Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Apple Recruiting Microsoft Partners For iPad Integrations

Apple this week is turning up the volume on its campaign to get Microsoft solution providers to join the Apple Consultants Network, a pre-requisite for obtaining the new Mobility Technical Certification.

This week at the HTG Peer Group conference, held in conjunction with the Connectwise IT Nation event, Apple's de facto channel chief Francois Daumard made his pitch to Microsoft partners, a group with which he's already quite familiar from his 12 years at Microsoft.

Why is Apple reaching out like this? Because it needs Windows and Exchange expertise to make sure corporate iPad deployments go smoothly. Microsoft partners, who are probably a year away from being able to deploy Windows 8 tablets, are eager to get a piece of this business.

OpSource Offering Pay-As-You-Drink Microsoft, Oracle Software

OpSource is giving customers a way to avoid hefty software licensing fees with its launch of OpSource Cloud Software, which packages popular Microsoft and Oracle products in a pay-per-drink model.

According to OpSource, Cloud Software gives organizations software such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint and other database and middleware platforms on a pay-per-use basis as opposed to requiring large licensing fees. The software is available on demand and priced hourly or monthly.

Accel Partners Earmarks $100 Million For Big Data Startups

VC firm Accel Partners this week launched a $100 million fund aimed at startups working on next-generation storage, data management, data analytics, vertical applications and mobile technologies.

"Big Data is the future of IT and we believe Big Data will drive the next-generation of multi-billion dollar software companies," said Ping Li, an Accel Partners executive who focuses on investments in early-stage and growth software and digital media companies, in a statement.

Symantec Unveils New Managed Services Strategy

Symantec, in an effort to make it easier and more cost effective for partners to deliver managed backup and security, unveiled a new MSP program at the Connectwise IT Nation event in Orlando.

Backup Exec and Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1 are now integrated with remote monitoring and management (RMM) platforms from Kaseya, LabTech, Level Platforms and N-able Technologies. The idea is to give customers and partner more ways to purchase Symantec products, Randy Cochran, Symantec vice president of channel sales for the Americas, said at the event.

"We think we really have a winner here. Whether you want the solution in traditional licensing, through an appliance form factor, in the cloud, or connected into an RMM platform, we have that capability," he said.

Avaya Gives Its Channel A Major Makeover

Avaya this week unveiled an initiative to "clean up" its partner channel, and effort that includes the recruitment of new channel partners and the cutting of ones whose performance isn't up to snuff.

In 2010, Avaya cut about 1,200 partners globally, and plans to cut nearly 1,000 more during its new fiscal year, Jeremy Butt, Avaya's vice president of worldwide channels, told CRN. "We have plenty of people approaching us," Butt said. "It's not like we're going to have to look for partners."