5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ended March 21, 2014

This week's roundup of companies that came to win included a collection of wins by HP in the server space; SAP doubling down in the SME market; IBM putting NSA concerns to rest; a revamped Xerox partner program; and a win for the whole channel as its stocks outperformed partner vendors.

HP Posts Strong Storage Sales, Takes Aim At IBM

HP kicked off the week with strong storage sales numbers, growing 25.3 percent against the same period last year, according to a Gartner report. While other storage companies also posted growth, HP led the pack with the highest growth rate in the category. Solution providers chimed in, saying that HP has been taking a more aggressive stance in storage against rivals Cisco and IBM.

HP wasn't done there, rounding off the week with its release of HP Shark ConvergedSystem for SAP HANA in a move to snag market share from IBM's SAP servers.

SAP Making Big SME Partner Investments

SAP is making big investments in its partners to expand its reach in the SME marketplace.

In 2013, SAP recruited about 500 partners globally adding to its 11,000 partners worldwide. It currently has around 1,000 partners in the U.S. alone. In an interview with CRN, the company said that it is working to invest a lot more in the SME market segment and to help partners win even more in that space with increased marketing resources.

"We are doubling, tripling and quadrupling down going after SME in a very big way around the world," said SAP Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Small and Midsize Enterprise Segment and Indirect Channels Kevin Gilroy.

Channel Companies Outperform Vendors

In a win for the channel overall, a recent research note from financial analyst firm Raymond James found that distributors and solution providers are doing better financially than their OEM partners. As disruptive technologies such as the cloud emerge, customers are more inclined to lean on their channel partners for support, rather than the vendors themselves, the report said.

In particular, the top two channel stocks that soared the highest were Ingram Micro and CDW, which the report credited to next-generation technology solutions.

New Xerox Partner Programs Boost Partner Benefits

Xerox unveiled two new offerings this week that it said are designed to bolster its channel program for partners. The new programs will help boost partner benefits by 30 percent, the company said. Among the benefits announced Tuesday are enhanced pre-sales support, virtual product demonstrations, product migration tools, automated email campaigns and a mobile sales sharing app, all designed to help partners expand and simplify their businesses.

"We want to grow our partner business and engage new partners," said DouraidZaghouani, president of Channel Partner Operations at Xerox. "We're building off a great 2013. We had an excellent year in the channel, and we want to do even more business this year."

IBM Denies NSA Allegations

Big Blue "set the record straight" this week on its relationship with the National Security Agency -- or rather, its lack of one. In an open letter, IBM's Senior Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Robert C. Weber, said that the company "has not provided client data to the National Security Agency [NSA] or any other government agency under the program known as PRISM."

Partners cheered the announcement, saying that it provided comfort for their customers' concerns and cleared the air on any possible involvement with the Edward Snowden leaks.