Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Red Hat Steps Up Cloud Game With ManageIQ Acquisition

Red Hat's third-quarter revenue jumped 18 percent, but more significant was its acquisition of ManageIQ, a cloud management and automation software vendor that specializes in management of private clouds and virtual desktop infrastructure. Red Hat plans to slot ManageIQ into its own management portfolio, including CloudForms for managing hybrid clouds and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for virtualization management.

"[ManageIQ has] a set of technologies that are very strong in [cloud-based] operational management, such as orchestration of cloud workloads, monitoring and charge-back," Bryan Che, Red Hat's senior director and general manager for cloud business, told CRN.

Google Aims To Take Lion-Sized Bite Out Of Microsoft Office

For years, Google has been talking about making a dent in Microsoft's Office market share in the enterprise, but its claims have sounded like wishful thinking. This year was different, though, as Google Apps started getting adoption in large scale customer accounts, according to Amit Singh, head of Google's Enterprise business unit.

Google intends to continue building on this momentum to attack the Microsoft Office cash cow. "Our goal is to get to the 90 percent of users who don’t need to have the most advanced features of Office," Singh said in an interview with All Things Digital.

MokaFive Looking To Bring Desktop Virtualization To Channel

Desktop virtualization in the channel has so far been a glittering jewel that not everyone has been able to grasp, but vendor MokaFive is trying to change that perception. In the three months after launching its VDI channel program this summer, MokaFive saw its pipeline grow by some $300 million. For a company that was previously focused on direct sales, this spike was a surprising and welcome development.

"We were primarily direct," Bill Thompson, vice president of worldwide channels and sales at MokaFive told CRN earlier this fall. "But we needed breadth, and through the channel you get the widest breadth. Now, the organization is 100-percent channel-focused. We want partners who want to invest."

Microsoft Planning To Open Six Retail Stores In 2013

After opening more than 50 retail locations in 2012, Microsoft is planning to add six more to its lineup in the coming year. According to Geekwire, Microsoft intends to open new retail stores in Miami, San Francisco, San Antonio, St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Beachwood, Ohio, which would bring its total number of stores in the U.S. and Canada to 37. Microsoft stores and kiosks are still much harder to find than Apple stores, but it looks like would-be Surface tablet buyers will have more opportunities to get their hands on the product.

Polycom Says It's Beating Cisco To Video Market Opportunities

Polycom CEO Andy Miller (pictured) claims his company's adherence to open standards make its products run a Cisco network better than Cisco's. This means native integration with Microsoft Lync versus Cisco's gateway approach, as well as other enterprise collaboration advantages. And Polycom is finding this to be a powerful competitive advantage against Cisco, Miller told CRN.

"Where we lose is where they bring [Cisco CEO] John [Chambers] in, or if a buyer says, 'Well' I'm going Cisco no matter what.' But eight out of 10 times, we can win against Cisco," Miller told CRN. "The challenge for our partners is making it appear to the end user that what we have and what we leverage from the partners we work with is so easy to procure so it looks like a one-stop shop. That can happen easily with systems integrators and carriers, and we're trying to make more partners do that well."