Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

In case you haven't heard, Microsoft is "all-in" when it comes to cloud computing. Nope, you won't see Microsoft talking about half measures, it's going whole hog into the next wave of computing, and has signed up gigantic customers like Toyota, 3M and Lockheed Martin, among others.

This week, Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business (STB), boldly predicted that Microsoft may generate $10 billion in revenue from cloud offerings in ten year's time. "We will see those numbers and more," Muglia told Bloomberg this week.

It's a lofty goal, to be sure, but with Microsoft now leading with cloud in every sales discussion, it's probably one that's within reach.

Motorola just loves what the Droid and Droid X have done to revitalize its formerly flagging mobile business, and this week Wall Street got a taste of what the Droid has done for the company's bottom line. Shares of Motorola jumped five percent this week after the company reported profit of $109 million, or 5 cents a share in its fiscal third quarter, compared to the $12 million or 1 cent per share Motorola reported in last year's Q3.

Wall Street enjoys these kinds of surprises. "It’s clearly an encouraging earnings report for Motorola,” analyst Todd Koffman of Raymond James told Marketwatch Thursday.

In its fiscal Q1, Avnet closed a trio of key acquisitions: Bell Microproducts, Tallard Technologies and Unidux. This whirlwind of M&As helped drive Avnet's revenue to a record $6.18 billion, up 42 percent from $4.36 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Avnet's profit wasn't too shabby either, coming in at $138.2 million or 90 cents per diluted share, up from $50 million in profit or 33 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street analysts were expecting 81 cents per share on sales of $5.93 billion.

Meanwhile, Avnet Technology Solutions this week rolled out MobilityPath, a new technology practice aimed at helping VARs boost their mobile expertise. Like many companies, Avnet sees big opportunities in mobile, and the company's goal is to equip VARs to help capture that business.

"At the end of the day, the reason we created MobilityPath was to accelerate partners' growth in the area of mobility solutions. We saw pretty significant opportunity in that market space," Tim FitzGerald, technology solutions practices leader for Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, told CRN this week.

Aruba Networks is another vendor that sees simplified deal registration and the dangling carrot of partner incentives as the key to attracting more partners. Starting Nov. 1, Aruba will offer higher discounts to platinum partners that meet or exceed annual sales targets, and Aruba's gold- and silver-level partners will get broader access to marketing funds.

Aruba's new MarketingEdge program will let VARs purchase branded marketing materials and access co-marketing opportunities with the vendor. Deal registration will be handled in an automated fashion through Aruba's partner portal to prevent disconnects from slowing the process.

"It's not just a bunch of e-mails going back and forth that get lost," Bob Bruce, vice president of worldwide channel sales, told CRN this week. "I think we can do this as good as anybody now."

LogLogic, a San Jose, Calif.-based vendor of log management and security event management technology, has been trying to make inroads with channel partners for the better part of a decade. This week, that quest came to fruition with LogLogic's unveiling of a new deal registration program that's simple to use and which gives partners up to a 25 percent discount.

With no minimum deal size, and a simplified registration process that consists of a one-page online form, LogLogic is hoping its program will help bring more partners into the fold.

"The thing I learned is that partners look for consistency and predictability," Michael Ross, vice president of North American channel sales and development, told CRN this week. "So we decided to make our deal registration program as simple as possible."