5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

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


The Week Ending July 16

Topping this week’s Came to Win list is Microsoft for unveiling a number of advancements on both the technology/product and partner program sides at this week’s Inspire partner conference.

Also making the list this week are cybersecurity startups Cybereason and Arctic Wolf for impressive funding rounds, Mitel for new program initiatives for MSP and agent partners, Verizon for continuing its aggressive rollout of its 5G Business Internet service; and entrepreneur Dheeraj Pandey, who this week unveiled his next software startup.

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Microsoft ‘Inspires’ With Windows 365 Launch, Partner Program Upgrades

Microsoft used this week’s Inspire 2021 partner conference as the launchpad for its cloud-based Windows 365 service, which the company said is a simplified virtual desktop offering aimed at meeting the computing needs of a home-office hybrid workforce.

The company calls Windows 365 a “cloud PC” offering because the virtualized operating system and applications can be streamed in any web browser and will be available on any PC or mobile device. Windows 365 is expected to create opportunities for MSPs and cloud partners.

Microsoft also unveiled new capabilities in the Teams collaboration application and a new industry cloud package of tools and services targeting corporate environmental and sustainability initiatives.

In addition, Microsoft took the Inspire opportunity to unveil a number of improvements to the company’s partner programs. Topping the list are two new advanced specializations around the Azure cloud platform: “Hybrid Operations and Management with Microsoft Azure ARC” and “Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure Stack HCI.”

Microsoft is also reducing agency fees on its commercial marketplaces from 20 percent to 3 percent, offering ISV partners new benefits and making improvements to its ISV Connect program, and offering partner previews for a new Partner Center portal experience.

Cybersecurity Companies Cybereason, Arctic Wolf Score Impressive Funding Rounds

Cybereason and Arctic Wolf, two rising stars in the red-hot cybersecurity arena, announced impressive financing rounds this week.

Cybereason raised $275 million in a Series F round of financing, funding the company will use to double its head count—both in R&D and on the go-to-market side—as the company works to meet surging demand for its endpoint security technology. Some of the funding may also be used for strategic acquisitions in the extended detection and response space.

Investors in the funding round included Liberty Strategic Capital, the private equity firm started by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Overall, Cybereason has raised $663 million in seven rounds of financing.

Arctic Wolf, meanwhile, raised $150 million in its own Series F financing round. The developer of security operations technology, which now has a pre-money valuation of $4.3 billion, plans to use the financing to make tuck-in acquisitions that will expand the company’s cybersecurity portfolio in managed risk, managed cloud operations and managed security awareness.

Mitel Launches New Partner Programs For MSPs And Agents

Telecommunications systems and services provider Mitel wins applause for its launch of two new partner programs—Amplify and Velocity—specifically designed to meet the needs of MSP and agent partners with different sales strategies.

The programs will help MSP and agent partners work with Mitel and better serve their customers using their preferred sales and customer engagement model.

Velocity provides resources, rewards and recognition benefits for partners who prefer to retain more control over their customer relationships and who are building out their managed services practices. They also earn more predictable recurring revenue.

Velocity includes the MiCloud Connect Partner Managed Program sales motion that Mitel introduced in February and puts partners in control of customer sales and the on-boarding and ongoing administration of their clients.

Amplify is geared toward agent partners who are more focused on quickly closing deals. The program will provide access to free sales and technical enablement certifications, a dedicated account manager, deal protection and support through the sales process. Partners earn competitive commissions, incentives and promotions.

Verizon Accelerates 5G Business Rollout

Telecommunications giant Verizon continues its aggressive expansion of its 5G Business Internet offering, saying that the service is now available in parts of 42 U.S. cities.

This week Verizon announced that its 5G Business Internet is newly available in parts of 17 cities including Akron and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla.; Seattle and Spokane, Wash.; and in San Antonio; Memphis, Tenn.; and New Orleans.

Verizon is counting on the 5G service, which is available through the carrier’s channel partners, to boost its business segment. That side of Verizon’s business has struggled in recent quarters due to the economic slowdown from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 5G Business Internet service, powered by 5G Ultra Wideband, is used by both enterprise and SMB customers as a platform to access network resources including software-defined networking, security and multi-access edge computing resources.

Former Nutanix CEO Pandey Launches Next Startup

You can’t keep a good entrepreneur retired. Nutanix co-founder and former CEO Dheeraj Pandey, who just left that company seven months ago, unveiled his next software startup this week.

Pandey’s new company, DevRev, is developing what it calls “API-first, dev-centric CRM” software that “leverages data, design and machine intelligence to empower developers to build, support and grow their business.” The software is expected to be ready for release in 2022.

The company, co-founded by former Nutanix engineering senior vice president Manoj Agarwal, also announced that it has raised $50 million in seed funding and has already hired more than 75 people.