5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

Apple Devices Win Pentagon Approval

The B-2 stealth bomber. The Patriot missile. The M1 Abrams tank. And … the Apple iPhone?

Earlier this month the Pentagon approved Apple iPhones and iPads running iOS 6 as a secure platform for use on U.S. military networks. Federal systems integrators say the decision is a big win for Apple and could spell trouble for BlackBerry -- the military's prior mobile device of choice. (The Pentagon has also approved the BlackBerry 10 smartphone, Blackberry PlayBook tablet and Samsung Galaxy S4 for military use.)

Solution providers expect a wave of new iOS applications designed for use by military personnel. "There are a zillion folks who use Apple devices," said Harry Martin, president and CEO of Intelligent Decisions, an Ashburn, Va.-based solution provider to the federal government. "It's going to be natural for them to use those devices within the B2B and military communities," he said, calling the Apple win a "game-changer."

Brocade And A10 Networks Settle Patent Dispute

The IT industry is rife with lawsuits that seem to go on forever -- just take a look at the Oracle-SAP legal slugfest that began in March 2007 and continues to this day. With the amount of time and resources devoted to some of these cases, it seems that only the lawyers come out the winners.

This week Brocade and A10 Networks resolved a two-year patent dispute. True, Brocade largely won a court ruling in January that awarded it $60 million in damages and an injunction that prevented A10 from selling the infringing products. That meant A10 was under some pressure to settle.

All too often that just means it's time to appeal. But Brocade and A10 chose to settle the case (terms were not disclosed), rather than let the case drag on. Both companies were satisfied with what they described as an "amicable" resolution -- and both went back to work.

Motorola To Open Manufacturing Facility In Fort Worth

Very few -- if any -- consumer electronics products are manufactured in the U.S. these days. So kudos to Motorola, which this week announced plans to open a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, which will produce what the company said would be the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S.

The North Fort Worth facility, a former Nokia cell phone assembly plant, will manufacture Motorola's new Moto X smartphone. The plant is expected to create as many as 2,000 new jobs when it's fully operational later this summer. Motorola will be working with manufacturing partner Flextronics to operate the plant.

AMD Takes On Intel's Atom With New Opteron Server Chips

AMD this week unveiled the Opteron X-Series, a new family of low-power server processors designed for scale-out server architectures. The processors are designed to compete against archrival Intel's Atom processor, and AMD touted a number of the Opteron X-Series speeds-and-feeds statistics.

"This is the highest-density, most power-efficient small-core x86 chip ever built," said Andrew Feldman, vice president and general manager of AMD's Server Business Unit.

But the game of technological leapfrog goes on: Intel has already announced a new line of Atom chips called Silvermont that are based on a system-on-a chip architecture and manufactured using Intel's 22nm design.

HP Names Channel Veteran To Step Up Sales Of Enterprise Portfolio

Hewlett-Packard recognizes that it needs to step up its game when it comes to selling its enterprise-class products. This week the company appointed Mike Parrottino, a 24-year HP veteran, to lead the charge on improving the company's pricing, promotions and programs aimed at getting more partners to sell the full HP product portfolio.

Parrottino, previously vice president and general manager of Americas Channel Marketing/SMB, was named to the new post -- vice president of enterprise group channels volume sales -- with the first order of business being to improve HP's ability to drive "transactional" sales of the company's enterprise products. That's where HP came up short in its second fiscal quarter, with enterprise group sales down 10 percent to $6.8 billion as the company finds itself in a dogfight with competitors Dell, Cisco and EMC.