5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Feb. 28

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes major moves by AT&T and Cogent to build up their channel operations, Hewlett-Packard's efforts to step up its competition against rival Cisco in the networking equipment arena, Intel's move to boost its position in the mobile computing market, and a key acquisition by IBM that could take its cloud computing initiative up another notch.

AT&T Pumps $300M Into New Partner Financing Program

AT&T this week committed to investing the hefty sum of $300 million into its Partner Exchange channel program over the next three years, money the carrier giant said would be put toward expanded financing options for partners and new partner training resources.

The financing, including 60 days of interest-free working capital from GE Capital and Wells Fargo, is particularly significant. It's designed to help solution providers make the switch to selling AT&T's network, cloud, hosting and mobility services -- and transition to the recurring revenue model that comes with those services.

HP Challenges Cisco With Network Virtualization Technology

Hewlett-Packard this week unveiled its HP OpenNFV reference architecture aimed at moving telco service providers to industry-standard hardware with a potential savings of 35 percent to 50 percent. HP has been competing hard against Cisco in the networking business lately and OpenNFV likely will intensify that.

HP unveiled the OpenNFV initiative at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The company has established an NFV business unit, including OpenNFV labs, to develop network virtualization technologies for carriers and launched an extensive partnering effort to support NFV applications and services.

IBM Boosts Its Cloud Appeal With Acquisition

IBM will acquire Database-as-a-Service company Cloudant for an undisclosed sum in a move designed to generate more interest in its SoftLayer cloud platform and boost its relevance as a hosted infrastructure service provider.

IBM this week also said it plans to spend $1 billion on cloud software development over the next two years.

Boston-based Cloudant offers a hosted version of CouchDB, the open source NoSQL database that's designed to handle large volumes of data and transactions from business applications. IBM said it would offer the Cloudant service to customers for building mobile and Web applications.

Intel Steps Up Its Game In The Mobile Chip Market

Intel unveiled additions to its line of 64-bit Atom processors this week, strengthening its hand in the fast-growing mobile chip market. Intel has been battling competitors such as Qualcomm and Samsung, which manufacture ARM-based chips that dominate the mobile computing market.

Intel also said it struck deals with Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Foxconn to use Intel's chips in their upcoming mobile products. Industry analysts said the new partnerships could help Intel gain ground in its battle for mobile chip market share.

The new chips include the 64-bit Atom Z3480 processor (code-named Merrifield) for smartphones and tablets, and a 64-bit quad-core Atom processor for Android-based mobile devices (code-named Moorfield).

Cogent Launches Channel Program For Its Networking Services

Count Cogent, a provider of IP networking, Ethernet transport and co-location services, among the latest companies to discover the potential advantages of the channel.

This week Cogent launched its first formal partner program as it looks to drive more enterprise sales through the channel. Until now the company has worked with about 300 telecom agent partners, but lacked a formal partner strategy or program.

The company is looking to recruit four or five master agent partners this year and already has signed on AB&T Telecom and WTG. Cogent's embrace of the channel stemmed from the company's need to grow its sales footprint to support growth it's seen in its enterprise business and drive adoption of its new enterprise-focused products.