apple products is conducted in China and the company has become something of a poster child for the U.S.-China trade war.

It wasn't all good news for Apple, however. The additional 10-percent tariff will still hit some products starting Sept. 1 including the Apple Watch, Apple's AirPods wireless earbuds and the company's HomePod smart speaker.

Intermedia Buys Telax, Adds Cloud Contact Center To Its UCaaS Suite

Intermedia made a big move this week to fill a gap in its cloud communications portfolio by acquiring cloud contact center specialist Telax.

The Telax acquisition will allow Intermedia to add contact center capabilities to its lineup of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and collaboration cloud software.

Intermedia can now do business with partners and customers that the company did not previously work with because of the lack of a contact center solution. The acquisition also creates another recurring revenue opportunity for Intermedia's 6,500 channel partners.

Malwarebytes Snags AlienVault's Mike LaPeters To Globalize Channel

Cybersecurity tool developer Malwarebytes scored in the personnel department this week when it disclosed that the company has hired former AlienVault channel Mike LaPeters to oversee its worldwide channel efforts.

LaPeters, who joined Malwarebytes late last month, is vice president of worldwide MSP and channel operations. He previously served as AlienVault's channel chief for four years, during which time the company was acquired by AT&T.

LaPeters is tasked with bringing more globalization, automation and programming to the Malwarebytes' solution provider community. The goal is to unite the company's different regions and different types of channel partners under one umbrella.

Microsoft Offers Partners More Assistance For Windows 10 Transition

With the end-of-support date for Windows 7 just months away, Microsoft wins kudos this week for unveiling a new benefit for partners that helps them migrate customers from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

The new FastTrack for Windows 10 program provides solution providers with expert assistance for Windows 10 deployments for situations where there are at least 150 licenses of an eligible service or plan. FastTrack will assist with developing a technical plan and determining how to deploy new users.

Partners can either work with customers with Microsoft in the background for Windows 10 deployment projects or have Microsoft work directly with customers.

FastTrack for Windows 10 is the latest initiative Microsoft has offered the channel for Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration. It joins other available benefits including Windows Autopilot, which simplifies device setup for IT, and Desktop App Assure, which helps address issues with Windows 10 application compatibility.

CyberPower Launches Innovative UPS System With 25 Percent Partner Margin

CyberPower Systems this week debuted a new UPS system, the CyberPower Smart App UPS Online, a high-density solution that the company said is the first 5,000-VA and 6,000-VA with a 2U design.

The UPS features double-conversion topology for seamless power protection and a user-friendly, full-color LCD control panel. The system has an advanced charging process that maintains battery voltages at the same level to increase battery life.

The UPS can be a lucrative product for CyberPower channel partners because it provides channel partners with margins between 15 percent and 25 percent, depending on partnership level and discounts.

CyberPower launched the new product this week at the XChange 2019 conference, operated by The Channel Company, the parent company of CRN and CRN.com.