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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Oct. 26, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Oct. 26

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is SonicWall, which is stepping up its channel efforts in a bid to break out beyond its SMB stronghold and compete in the market for enterprise customers.

Also making the list this week are Hewlett Packard Enterprise for moving to streamline the quote-to-cash process for channel partners, Oracle's technology announcements at OpenWorld 2018, Tableau Software for significantly expanding its channel program offerings to help partners engage more deeply with customers, and the 30 solution provider winners of the CRN 2018 IoT Innovators Awards.

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.


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SonicWall Puts Cisco, Fortinet In The Crosshairs With Push Upmarket

SonicWall is going on the offensive against the competition, launching a full-court press to land larger customers through more co-selling with partners and making changes to its compensation model for sales reps.

The company intends to compete head-to-head with Cisco and Fortinet as it goes after customers with more than 500 employees. The elements of its strategy include more personal attention for partners, better margins, a lack of channel conflict and a compelling end-to-end security technology story, Chief Revenue Officer Steve Pataky told CRN.

SonicWall has a dominant position among small and mid-size businesses. While it has worked with some enterprise customers, those have largely been on a transactional basis. The company wins kudos for its plan to leverage the channel for its push to expand its competitive presence among enterprise-class customers.

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HPE Readies New Phase Of Its 'Next' Initiative: Streamlining Quote-To-Cash Supply Chain For Partners

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is ramping up the second phase of its Next initiative to rearchitect the company with significant improvements in the quote-to-cash process used by HPE channel partners.

This week CEO Antonio Neri (pictured) said the move would vastly reduce the number of touch points in the sales process – from logging the opportunity into a CRM system, building a quote, establishing a price, putting a purchase order into the system, moving the order through the supply chain and shipping the product – from as many as 1,000 touch points to just 100.

The time needed for such processes is critical for partners in getting price quotes to customers on complex solutions more quickly and closing deals faster.

Neri said HPE will begin implementing the changes next March and continue rolling them out through 2020. Some of the changes will result from the company moving from 10 Enterprise Resource Planning systems to a single global ERP system.

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Ellison Touts Oracle's Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure, Takes Dig At Amazon

Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison is never shy about talking up his company's technology versus the competition – and engaging in a little trash talking – and he delivered on both at this week's Oracle OpenWorld show.

Ellison touted the security capabilities of Oracle's Gen2 cloud architecture, saying it protects customer data in a way none of its rival cloud vendors, including Amazon Web Services, can't. Ellison said that's because Oracle "fundamentally re-architected" its cloud infrastructure from the ground up with security as its primary concern, implementing a bare-metal model that closes a ubiquitous vulnerability to hackers.

Ellison said Oracle's cloud competitors, specifically naming AWS, have "a big problem" in that their cloud control code shares the computer with customer code. That, he said, means malicious customers can access cloud control systems and steal data from other customers. "That means you better trust your customers," Ellison said. "You better trust all your customers."

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Tableau Launches Partner Program 2.0 Initiative

Business analytics software developer Tableau Software earns a high-five for its ambitious plans, announced this week at its annual customer/partner conference, to expand the services and support it provides for channel partners.

The long list of additions to the company's offerings include expanded training and certification opportunities, additional marketing resources and priority technical support. The company is hiring additional partner support personnel. It has launched an updated partner portal with new capabilities and an online demand center for developing marketing campaigns. And a new conversion calculator for developing customer sales quotes will debut by year's end.

Tableau executives made it clear at the Tableau Conference 18 event that they expect partners to invest more heavily in developing domain expertise, including vertical industry and line-of-business capabilities, and to provide customers with more complete solutions that include services and support. The expanded channel program offerings are designed to help partners do just that.

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Innovating At The Edge: 30 Solution Providers Named To CRN's 2018 IoT Innovators Awards

And a round of applause for the 30 solution providers named to CRN's 2018 IoT Innovators Awards.

Solution providers selected for this year's Innovators Awards are the pioneers in understanding IoT technology and making it an important part of their solution offerings.

Profiles of all IoT innovators can be seen here.

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