5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Sept. 13

This week's roster of companies that came to win includes the final chapter of the long-running Dell-Icahn battle over the future of the Dell company, a major Cisco acquisition that's rattling competitors, savvy supply-chain moves by HP, a key acquisition by an IBM partner and key channel program enhancements by a networking equipment company.

Also, be sure to check out our roundup of 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week.

Michael Dell Wins, Company To Go Private

After months of wrangling, negotiating and maneuvering, Michael Dell finally won a shareholder vote to take private the company he started in his University of Texas dorm room 29 years ago for $24.8 billion.

With the backing of private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and shareholders, Michael Dell will own 75 percent of the company and remain CEO. In addition, he will attempt to turn Dell into a broad-based IT systems supplier with increased focus on security software, big data services, and enterprise "IT in a box" hardware and software systems.

Whiptail Acquisition Makes Cisco A Storage Player -- Sort Of

Cisco this week said it would acquire flash storage technology vendor Whiptail for $415 million, a move the company said was aimed at boosting the performance of its server products.

The planned acquisition immediately raised questions about the potential impact on Cisco's storage system manufacturer partners, EMC and NetApp, and on Cisco's commitment to VCE, the Cisco-EMC joint venture.

Cisco said it would integrate the Whiptail technology with its own Cisco UCS server platform to speed up its application-processing capabilities. That will make Cisco more competitive in the server market against rivals Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Cisco took pains to say it has no plans to compete as a storage system vendor and that the VCE alliance remains strong.

HP Maneuvers To Capitalize On Potential DRAM Shortage

Hewlett-Packard moved fast this week to lock up an "unfair share" of available supplies of DRAM chips in the wake of a fire at a China manufacturing facility last week that pushed up spot prices for the chips and raised concerns about potential shortages.

HP supply-chain managers and executives from its Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) group met this week to make sure it has enough DRAM chips from its component suppliers to meet the needs of its PC, printer and server operations. PPS Senior VP John Solomon said HP wanted to be sure it had "an unfair share" of DRAM supplies for the company's needs.

Why "unfair"? HP is in a dog fight with Dell, Lenovo, and other PC and server makers, and locking up a big supply of DRAM chips now before prices go higher will help HP with its plans to be more price-aggressive in that fight. Talk about making lemonade from lemons …

Synnex Buys IBM's Customer Care Services Business For $505 Million

Synnex and IBM announced a deal this week under which Synnex would acquire IBM's business process outsourcing customer care services business. Distributor Synnex will operate them under its Concentrix Corp. global business services division.

The deal establishes Concentrix as a Top 10 player in the customer services marketplace and will help it grow sales through its channel partners to midsize businesses, the company said. Synnex also is entering into a multiyear agreement with IBM to become an IBM preferred for global customer care business partner.

Juniper Program Aims To Aid Partners' Move To Cloud, SDN

Good partner programs offer solid margins, effective technical assistance and other basics. But the best ones go further, helping solution providers enter new markets and profit from industry transitions.

Juniper Networks this week expanded its Partner Advantage channel program to include new partner specializations around its cloud and software-defined networking products.

The new Partner Advantage Cloud program will accelerate partner training and go-to-market assistance around Juniper's cloud and SDN offerings, including cloud security products, QFabric and the upcoming Contrail SDN Controller. The program also segments and rewards partner cloud capabilities based on three new partner types: Cloud systems integrators, cloud services providers and cloud infrastructure partners.