5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

Cisco Gets Into Tablet Market With Cius

Cisco this week unveiled Cius, a 1.5 pound tablet with a 7-inch VGA touch-target display, front-mounted 720p HD camera, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and an accelerometer. The Cius features 8 hours of battery life and support for 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G, with 4G support coming.

Partners see plenty of potential in Cius, which will tie into Cisco's Unified Communications Manager and support Cisco tools such as Cisco Quad, Cisco WebEx Connect and Cisco Presence. Android developers will have access to Cisco Collaboration APIs through a Cius-specific SDK.

Everyone's got a tablet these days, but Cisco can bring unified communications integration to bear in a way that could set the Cius apart. For a company that is uncharacteristically late on this market trend, this could be a key differentiator.

Microsoft Fights Back Against Its Critics

Microsoft VP of Corporate Communications Frank X. Shaw is sick and tired is hearing his company dragged through the mud in the media, and this week, he decided to do something about it. Shaw listed a series of figures showing how well various Microsoft products are performing vis a vis the competition, and he implored Microsoft employees to get the word out on its achievements.

In doing so, Shaw made himself a target for critics who pointed out the selective nature of the figures he quoted. And of course, it's Shaw's job to make sure Microsoft gets good press.

Nonetheless, in an industry where Microsoft-hating has become a kind of sport, and at a time when Microsoft isn't getting the same media exposure as the likes of Google and Apple, Shaw is at least trying to cut through some of the popular notions about Microsoft's business.

Ingram Micro, Avnet Get Up To Speed On Cisco UCS

Cisco this week authorized Avnet Technology Solutions and Ingram Micro to configure its C-Series blade servers, greatly expanding the potential base of channel expertise around Cisco's UCS architecture. Both disties will show solution providers how to configure Cisco's C-Series blade servers to customer requirement with processors, memory, hard drives, and adapters.

Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is going up against tough competition in the marketplace, and Avnet and Ingram getting channel partners on board will help the company gain the kind of mindshare that only VARs can build.

IBM Covers Its Compliance Bases With BigFix

Compliance and security management are top-of-mind concerns for companies these days, and Big Blue moved to solidify its portfolio this week by acquiring Emeryville, Calif.-based BigFix. The deal will help IBM make inroads into automating compliance updates, and will give IBM products that flag IT administrators when corporate PCs, laptops and servers are out of compliance with corporate IT standards or federal, state or commercial regulations.

Trend Micro Gets A New Channel Chief

After going several months without a channel chief, security vendor Trend Micro named Stephen Mungall as its new vice president of U.S. channel sales. It's an important move for Trend, which has come under criticism for drifting away from its channel relationships since former channel chief Cody Leser left the company last fall.

Trend has long occupied the number three spot in the security market behind Symantec and McAfee, and solution providers are hoping Mungall can help sharpen the company's competitive edge through a more aggressive channel program.