5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending July 19, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.


The Week Ending July 19

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win are AT&T and Microsoft for forming an extensive strategic alliance around cloud and 5G.

Also making the list are Intel and SAP for a strategic alliance of their own, Commvault for upping its channel game with new partner rebates, 8x8 Inc. for a savvy acquisition in the Communications Platform-as-a-Service arena, and Cato Networks for a new service that makes SD-WAN implementations easier for partners and customers.

Sponsored post

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.

AT&T, Microsoft Form Strategic Alliance On Cloud, 5G With Potential Value Of $2 Billion

AT&T and Microsoft this week announced an extensive, multi-year collaboration deal – potentially worth more than $2 billion – to support each other in cloud and 5G efforts.

AT&T plans to move most of its non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024, and under the alliance Microsoft Azure will be the platform for that move. And as part of the alliance most of AT&T's 268,000 employees will now use Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools.

The two companies will design, test and build edge-computing technology by combining Microsoft Azure with AT&T's domestic 5G capabilities, bringing to market solutions in collaboration and conferencing, IoT, intelligent edge and networking, public safety and cybersecurity.

Earlier in the week AT&T also said it was expanding its longtime partnership with IBM, with AT&T Business Solutions migrating its internal applications to the IBM cloud and IBM making AT&T Business its primary SDN supplier.

Intel To Supercharge SAP Applications In New Multi-Year Partnership

Speaking of strategic alliances, Intel and SAP win kudos for a partnership under which Intel will optimize Intel’s data center components — including the Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Octane DC persistent memory – for SAP’s enterprise applications.

The two companies are also establishing a center of excellence where customers can evaluate joint solutions from SAP and Intel.

The partnership will target some of SAP’s leading applications including SAP HANA, SAP Concur, SAP Data Hub and SAP Leonardo, as well as the SAP Business Suite line of ERP applications. SAP also sees the partnership as an opportunity to accelerate customer migration to its SAP S/4HANA enterprise applications.

For Intel, software optimization is a way for the chipmaker to differentiate itself in the market as part of its data-centric platform strategy.

Commvault Unveils Major Enhancements To Channel Program To Boost Partner Rebates

Data management and protection software developer Commvault this week announced significant changes to its channel program that the company said would make it easier for partners to win bigger rebates.

The changes come on the heels of a major reorganization of Commvault's channel operations in April, including the departure of the company's top sales and channel executives, that cleared the way for what the company described as a new partner-led, go-to-market strategy. That followed the February appointment of former Puppet CEO Sanjay Mirchandani as Commvault's new top executive.

This week Commvault said it is expanding rebates it offers partners who bring in new customers. The company will now extend those rebates to include all new sales partners make to new customers within 180 days of signing the new customer.

Also new are "proxy quota rebates" under which Commvault will go beyond the quarterly bonuses it now provides to offer additional bonuses to partners who hit 120 percent or 150 percent of their annual quotas. Commvault is also promising increased business development funds to enable partners to do more joint marketing and demand generation with the vendor.

8x8 Buys CPaaS Provider WaveCell For $125 Million

Cloud communications company 8x8 has acquired Wavecell, a Singapore-based Communications Platform-as-a-Service vendor, in a move that will allow 8x8 to offer a broader range of messaging, voice and video services. 8x8 is paying approximately $125 million in cash and stock for the deal.

8x8’s cloud business provides Unified Communications-as-a-Service, Contact Center-as-a-Service and video. The acquisition of Wavecell and its cloud-based platform for building APIs will help 8x8 add CPaaS to its services portfolio.

The acquisition also will help 8x8 expand geographically as Wavecell has more than 500 enterprise customers in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Cato Networks Just Made SD-WAN Implementation, Management Simpler

SD-WAN is in big demand these days and has created serious opportunities for solution providers, including MSPs. Anything that streamlines the selling and implementation process is a win for the channel.

Cato wins applause this week for debuting Hands-Free Management for Cato Cloud, a fully-managed SD-WAN service option for partners and customers. The service lets businesses offload network and security configuration and change management to Cato or their solution provider partner.

According to Cato execs, providing the fully-managed option gives customers more flexibility in how they want to use and deploy SD-WAN. And it helps partners who are getting started with managed services because Cato can work alongside them.