Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Oracle Steps Up Its Channel Game

Oracle is looking to expand its already sizable base of channel partners by 25 percent, and it's looking to sign up the cream-of-the-crop partners from rivals like HP, VMware, NetApp and EMC to sell its higher end enterprise products.

Oracle is approaching this strategically, recruiting partners through a call center, and with a strategic VAR recruitment team that's reaching out to partner candidates from around the world.

That’s not all: Oracle also has a centralized team that conducts intelligence work on which partners can target.

"We are going after the top 20 percent with the 80/20 rule," Oracle Senior Vice President Judson Althoff, who oversees the company's worldwide alliances, channels and embedded sales efforts, told CRN.

IBM Grabs Top Spot In Servers During Q3

IBM overtook Oracle and HP for the top spot in server revenue during the third quarter, according to Gartner's quarterly market share figures released this week.

IDC also released its Q3 server market figures this week, and it found that IBM's Power server line grabbed significant market share from HP and Oracle's Unix server families. In IDC's report, previous server market leader HP dropped into a statistical tie with IBM for the top spot.

Clearly, IBM has been able to capitalize on the feuding of HP and Oracle over the future of Itanium development.

New Citrix Channel Chief Looks To Align Field Sales With Channel

Citrix this week appointed Mike Fouts, a ten-year company veteran, as its new senior director of Americas channels and field operations.

Fouts, who had previously headed up sales and services for the Southeastern U.S., is no stranger to the channel. His experience spans both field and channel sales, and he told CRN that improving alignment between the two camps will be one of his first priorities.

In his previous role, "I had a front row seat to the selling, marketing and partner motion, and I bring the perspective of selling side-by-side with partners," Fouts said in an interview.

Bluewolf Offering Free Salesforce Training To Unemployed IT Pros

IT talent is tough to find these days, and luring good people away from other companies is expensive business. Cloud provider Bluewolf is well aware of this, and so it's reaching out to unemployed IT professionals and offering them free Salesforce certification training courses.

Bluewolf's program, unveiled this week at's CloudForce New York event, is part of a larger effort to recruit untapped industry talent. Bluewolf's view is that new cloud, mobile and social technologies and services are creating a skills gap in the marketplace, and programs like this one are a creative potential solution to the problem -- and the very definition of a win-win.

Verizon Comes Out Of CarrierIQ Mess Smelling Like Roses

Verizon Wireless this week distanced itself from the CarrierIQ controversy by insisting that it doesn't use the company's network analytics software, or any similar potentially privacy trampling software.

In doing so, Verizon must have surely scored points with some customers of AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, all of which have acknowledged using the software. Those carriers all deny using CarrierIQ to track customer data, but the way this issue blew up this week, their claims likely went unheard by many in the din of controversy.

It's a bit of a windfall for Verizon, a happy accident, and perhaps a point of differentiation that could someday find its way into the carrier's marketing. One possible example: A Droid commercial with robot arms clutching the latest paper thin smartphone, followed by the tagline, "We might use silly futuristic imagery to flog our products, but hey, at least we don't track your keystrokes."