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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Aug. 30, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Aug. 30 

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is VMware, which made some major advancements at its VMworld conference this week with the rollout of VMware Cloud on Dell EMC and the expansion of its Kubernetes offerings.

Also making the "Came to Win" list this week are General Dynamics Information Technology for winning a major Pentagon contract, ConnectWise for its effort to rally MSPs to fight ransomware, Check Point Software Technologies for a savvy channel executive hire, and Apple for a move to provide iPhone parts to independent repair service providers.

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 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

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VMware Cloud On Dell EMC Now Available, Demand ‘Off The Charts’ 

VMware and its Dell Technologies parent took a big step this week to integrate their products with the news that the highly anticipated VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is now available for partners to sell in the U.S.

VMware, at its VMworld conference, touted the new consumption-based, on-premises offering as a fully managed cloud service that provides the operational simplicity of the public cloud, but with the security, control and performance of on-premises infrastructure systems.

VMware also provided VMworld attendees with a road map for its plans to become a Kubernetes powerhouse with a slate of products in the pipeline called VMware Tanzo.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger also surprised VMworld attendees when he announced that Greg Lavender, previously VMware CTO of Cloud Architecture, would become VMware’s new CTO while Ray O’Farrell, who had held the CTO post for five years, is now the CTO of Cloud Architecture.

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Group Led By General Dynamics Information Technology Wins Defense Enterprise Office Solutions Contract 

General Dynamics Information Technology, in partnership with a unit of Dell Technologies and solution provider Minburn Technology Group, scored big this week when the Department of Defense and the U.S. General Services Administration awarded the group the massive Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) Blanket Purchase Agreement contract.

The Defense Department estimates the value of the cloud-focused DEOS contract, which is built on the Microsoft Office 365 platform, at $7.6 billion over 10 years.

DEOS is intended to replace legacy Defense Department office applications with a standard, cloud-based system across all military branches.

The contract is a major win for General Dynamics, which completed its acquisition of federal solution provider powerhouse CSRA in April 2018 for $9.7 billion. CSRA was the original bidder on the DEOS contract before becoming part of General Dynamics Information Technology.

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ConnectWise Pushes MSP Community Effort To Fend Off Ransomware Attacks

The increasing number of cybersecurity attacks against managed service providers has been one of the most alarming IT industry developments this year. ConnectWise, one of the leading providers of management and automation tools used by MSPs, wins kudos this week for proposing a cooperative effort to fight back.

John Ford, ConnectWise chief information security officer, is proposing the creation of an organization that will collect reliable information about attacks as they happen and share that information with a community of fellow MSPs and vendors who can contribute expertise and best practices to help mitigate the chaos that follows a ransomware hit.

In February cybercriminals exploited ConnectWise partners who had not patched an integration tool with a rival MSP platform to install ransomware on clients’ devices. Then in March 100 Wipro endpoint devices were seeded with ransomware through ConnectWise Control, a remote support and access tool.

Ford plans to open membership to the group, called the Technology Solution Provider Information Sharing and Analysis Organization, to rival MSP tool developers as well as to all MSPs.

“This is about the greater good, about getting information out there, about sharing cyberthreat intelligence information among the community. And sharing valuable and curated threat intelligence information with the community with the goal of mitigating some of these attacks,” Ford told CRN.

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Check Point Hires Cylance Exec To Lead Americas Channels 

Cybersecurity provider Check Point Software Technologies scored in the personnel department this week when it hired Abigail Maines, previously business development vice president at Cylance, to lead Check Point’s Americas channel sales organization.

Maines will be tasked with helping Check Point develop a new channel program and assist partners with breaking into new customer accounts in the Americas.

Maines will be the first Check Point channel chief to have the U.S., Canada and Latin America channel operations under their purview. Previously, each country and region had a separate channel leader. Maines starts in the job Sept. 9.

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Apple To Supply iPhone Parts To Independent Repair Service Providers 

Apple for the first time will begin providing iPhone parts to independent repair shops, allowing qualified service providers to make out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.

The new independent repair provider program, unveiled this week, marks a significant departure for Apple, which has kept a tight rein on the service providers it allows to repair Apple products.

Apple said the new independent repair program “complements” its global network of more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers, which can buy both in-warranty and out-of-warranty parts for Apple products.

A Reuters story noted that Apple has lobbied against proposed “right-to-repair” laws in several U.S. states. The story also said independent shops have complained that high purchase volumes required by Apple to become authorized service providers priced them out of the repair market.

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