5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending July 12, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.


The Week Ending July 12

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win are Microsoft and ServiceNow for establishing a strategic alliance that's expected to create significant opportunities for the channel.

Also making the list were IBM and Red Hat for completing their $34 billion acquisition deal, Cisco for moving to acquire optical interconnect technology developer Acacia Communications for $2.6 billion, and Google for a deal to acquire startup Elastifile in a move that will extend Google Cloud's file storage service offerings. And Palo Alto Networks wins kudos for a savvy hire for its executive ranks.

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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.

Microsoft-ServiceNow Alliance Creates Huge Channel Opportunities

Microsoft and ServiceNow announced this week a strategic partnership under which ServiceNow will host its cloud-based services on Microsoft's Azure cloud, tightly integrating the ServiceNow IT automation platform with Azure. The deal guarantees that ServiceNow will use Azure Cloud as part of its preferred cloud platform for certain highly regulated areas such as U.S. government clients.

Microsoft also will deploy the ServiceNow platform for its own internal business use and elevate ServiceNow to one of the software giant's strategic partners within its Global ISV Strategic Alliance Portfolio.

Partners told CRN that the alliance creates significant service opportunities for them, including providing integrations between the Microsoft and ServiceNow platforms.

IBM Completes $34 Billion Red Hat Acquisition

IBM this week wrapped up its long-gestating acquisition of open-source software developer Red Hat for $34 billion. The companies announced the deal back on Oct. 28, 2018 – more than eight months ago – and recently surmounted the deal's last hurdle when the European Commission gave its approval.

Big Blue intends to leverage Red Hat's technology to become a leader in the market for hybrid cloud computing technology.

IBM will operate Red Hat as an independent business unit, retaining its top managers and Raleigh, N.C. headquarters and preserving its neutrality in the open-source software world.

Cisco Moves To Acquire Acacia Communications For $2.6 Billion

Sticking with the topic of blockbuster acquisition deals, Cisco made a big move to bolster its networking technology portfolio this week when it struck a deal to buy Acacia Communications, a manufacturer of optical interconnect products, for $2.6 billion.

Acacia is already a supplier to Cisco, providing the networking giant with high-speed optical interconnect products that help hyper-scale cloud and service providers, as well as data center operators – two major customer segments for Cisco – meet consumer demands for high-speed data transmission.

The acquisition will allow Cisco to strengthen interconnections between its router, switch and optical system products and boost their performance and capacity. The company said expanding its portfolio of silicon, optical and software technology is key to advancing its intent-based networking strategy.

Google Cloud Buying Elastifile To Extend Enterprise File Storage Services

To complete a trifecta of savvy acquisitions this week, Google is buying Elastifile, a startup developer of enterprise-grade, distributed file storage services for the cloud.

Google plans to integrate Elastifile with Google Cloud Filestore, a managed file storage service for applications that require a filesystem interface and a shared filesystem for data.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said the combination of Google Cloud and Elastifile will support bringing traditional workloads onto the Google Cloud Platform more quickly and simplify the management and scaling of data and compute-intensive workloads.

The Elastifile deal is the latest acquisition engineered by Kurian. Last month Google struck a deal to acquire business analytics software developer Looker Data Sciences for $2.6 billion.

Palo Alto Networks Hires NetApp CMO Jean English For Its Own

Palo Alto Networks made a key hire this week, recruiting NetApp chief marketing officer Jean English to fill the same role at the cybersecurity tech developer.

Palo Alto Networks partners praised the move with one partner who works with both companies telling CRN that English is one of the best marketing professionals in the business, pointing to her success in turning around NetApp's marketing efforts during her three years with the data storage vendor.

Before joining NetApp, English worked at IBM for seven-and-a-half years as vice president of global marketing for IBM Cloud.