5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

VMware Throws Channel Multiple Bones At Partner Conference

At its annual Partner Exchange conference, VMware unveiled a series of programs aimed at making life easier and more profitable for partners.

These include a pre-paid cloud credit program for customers, which generates upfront revenue for VARs, and an up-front margin accelerator for partners that sell the Operations Manager virtualization monitoring and management software with vSphere. The goal here is to get partners to make the transition from selling virtualization to selling cloud, and allow them to make more money along the way.

Microsoft Finally Allows Partners To Own Office Cloud Billing

Microsoft introduced its first cloud-based Office service in 2008, and since that time, partners haven't been able to bill customers directly for the service. This has been a bone of contention in the Microsoft channel for years, but this week, the wall came down, so to speak.

Now partners can recognize the sale of Office 365, one of Microsoft's fastest-growing products, Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, told CRN. "A lot of partners have made a lot of money selling on premise. We want to make sure they can make just as much if not more selling cloud," Roskill said.

Cisco Closes $475 Million Acquisition Of Intucell

Cisco wrapped up its $475 million acquisition of Intucell, a maker of self-optimizing network software, and now it's poised to use the technology to help mobile operators improve their LTE 4G networks to handle the exploding usage of mobile devices.

"The proliferation of connected mobile devices, faster network speeds, and growing demand for high-bandwidth applications and services are driving greater network traffic and complexity," Hilton Romanski, head of corporate business development at Cisco, said in a blog post.

Hortonworks Brings Hadoop Big Data Offering To Windows

Hortonworks, a startup that's gaining sway in the big data space, rolled out a Hadoop distribution for Windows, a move that could significantly expand its addressable market.

Hadoop distributions have previously run only on Linux, and Hortonworks is the first to bring Windows into the mix. "The really noteworthy thing here is the extent to which this now enables the Microsoft ecosystem to start building applications that leverage Hadoop as a data store," Dave McJannet, vice president of marketing at Hortonworks, told CRN.

Intel's Foundry Business Adds Altera As Customer

Intel scored a big customer win this week when Altera, a vendor of programmable computer processors, inked a 12-year deal with Intel's foundry business. According to The Wall Street Journal, Altera will use Intel's 14nm process, which is expected to be ready around the end of the year.

Altera is the first big company to publicly announce a customer relationship with Intel, though Intel does work with a handful of smaller companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.