Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

SAP Looks To Take A Bite Out Of Oracle's Database Business

SAP this week made clear its intention to become a big-time player in database, data management and middleware software by leveraging its Sybase and HANA technologies.

"We have now, in our hands, the capability to be the fastest growing database company in the world," said Vishal Sikka, SAP executive board member, technology and innovation, at a press conference in San Francisco.

SAP is also looking to boost its profile in mobility and is working with Adobe, Appcelerator and Sencha to build a mobile apps development framework.

IBM Enters Converged Infrastructure Market With PureSystems Launch

IBM this week took the wraps off PureSystems, a converged infrastructure offering that combines server, storage, networking and management technologies into a single integrated platform. It's the culmination of a three-year, $2 billion project aimed at challenging data center incumbents.

IBM has signed up more than 125 ISVs, including just about every major software developer not named Oracle, and they have built more than 150 apps optimized for PureSystems.

Cisco Back On Right Track As Partner Summit Looms

At Cisco's 2010 partner conference in San Francisco, the wounds from its supply chain and product shortage products cast a pall over the proceedings. That pall had grown into a cumulonimbus-size problem by the time last year's Partner Summit in New Orleans rolled around, as Cisco was just beginning a yearlong transformation involving an aggressive cost-cutting campaign.

Cisco may not be out of the woods yet, but the networking giant has certainly shown signs that it has solved some of the issues that have dogged it the past couple of years.

"I don't think they're ready to say 'mission accomplished,' but it is a less-congested network to get through and a more streamlined organization now," Kent MacDonald, vice president of business development at Long View Systems, a Calgary-based solution provider and Cisco Gold partner, told CRN.

Palo Alto Networks Files For $175 Million IPO

Next-generation firewall upstart Palo Alto Networks filed its form S-1 this week in preparation for its long-anticipated IPO, in which it expects to raise $175 million.

Palo Alto's S-1 showed that it has doubled its revenue in the past year, though it was not yet profitable as of last summer.

Nonetheless, Palo Alto has become a darling in the networking and security markets and is aggressively taking the fight to established players such as Cisco, Check Point, Juniper and others.

Instagram Pops Champagne After Getting Acquired By Facebook For $1 Billion

Photo sharing/social networking startup Instagram is about as far from the enterprise IT sphere of influence as it is possible to get, but its 13 employees deserve major props for building a product that Facebook saw fit to spent $1 billion to acquire. That is all.

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