Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

VMware Listens To Customers, Changes vSphere 5 Licensing

Companies rarely back down after making controversial changes to product licensing that will funnel more money into their coffers, but that's what VMware did this week when it unveiled changes to its vSphere 5 licensing model that will allow customers to build bigger VMs.

Under the vSphere 5 licensing model VMware introduced last month, customers would have had to pay more for over-allocating RAM to virtual machines on the host, and now they won't.

Simply put, VMware heard the roar of disapproval emanating from within its customer base and responded with a compromise that should calm fears while maintaining VMware's ability to, you know, make money.

Lenovo Brings ThinkPad Tablet Noise To Channel

Lenovo is leading an aggressive new branding effort and is preparing to launch its commercial-focused ThinkPad tablet on Aug. 23. The ThinkPad tablet, which comes with Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor and Android 3.1 operating system, could give enterprises a more secure and easily managed alternative to the iPad and help catapult Lenovo into a discussion in which it has been noticeably absent.

"We're really jazzed," Lincoln Ekle, president and co-owner of On-Site Computer Guy in Hinckley, Ill., told CRN. "[Lenovo's] tablets have great applications in health care and education, and they've got a set of ideal features for businesses that want to secure and protect their data but also share through the cloud."

HP Vows To Fire Direct Sales Reps That Mess With VARs

Aware of the longstanding channel conflict that has often flared between HP's Technology Services direct sales reps and channel partners, HP this week made a bold declaration: We will fire direct sales reps that try to poach deals from partners.

HP partners have heard this before -- why should they believe HP this time? For starters, Ken Archer, vice president of channels and alliances for HP's Technology Services group in the Americas, and a former solution provider executive, returned to HP earlier this year specifically to assist with HP's services charge. Archer sees trust as the linchpin of Technology Services engagements.

"If you don't prioritize and maintain trust and predictability in partnering relationships -- and I am talking about sales engagements -- then everything kind of falls apart," Archer said. "You will not get the extension and augmentation of your selling and delivery if partners don't trust us or we don't trust them."

HP has some work to do in building this trust, but its vow to fire meddling direct sales reps shows an impressive resolve to fix a problem that hasn't gone away over the years.

Virtualization Upstart Liquidware Labs Rebuilding Vizioncore Team

Virtualization upstart Liquidware Labs Monday said it hired away three executives from Quest Software, all of whom came to Quest through the company's 2008 acquisition of server virtualization startup Vizioncore.

Chris Akerberg, former vice president of global sales for server virtualization at Quest Software, is joining Liquidware Labs as senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. David Feathergill, former chief architect at Quest Software, is joining as chief software architect. And Grace Krokidas has been brought in as vice president of worldwide marketing.

These three will join Jason Mattox, co-founder of Vizioncore and a 15-year virtualization industry veteran, as its CTO. There's something to be said for synergy between former employees who meshed in the past, and Liquidware Labs appears to be aiming to tap into this.

GreenPages Ups The Ante In Private Cloud Computing

Solution provider GreenPages this week unveiled its own private label cloud offering and declared its intention to become a "private label cloud" provider.

The GreenPages' private label cloud offering represents a throw-down of sorts against telecommunciations services giants, which some faster and more nimble solution providers acting as cloud builders view as a competitive threat.

GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler told CRN the company intends to unveil in several weeks a "data bus" solution that will allow customers to safely move data from in-house applications to enterprise hybrid and public clouds and a cloud computing management-as-a-service offering that can be purchased as a monthly service.