Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

AT&T Aims High With Proposed $39 Billion Acquisition Of T-Mobile

AT&T dropped a major bombshell this week with its proposed $39 billion blockbuster acquisition of T-Mobile. There are already rumblings from the FCC that the deal will face fierce scrutiny, but who cares, this could likely end up being the year's biggest tech industry story and it's also a sign that AT&T aspires to knock Verizon Wireless off its top dog perch.

Pay no attention to AT&T's claptrap about the deal being good for both it and wireless consumers because it'll bolster network quality and accelerate the growth of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the U.S. This is a clear sign that AT&T is ready to move past the whole iPhone debacle and start asserting itself as a force to be reckoned with in the wireless industry.

"Now is the time for this transaction," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in the afterglow of the proposed deal. "We think we're at a point where we have to think differently."

Cloud VAR Appirio Snaps Up Another Startup

Appirio is at it again: This week, the ubercloud VAR acquired Infowelders, a Louisville-based consulting and ISV player with deep SaaS and business intelligence roots as well as expertise in sales cloud, service cloud and custom cloud development.

The Infowelders acquisition also brings aboard six packaged solutions that Appirio will wrap into its Cloud Asset Library, Appirio's growing library of reusable assets used to accelerate Salesforce implementations. Infowelders, which was founded in 2004, also brings aboard more than 700 successful cloud projects with more than 250 customers.

The acquisition, Appirio's second in the space of a month, underscores Appirio's gravity within the fast expanding Salesforce solar system.

Oracle Racks Up Solid Quarter, Ups Ante In HP Trash Talk

Oracle has been talking a lot of trash recently, much of it directed toward HP, and now we're starting to see what's behind that bravado. In its fiscal third quarter earnings this week,Oracle reported a 78 percent jump in profit and a revenue increase of 37 percent.

Interestingly, hardware system sales were $1.04 billion in the third quarter while hardware support generated another $629 million. Hurd also touted the growing demand for Oracle's Exadata database server and Exalogic cloud platform server. While Co-President Safra Catz said it's impossible to calculate exactly how much the former Sun products are contributing to Oracle's bottom line, she said that roughly $1.5 billion of the fiscal 2011 operating profit will come from Sun products.

CEO Larry Ellison was tied up with jury duty and couldn't make the call, but Oracle Co-President Mark Hurd cheerfully delivered the good news to investors. "Frankly, we’re just executing on all fronts," Hurd said in a conference call with financial analysts. "Q3 was a great quarter."

Red Hat On Track To Surpass $1 Billion In Revenue For First Time

Red Hat, riding the industry wave of data center and cloud computing spending, breezed past Wall Street's revenue and earnings forecasts in its fiscal fourth quarter. More importantly, Red Hat said it's on track to become the first open source software vendor to surpass $1 billion in yearly revenue. Investors reacted by sending shares of Red Hat up more than 18 percent in after hours trading Thursday.

"We believe the strong demand we experienced was largely driven by customers who are modernizing their data centers and preparing their infrastructure for cloud computing," Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said in a statement. "The comprehensive portfolio that Red Hat has developed with platform, virtualization and middleware products provides enterprise customers with a foundation to deploy the next generation infrastructure."

Array Networks Looks To Boost Footprint With New Channel Program

Array Networks, a Milpitas, Calif.-based vendor of application delivery, acceleration, access and SSL VPN products that has done most of its business in Asia since its launch in 2000, sees the channel as a way to raise its profile Stateside. This week, Array Networks took the wraps off a new channel program aimed at VARs that sell to small and large enterprises and have experience serving financial services and health care customers.

Array has 30 U.S. channel partners currently and is looking to double that in the coming year. The company does 20 percent of its U.S. business through the channel right now and wants to boost that to 40 percent in the next 18 months.

"Based on our success in the Asian market, we have the resources to attack North America," Paul Andersen, marketing communications manager at Array, told CRN.