5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

Symantec Establishes SMB Council

More often than not, the small medium business (SMB) channel often doesn't get the attention it deserves compared with enterprise partners who are scoring bigger deals.

That's not the case with Symantec which has launched an SMB Partner Advisory Council. The new 20 member council came in response to partners who urged the company to address specific issues related to their business, said Randy Cochran, Symantec vice president of North American channel sales.

Symantec partners have applauded the new council effort. We do too. It's just another sign that Symantec CEO Enrique Salem and his channel team, led by Cochran, are upping their channel game.

Oracle Receives A Round of Applause From Sun VARs

These have been trying times for Sun VARs who are concerned that their business will take a hit in the wake of Oracle's $7.5 billion acquisition of Sun.

Tom Wagner, Oracle's group vice president of North America hardware alliances and channels, took the issues head on at the Avnet Technology Solutions 2010 Summit in Broomfield, Colo. Wagner said he understands that VARs want answers and he received a round of applause for mentioning that Oracle will introduce an incentive program at some point this year.

"Despite the fact we continue to invest in direct sales, the selling capacity required to [reach those accounts], we’d run out of cycles very quickly," Wagner told the audience of mostly legacy Sun VARs. "That’s where you come in. Trust me, we need you desperately.’

ATI Scores Big Graphics Win With New iMacs

AMD's ATI graphics business got a big boost this week scoring the graphics business from rival NVIDIA for the new line of iMacs and the new Mac Pro.

It's the kind of deal that brings big bucks to AMD's coffers and big mind share from Apple gamer geeks.

"Games scream on iMac, thanks to advanced ATI graphics," boasts Apple in a tout on the Apple website. "The discrete ATI Radeon HD 4670 processor delivers faster performance compared to the integrated NVIDIA (NSDQ:NVDA) GeForce 9400M processor in the previous-generation iMac."

"That’ll keep you on your game, even inside the complex 3D environments of Call of Duty 4 or EVE," adds Apple. ATI is definitely on their game with this big Apple deal.

IBM Provides Financing Firepower For System X

There are few companies with IBM's financing muscle. So it's great to see Big Blue offering a new financing plan for U.S. channel partners for its Intel based System x servers.

The financing plan promotes IBM’s new emphasis on bundling hardware with software and services. IBM financing executives also said the new ’IBM System x Solution Financing’ plan simplifies the financing application process -- responding to partner complaints that the process was too complex -- and should help resellers close smaller deals.

The new financing plan offers a zero-percent, 36-month lease on System x servers and a zero-percent-interest loan on add-on hardware, software and/or services -- either from IBM or another vendor -- as long as the System x hardware makes up at least 70 percent of the total cost of the contract.

Ingram Beats Wall Street Expectations

It's always good news for the industry when the world's largest computer products distributor posts better than expected results.

Ingram this week beat Wall Street expectations for both earnings and sales for the second quarter ended July 3, posting a 24 percent revenue increase and a whopping 167 percent increase in profits.

Ingram reported $8.16 billion in sales, compared to $6.58 billion in the year-ago quarter. The Santa Ana, Calif.-based distributor also reported $67.7 million in profit, or 41 cents per diluted share compared with $25.3 million or 15 cents per share in the year ago quarter. The Wall Street consensus was earnings of 37 cents per share on $7.90 billion in sales.

Ingram CEO Greg Spierkel said that every region performed well for the company including North America where sales were up 30 percent to $3.56 billion.

Check out our roundup of vendors that dropped the ball for a look at the companies that were asleep at the wheel this week.