5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes major moves by Dell to boost its channel efforts, savvy channel moves by a mobile messaging startup, a key product introduction in the converged infrastructure arena, Microsoft's latest cloud service effort, and companies that made a "Best Places To Work" list.

Partners are applauding the sweeping channel program overhaul Dell unveiled at its Dell World conference this week. The changes will add up to significant new sales in 2014, solution providers said.

Topping the list of changes is a plan to move roughly 200,000 Dell Direct accounts to the channel where partners and direct sales representatives will jointly manage them. The company also is developing incentives for sales representatives to work more closely with partners to grow sales of data center solutions and drive new business.

The incentives include a 20 percent "compensation accelerator" for its direct sales team to generate new enterprise business with Dell channel partners. Dell is also quadrupling investments in demo and field equipment, as well as in its partner bonus programs.

It's not only big companies like Dell who courted solution providers this week. Startup HeyWire, a developer of cloud-based mobile messaging services for text-enabling business landlines, is launching a channel program to capitalize on the bring-your-own-device trend.

Cambridge, Mass.-based HeyWire said the new HeyWire Business Channel Partner Program will allow solution providers to sell HeyWire iOS and Android applications under a white-label option or integrate HeyWire business messaging into their own mobile applications or Web services.

The use of text messaging within enterprise business environments is taking off. Kudos to HeyWire for recognizing the potential value of the channel in helping the company capture part of that growing market.

Hewlett-Packard this week showed that it's serious about competing in the market for converged infrastructure systems, launching the HP ConvergedSystems data center infrastructure, code-named Shark.

The HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Virtualization and other products in the line debuted ahead of the vendor's Discover conference in Barcelona, Spain, this week. Channel partners said the new line of products is a major threat to competitors in the converged infrastructure arena, including the EMC-Cisco-VMware VCE VBlock products. Two top partners are predicting the new line will boost their sales by 25 percent in 2014.

Not that the competition is standing still. Cisco executives this week disclosed that the company is readying its Unified Compute System 2.0 strategy, the next phase of the vendor's push into converged infrastructure systems.

Amazon may dominate the public cloud arena and VMware may rule in data centers. But this week Microsoft made a move to increase its presence in both markets.

Thursday Microsoft unveiled the Cloud OS Network, which the company described as a consortium of service providers that have agreed to upgrade their data centers to the latest versions of Microsoft's cloud software and use it to deliver their own services. Cloud OS Network service providers agree to use Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, both of which Microsoft launched in October, and the Windows Azure Pack, a free add-on that brings public cloud features such as self-service and multitenancy to Windows Server-based private clouds.

So far, Microsoft has signed up 25 service providers spanning 90 global markets, which collectively run 425 data centers serving 3 million customers.

The winners here are employees in the IT industry. A list of the 50 "Best Places To Work" compiled by Glassdoor includes 11 technology companies, NetApp, Red Hat and Google among them.

Employees rated their companies on Glassdoor's website on such criteria as culture and values, work/life balance, senior management, compensation and benefits, and career opportunities. Employees also approved or disapproved of their CEO and said whether they would recommend the company to a friend.

Four technology companies were in the Top 10, including three social media companies. Go here to find out which 11 technology companies made the list and to see comments employees had about their employers.