5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending June 14, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.


The Week Ending June 14

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Salesforce.com for its blockbuster deal to acquire business analytics software leader Tableau for $15.7 billion

Also making the list were VMware for its own savvy move to buy startup Avi Networks, security vendor CrowdStrike for its highly successful IPO, phishing simulation company KnowBe4 for an impressive funding round, and Cisco for several channel-pleasing announcements at this week's Cisco Live 2019 event.

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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.

Salesforce To Acquire Business Analytics Leader Tableau In Blockbuster $15.7 Billion Deal

CRM application giant Salesforce made a big move this week to expand its business analytics technology portfolio with a deal to acquire Tableau Software, one of the leading developers of business intelligence and data visualization software, for a whopping $15.7 billion.

Salesforce's CRM sales and marketing applications generate huge amounts of data and the thinking is that providing users with a way to analyze all that data using Tableau's software will make Salesforce an even bigger player in the $1.8 trillion market for digital transformation services.

The Salesforce-Tableau deal comes less than a week after Google said it would acquire Looker Data Sciences for $2.6 billion.

VMware To Acquire Avi Networks To Bring Public Cloud Simplicity To Data Centers

Salesforce wasn't the only company making a bold acquisition this week. VMware struck a deal to acquire fast-growing startup Avi Networks in a move to create the "industry's only complete software-defined networking stack" for the multi-cloud era.

Adding Avi Networks to the VMware networking and security technology portfolio will bring VMware one step closer to its goal of making the data center operate as simply and easily as the public cloud, VMware executives said.

The Avi Networks platform helps IT managers overcome the complexity and rigidness of legacy systems and application delivery controller appliances using software-defined application services.

CrowdStrike Stock Surges 71 Percent On First Day Of Trading

Endpoint security technology developer CrowdStrike was a big winner this week when the company went public on Wednesday and its share price skyrocketed more than 70 percent.

The company's stock closed the first day of trading at $58 per share, up $24 from the initial $34 per share price. Estimates last month had put the company's initial share price at just $19 to $23.

The first-day closing price put CrowdStrike's total valuation at an impressive $11.57 billion – just $300 million shy of the $11.87 billion market cap of cybersecurity giant Symantec, which has 20 times the revenue of CrowdStrike.

Phishing Simulation Vendor KnowBe4 Raises $300 Million To Accelerate Its Global Growth

CrowdStrike isn't the only company scoring big in "company valuation." KnowBe4, the provider of security awareness training and software, raised a whopping $300 million in financing from private equity giant KKR – money the company will use to pursue growth in initiatives, global expansion and continued platform development.

The funding round gives KnowBe4 a $1 billion valuation, making it cybersecurity's newest "unicorn." The company has recurring revenue of more than $100 million and a customer base of more than $25,000 organizations across finance, healthcare, energy, government and insurance sectors.

Cisco Promises Partners "No More Islands" Across Its Collaboration Portfolio

Networking giant Cisco told partners this week that the company is unifying its on-premise and cloud-based collaboration software in a move that will provide customers with a unified experience. The company is also integrating the collaboration tools with collaboration software from Google Cloud, Apple's iOS, Microsoft and Slack.

Customers have been asking Cisco partners for a single, consistent experience across Cisco's on-premise and cloud collaboration products. The long-awaited product integration, announced at this week's Cisco Live 2019 conference, answers that need.

Cisco also furthered its secure SD-WAN strategy this week by integrating Cisco SD-WAN with Cisco Umbrella, the company's cloud-based secure Internet gateway. That will allow partners and customers to secure SD-WANs from the cloud. And Cisco wins kudos for launching at Cisco Live 2019 a new DevNet certification track and a dedicated DevNet Automation Exchange community.