5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Feb. 14

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include CDW's move to carry Google Apps for Business, Comcast's blockbuster acquisition of Time Warner Cable, IBM's new cloud initiatives for the channel, the latest acquisition by a fast-growing solution provider and a big round of financing for a hot Silicon Valley startup.

CDW Scores Google Apps Partnership

CDW this week said it would start offering Google Apps for Business as part of its growing cloud services portfolio. The savvy move makes CDW the first major national solution provider to sign up for Google Apps for Business.

The company also will provide professional services to help customers migrate to Google Apps from on-premise software or other cloud applications. In some cases CDW will rely on local solution providers, such as Denver-based Tempus Nova, to handle such work.

Other national solution providers and large-account resellers could quickly follow suit and strike similar deals with Google. But for the moment CDW has the lead.

Partners Cheer IBM's Channel Program For Cloud Growth

IBM unveiled a number of new incentives, programs and training opportunities at its annual PartnerWorld Leadership Conference this week designed to encourage partners to push more business into the cloud. And channel partners are cheering the move.

Many of the new channel initiatives were announced by Marc Dupaquier, the recently named general manager of IBM's global business partners. IBM also said it would provide a new PartnerWorld Cloud Benefit Guide to help partners navigate through the vendor's cloud benefits and offerings.

IBM partners have said that while the company has been late to the cloud party, it now has a solid lineup of critical technologies like its Fiberlink mobile software and SoftLayer cloud computing infrastructure. They also praised CEO Ginni Rometty's (pictured) focus on the cloud in her PartnerWorld keynote speech.

Comcast To Acquire Time Warner For $45.2 Billion

In a blockbuster deal that could combine the U.S.' two largest cable companies, Comcast plans to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion in a deal disclosed Thursday. The move could reshape the competitive landscape of the cable market and make Comcast the industry's powerhouse.

Channel partners who work with the two companies stand to benefit from the combination of Comcast's cloud services and hosted voice/data services and Time Warner Cable's portfolio of cloud infrastructure and Ethernet connectivity-based solutions for businesses.

Competitors such as AT&T and Verizon sure aren't happy about the deal, and we'll see what government regulators have to say. The companies don't expect to complete the merger until the end of this year.

Startup Tintri Raises $75M In VC Funding

Even by Silicon Valley standards, Tintri's $75 million in venture funding announced this week is a pretty good haul. The Mountain View, Calif.-based producer of data storage systems for virtualization and cloud environments said the Series E round of financing brings its total funding to $135 million.

Tintri is widely expected to go public soon, possibly this year. In its statement Thursday Tintri referred to the $75 million as a "pre-IPO" round of financing.

Tintri says its "application-aware" technology eliminates storage complexity and reduces costs in virtualized and cloud computing environments. The company will use the new financing to accelerate its global sales and marketing expansion and continue its technology development work.

Perficient Expands Its Presence In Financial Services With Acquisition

There's consolidation under way in the channel and the solution providers that will thrive are the ones that offer high-value skills in vertical markets. This week St. Louis-based Perficient, which has been aggressively acquiring technology consulting firms, acquired ForwardThink for $46 million.

ForwardThink is a $30 million-a-year services revenue management and technology consulting firm focused on the financial services industry. The acquisition deepens Perficient's business process improvement, payments, financial transformation and risk management capabilities. It also brings a roster of clients in the banking, wealth management, asset management, capital markets and insurance industries.

Along with expanding into vertical industries, Perficient (No. 79 on the CRN 2013 Solution Provider 500) has acquired other solution providers to expand its services around IBM, Salesforce.com and Microsoft products. The company's annual sales are approaching $430 million.