Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Polycom Trumpets 'Largest Product Launch" In Its History

Polycom is adding several new features and updates to its unified communications portfolio, and it is going to be relying on the channel to get the word out. In addition to letting users connect more easily to videoconferences with users of Skype, Facebook, Google Talk and other platforms using a Web browser, Polycom is driving down cost and improving the quality of its UC experience.

"This has been in the works for two years when you count road-map planning," Jim Kruger, Polycom senior vice president of global solutions marketing, told CRN. "We are accelerating here and we intend to be the leading company to buy video collaboration from, bar none."

VMware Supports Third-Party Clouds In vCloud Suite Update

VMware added several updates to vCloud Suite 5.1, the vSphere bundle it unveiled at VMworld, but the biggest addition was the ability to provision apps and services in third-party cloud infrastructure, something that would have seemed out of the question just a few months ago.

The big new addition is vCloud Automation Center, which is used for provisioning apps and services in vSphere environments. Through integration of technology from VMware's acquisition of DynamicOps, VMware is now supporting competing vendors' hypervisors and infrastructure in addition to vSphere.

"VMware is showing why management products need to evolve in cloud environments with a new approach, such as analytics," Rob Smoot, director of product marketing for VMware's management products, told CRN. "This gives administrators and operations teams more intelligence and helps IT be more of a service broker" within organizations.

Workday Shares Begin Trading At $28 In IPO

Workday, a purveyor of cloud-based human resources software, announced plans for an IPO in August and said at the time it expected to raise $400 million. Well, turns out that was way too low.

Workday shares began trading Friday at $28, up from the $24 to $26 target the company provided just a few days earlier, and the IPO is expected to be the largest ever for a cloud software company.

"Demand is many times multiple oversubscribed. This company is Oracle's and Salesforce's greatest nightmare," Daniel Sweet, partner at IPO Boutique, told

Security Vendor Rapid7 Acquires Startup Mobilisafe

Boston-based security vendor Rapid7 added a key piece to its technology portfolio with its acquisition of Mobilisafe, a Seattle-based startup whose staff includes former HP webOS and T-Mobile engineers.

Mobilisafe develops mobile risk management technology, which analyzes mobile devices that are connecting to a company's network to figure out potential issues related to the bring-your-own-device trend.

"Our customers are concerned about the BYOD phenomenon plus the amount of malware and automated exploit kits that are targeting the users," Corey Thomas, president of Rapid7, told CRN. "We wanted to answer those customer concerns, and we needed to do that in a way that is easy to manage for customers.

F5 Gets Aggressive With Cisco ACE Trade-In Promo

F5 is doubling down in its campaign to lure customers away from rival Cisco, and is now offering twice the trade-in value for Cisco load balancing and global server load balancing (GSLB) products.

F5 partners can earn additional front-end discounts when a Cisco ACE trade-in SKU is included in a purchase, and they can roll these into F5's Vault program for security sales.

Dean Darwin, senior vice president, worldwide partner organization at F5, said Cisco customers are already moving over to F5 as a result.