Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Apple Keeps Pace With MacDefender Authors

"Oh, you're going to release out a fix? Nice try, we'll just work around it."

This might have been the reaction of MacDefender authors to the update Apple released this week to block the malware. These miscreants were able to quickly circumvent the fix, perhaps signaling the beginning of a protracted cat-and-mouse game aimed at teaching Apple fans, once and for all, that the Mac isn't as immune to malware as they might believe.

Except Apple then quickly released another update that blocked the workaround, according to Spider-Mac, an Italian Apple enthusiast site.

Say what you want about Apple and its past intimations that Macs are inherently more secure than PCs. We'll see if Apple maintains its alert stance, but the quick response makes it tough to say they're not reacting to a clear and present threat to Mac users.

Google Partner Cloud Sherpas Gets Into Cloud Acquisition Game

Perhaps Cloud Sherpas was getting tired of watching fellow Google partner Appirio make acquisition after acquisition to bolster its cloud technology portfolio. Whatever the reason, Cloud Sherpa's acquisition this week of Omnetic, a San Francisco-based Google Apps solution provider, is another sign of the health of Google's partner channel.

The acquisition brings "people, customers and the geographic presence" to Cloud Sherpas, Cloud Sherpas CEO Jon Hallett told CRN this week. Hallett also said the company has two additional planned acquisitions, one in the U.S. and the other in Australia, that it expects to close this month.

Polycom Buys HP's Video Business, Deepens HP Partnership

Polycom this week inked a deal to acquire HP's Visual Collaboration business, including the full range of HP video and telepresence products and managed services, for $89 million. At the same time, Polycom and HP are partnering up closer in order to better attack Cisco's networking business.

Polycom is now HP's exclusive reseller partner for telepresence and "certain" video-based unified communications solutions. It's also handling HP's internal deployments of these products. Polycom video applications will also available for WebOS.

Although Polycom's acquisition raises a number of questions, it's the kind of move that shows it ain't scared of Cisco.

VMware Bolsters End User Computing Portfolio With Socialcast Buy

VMware added another piece to its end user computing arsenal this week by acquiring Socialcast, a provider of enterprise social collaboration solutions, for an undisclosed sum.

San Francisco-based Socialcast offers its software as a hosted service, a private cloud implementation, or via an on-premise solution. Its technology is designed to facilitate information-sharing, knowledge transfer across geographies, employee engagement, and task management across companies.

Socialcast becomes another piece in VMware's end user computing portfolio, which includes VMware View desktop virtualization, ThinApp, SlideRocket, and Zimbra. End user computing is a big part of VMware's march into cloud computing, and VMware is trying to get partners on board with its vision.

Mitel CEO Vows To Make Company More Channel Friendly

IT executives are known for many things, but unvarnished comments are not one of them. So when Mitel CEO Richard McBee told partners this week that he intends to improve the company's channel relationships, his frankness probably caught the attention of many VARs.

"We're going to clean up our act," McBee said at Mitel's Business Partner Conference in Hollywood, Fla. "We haven't been as good a partner as we could have been. This is a rip-off-the-Band-Aid [event]."

McBee told CRN that Mitel has some work to do to regain partners' trust. "Mitel is a really good company," he said. "But our channels haven't been working for us. We've created channel conflict beyond anything that should have been there, and our growth has been hampered by it."