Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Amazon Takes On Apple's iPad With Bigger Kindle

Amazon launched its new Kindle Fire HD, which sports an 8.9-inch screen, dual Wi-Fi antennae, and is available in a 16-GB version for $299 and a 32-GB version with 4G LTE version for $499.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, at the Kindle Fire HD launch event, said the goal of the new device is to connect users with content and services. "A hardware device as a service," he said. "That's what everybody wants. ... Hardware is a critical part of the service. Absolutely essential."

Cisco Upgrades Physical Security, Surveillance Portfolio

Cisco updated its physical security and video surveillance portfolio, including a new version of its surveillance software certified to run in Cisco Unified Computing System environments.

Guido Jouret (pictured at a separate event), CTO of Cisco's emerging technologies group, said Cisco has all the necessary pieces of the puzzle, from cameras to management software. "You don't get end-to-end, you get lowest-common-denominator integration by buying each [piece] from different people," Jouret said in a press conference.

Schneider Electric's APC Targets Energy Use In Data Centers

Schneider Electric has a new channel program for solution providers that handle energy assessments for customers.

Under the program, APC by Schneider Electric engineers visit potential data center customers on behalf of the solution provider to do energy audits of current data center operations. They also do assessments on the impact of moving to a public or private cloud.

"The demands of energy for data centers are increasing while the supply is decreasing," Gordon Lord (pictured at a CRN awards event), director of IT distribution and channel marketing for Schneider Electric, told CRN. "Just look at what virtualization is doing. It is becoming efficient to virtualize storage and servers. But at the same time, it is leading to an increase in density. We need to look at ways to address these hot spots."

Open-Source Telephony Upstart Digium Making Channel Inroads

A few years after launching a channel program around Asterisk, Digium now has more than 2,000 partners and launched its own branded VoIP phones in April.

As the company looks to recruit more partners, Angie Reed, Digium's product marketing manager for Switchvox, told CRN Digium will try to get more partners using the Switchvox Extend API, which enables the integration of Switchvox with other business applications through the use of common programming languages such as PHP and PERL.

"We do see quite a few people starting to use it," Reed said. "We see it as a way to do more custom applications."

Nutanix Scores $33 Million VC Round, Joins VMware's Hadoop Party

Startup Nutanix, which sells storage and virtual server technology, closed a $33 million round of funding and is stepping up its development work around the Hadoop big data technology.

With VMware Serengeti technology bundled in the Nutanix solution, customers will be able to set up Hadoop to run in a virtual machine within a half-hour, Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and CEO of Nutanix, told CRN.

"We will push VMware in Hadoop environments and ride the wave VMware is creating in Hadoop," he said.