Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Apple Sharpens Its Channel Strategy

Apple grew its channel presence this week with the on-boarding of 10 new channel execs and mid-level managers, who bring years of experience at some of the most channel-centric organizations in the industry.

"This is a significant opportunity for you to enter the mobility area ahead of the competition and become the local ’mobility guru’ that is able to help small and large businesses alike place mobile devices on their networks in a secure and meaningful manner," said Arlin Sorensen, CEO of Heartland Technology Solutions and HTG Peer Groups.

While this shift is perhaps surprising (as Apple prides itself on the simplicity of its products), the influx of iPads and iPhones in businesses brought on a need for channel-provided integration services. Through its Mobility Technical Competency (MTC) program, the organization is building an Apple Consultants Network to allow solution providers to obtain certification for deploying iPhones and iPads on enterprise networks.

Avaya Taps Karl Soderlund To Lead Channels

Avaya announced this week that Karl Soderlund – former senior vice president of worldwide sales and business development at Certeon – will be the new vice president of U.S. channel sales for the organization.

Soderlund, who’s probably best known in the channel from his earlier role as Americas vice president and general manager for sales and marketing at HP, will fill the void left by Avaya’s former channel exec, Carol Giles Neslund.

Many channel partners see Soderlund as a familiar face, and are excited about his new role at Avaya. "Karl was a key driver of getting the Certeon channel program off the ground," said Peter Dougherty, Certeon's CEO and co-founder, in a statement e-mailed to CRN. "He accomplished the mission he was hired to do for Certeon and left on excellent terms to pursue new opportunities. We benefited tremendously from having someone of his caliber assist us in our channel efforts."

Google Launches Revamped Cloud Services

Google introduced a revamped suite of cloud services this week, featuring the launch of Google Cloud Storage, updates to the Google App Engine, the availability of Cloud SQL, and the latest release of Prediction API, a cloud-based analysis tool.

In addition to targeting the 200,000 users already leveraging their cloud services, the release is aimed toward enterprise organizations hoping to deploy host applications on Google’s cloud infrastructure. "We are enabling our enterprise customers to build business solutions that take advantage of the computing power and scalability of Google's cloud services without all the hassles of deployment of applications," Google Group Product Manager Jessie Jiang wrote in a blog.

This updated suite follows the launch of the Google Cloud Transformation Program, a new initiative for resellers, allowing them to offer more cloud services to augment Google product sales.

Dell Shows Support for Channel, PC Market

Dell CEO Michael Dell stressed the significance of the PC business Thursday during the opening keynote at Dell World in Austin, Texas, reaffirming the staying power of Dell’s PC-focused strategy.

The executive positioned Dell’s PC strategy within the organization’s overall or ’end-to-end’ solution offering. ’The client device is a huge part of the solution for customers. But they also want the server part, the storage part, networking, security, services. It's all part of the complete solution," Dell said.

Dell’s address also paid recognition to channel partners, expressing the organization’s hope to enlist 100,000 VARs in its PartnerDirect program world-wide. ’The channel has been key. It expands the reach of our solutions to the broadest set of customers we can provide.’

Nvidia's GPUs To Power WorldSMQ-8217-SMQs Fastest Supercomputer

Nvidia announced Tuesday that its Tesla GPUs will serve as the powerhouse behind the Titan supercomputer being built at Oak Ridge National Lab. The machine will be used by the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate research initiatives, including climate change patterns.

The supercomputer, which will build upon the functionality of Oak Ridge National Lab’s current supercomputer, Jaguar, is anticipated to be the fastest and most energy-efficient in the world. Titan’s anticipated success comes largely from the machine’s planned use of GPUs which yield much lower cooling costs than traditional CPUs.

’GPUs are the right path, moving forward, given the power constraints we’re all facing,’ Steve Scott, chief technology officer of Tesla products at Nvidia, told CRN. ’And seeing an organization [Oak Ridge National Lab] of this status, with such an important mission, is a huge validation of this direction.’