Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Apple Challenges Large Swath Of IT Industry With iCloud

Apple this week unveiled iCloud, its new cloud data syncing service, and in the process caused headaches for CEOs in the music, telecommunications, and of course, incumbent cloud computing players.

iCloud stores music, photos, apps, calendars, documents and more in the cloud and automatically wirelessly pushes that content to up to 10 devices. Apple plans to shutter its MobileMe cloud subscription service, and while the offering wasn't Apple's finest work, the company says it learned much from developing it.

Meanwhile, Apple also unveiled its Messages app, which will enable users to text and multimedia message each other without the involvement of carriers. Is there any industry Apple isn't afraid of upsetting? Rhetorical, of course.

Google Adds Premier Reseller Ranking To Google Apps Program

Google partners have been clamoring for a Premier Reseller tier for Google Apps, and now they've been granted their wish. This week, Google added the Premier Reseller ranking to its program and said Authorized Resellers can make the transition based on revenue, technical expertise, training and certifications and customer success.

HP Plunks $2 Billion In Financing On Table For Cloud Customers

HP is marching boldly into cloud computing and urging its partners and customers to follow its lead. To make this a more feasible proposition, HP this week said it has flagged $2 billion in cloud financing to help clients move forward with planned deployments, in conjunction with HP Financial Services.

HP said the $2 billion in cloud financing will be made available for HP cloud offerings and can take the form of leases and other specialized financing offers; sale and lease-back of existing infrastructure, deferred payment plans; and other financing options.

Avaya Set To Become A Public Company -- Again

Avaya was taken private in 2007 for $8.2 billion by private equity firms Silver Lake and TPG Capital. This week, the Lucent Technologies took its first step toward becoming a public company again.

Avaya did not disclose how many shares it will sell, or an expected price range, or whether it will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ, but said the IPO will be for $1 billion of its common stock. Avaya's potential IPO plans were first reported earlier this week by The Wall Street Journal. Avaya plans to use IPO proceeds to repay debt, redeem preferred shares and pay fees to sponsors.

Michael Dell Gets All Warm And Fuzzy With Storage Channel

This week at Dell's Storage Forum conference in Orlando, Fla. Dell Computer Chairman and CEO Michael Dell expressed his love for both storage technology and the channel, and said storage has become a primary focus for his company. "We love the channel," Dell said at the event. "I think we are the fastest-growing channel force in the world."

Although this scenario sounds like it was lifted from a story from The Onion, it's a clear sign that Dell knows it has no chance of competing in this space without stronger channel relationship. The recent success of NetApp has stemmed in large part from its channel relationships, and this hasn’t escaped Dell's notice.