Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Oracle, HP Kiss And Make Up

HP and Oracle have been partners for more than two decades, but the relationship has hit some serious turbulence in recent weeks after Larry Ellison hired Mark Hurd as Oracle's new co-president. HP sued Hurd earlier this month, and all eyes were on Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP's enterprise business, as she took the stage on the opening night of Oracle OpenWorld.

But Livermore downplayed the friction and played up the strength of the two companies' partnership. Then HP dropped its lawsuit against Hurd, and Hurd relinquished the $30 million in stock options he received in his severance package.

So things are now apparently back to normal on the HP-Oracle front, which is good news in light of the mountains of cash both companies stand to reap from their partnership.

IBM Adds Netezza To Its Business Intelligence Arsenal

IBM this week continued its acquisition spree by acquiring Netezza, a developer of business intelligence software, in a $1.7 billion deal. Marlborough, Mass.-based Netezza makes a high-performance analytics tool in a data warehousing appliance that it says can handle complex analytic queries 10 times to 100 times faster than traditional systems.

IBM plans to weave Netezza's technology into its Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization. The integration should go pretty smoothly, as IBM and Netezza are already partners. Netezza designed and developed its appliances on IBM systems technology and tied in IBM software to power applications within organizations.

Cisco Reaches Out To SMB Partners

Cisco this week unleashed new products, services and support options aimed squarely at the needs of SMB customers. New switches, phones, video cameras and management software are on the way, but SMB partners will also be able to work with Cisco more efficiently.

In an interview with CRN this week, Andrew Sage, vice president of worldwide small business sales, admitted that partners find Cisco difficult to work with. With the new My Cisco feature on, VARs can customize their own dashboard view of Cisco-related information, from rebates to certifications. Cisco did this for its larger partners last year and is now bringing the same convenience to its army of SMB partners.

Nvidia Riding Wave Of Parallel Computing

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference this week, Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang could hardly contain his excitement over the growing attention being paid to parallel computing. He also cited the growth of CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture), Nvidia's programming language for general-purpose GPU computing, as evidence that the technology is now ready for prime time.

"The entire area is looking for a breakthrough in computational capability," Huang said in a keynote at the GTC event in San Jose, Calif. "You can see research everywhere with CUDA all over the papers. We're making deep inroads into all areas of science and engineering."

Avaya Poaches Polycom Video Executive

Avaya this week named former Polycom executive Joe Sigrist as its vice president and general manager of video. Sigrist, who held the title of senior vice president and general manager for video solutions at Polycom, will head up Avaya's march into the video space, which kicked off earlier this month with the launch of its Flare Experience collaboration dashboard and Avaya Desktop Video Device.

Sigrist will also be the architect of Avaya's video messaging strategy, and he'll have the attention of VARS that have already placed their bets on Avaya Aura, the company's virtualized UC platform.