Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Dell Adds Security To Data Center Portfolio With SonicWall Deal

Dell this week pulled the trigger on its acquisition of SonicWall, a deal that Wall Street analysts say is in the $1 billion to $1.5 billion range, and immediately signaled its intention to acquire more security vendors.

"We are building a strategic software portfolio to address the needs of our customers with key assets in the fast-growing and highly profitable IT security solutions business. Our customers see security as a key IT concern for the foreseeable future," John Swainson, president of Dell Software Group, said in a statement this week.

Michael Dell is serious about filling in the remaining gaps in Dell's portfolio to become a fully fledged data center infrastructure player, and deals such as this are evidence.

Microsoft Cuts Office 365 Enterprise Price By 20 Percent

Microsoft is lopping 20 percent off the price of its Office 365 for enterprise suite of cloud apps, a move the software giant said is possible because it is signing up so many customers. Microsoft is also making its Office 365 A2 service plan free to students, faculty and other academic institution staff.

"This is the beauty of the cloud where we can deliver economies of scale through our worldwide data centers and economies of skill with our engineers, administrators, and support teams operating the service," Kirk Koenigsbauer, vice president of the Microsoft Office Division Product Management Group, said in a blog post.

Cisco Adds Video Software, Content Security In $5B NDS Group Deal

Look who's back -- with a vengeance -- in the M&A game.

Cisco is spending $5 billion to acquire U.K.-based NDS Group Ltd., a video software and content security vendor that helps service providers and media companies deliver video content. It's Cisco's largest acquisition in eight years, and the networking giant will use NDS' technologies in Videoscape, its home entertainment platform for service providers.

"Our strategy has always been driven by customer need and on capturing market transitions. Our acquisition of NDS fits squarely into this strategy, enabling content and service providers to deliver new video solutions that leverage the cloud and drive new monetization opportunities and service differentiation," John Chambers, Cisco's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Avaya Plunks Down $230M For Videoconferencing Vendor Radvision

Avaya this week acquired videoconferencing specialist Radvision, a move that brings extra functionality to Aura, Avaya's virtualized unified communications platform.

Radvision is known for its ability to provide video experiences for a range of scenarios, including mobile devices, its Scopia video product line, and its recently released high-end videoconferencing system, the XT5000. Radvision also has a suite of voice and video developer tools, called BEEHD, that fits with Avaya's emphasis on app development and third-party developer partners.

Appirio Scores $60M In VC Funding, Plans More Deals

Appirio scored $60 million in VC funding and vowed to acquire other companies to boost its worldwide cloud consulting practice. "We would like to buy 'mini-Appirios' that are doing what Appirio is doing around Web services and which are developing ways to help enterprise extend social media like Twitter and Facebook," Narinder Singh, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Appirio, told CRN.

Appirio, which partners with, Google and Amazon, plans to continue its cloud management, asset control and development projects. "We started out with the notion of helping enterprises move to the cloud and we said we would transform the global systems integrator model. This remains true today," Singh told CRN.

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