5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 25

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include Dimension Data's blockbuster acquisition of Nexus, A10 Network's channel program launch, signs of financial strength from Juniper Networks, IBM's efforts to 'Power' through its sagging hardware sales, and Microsoft sharing some positive earnings news.

Dimension Data Acquisition Creates Cisco Market Superpower

Dimension Data acquired solution provider Nexus this week in a deal that creates a channel powerhouse. By acquiring Nexus (No. 78 on the CRN 2013 Solution Provider 500 with $471 million in sales and No. 80 on CRN's Fast Growth 150 list) Dimension Data (No. 11 on the CRN 2013 Solution Provider 500) will increase its presence in the U.S. by 40 percent, especially in the West, Southwest and Southeast regions.

But the biggest impact may be in the Cisco market where both companies already are major players. Along with expanding Dimension Data's roster of Cisco-experienced talent, the acquisition shifts the balance of power in the Cisco solutions business in the U.S. in Dimension Data's favor.

Juniper Networks Reports Q1 Sales, Profit Gains

Juniper Networks has gone through some wrenching times in the past year, including changes in top management, layoffs and corporate restructuring. But the company's cost-cutting and restructuring initiative, known as the "Integrated Operating Plan," seems to be paying off.

This week the networking equipment maker said revenue in its first quarter ended March 31 grew 10 percent to $1.17 billion and net income surged 21 percent to $110 million. The company reported solid growth in both its service provider and enterprise businesses.

IBM Launches Power8 Servers, Touts OpenPOWER Consortium

IBM this week showed it remains committed to its server business by unveiling the first servers that run on its next-generation Power8 processors, talking up the new systems as capable of handling the most data-intensive, high-performance computing tasks.

IBM also touted the growth of the OpenPOWER Foundation, the industry consortium it has assembled with Google, Nvidia and others to recruit third-party software and hardware vendors to develop technology around the Power processor architecture.

A10 Networks Launches Expanded Channel Program

A10 Networks rolled out its A10 Affinity Partner Program this week as the company gears up for a broader sales and marketing push. A10, which recently filed plans for a $100 million IPO, is widely seen as being on a fast-growth track.

While A10 has run a basic channel program for years, the application delivery controller manufacturer is stepping up its channel investments under Kirsten Lee, vice president of global channels, who joined the company in November from Hewlett-Packard. Among the offerings in the A10 Affinity program is the vendor's first comprehensive deal registration system.

Microsoft, Nadella See Positive Quarter

Microsoft beat Wall Street’s profit forecast for its fiscal third quarter by 5 cents, giving new CEO Satya Nadella (pictured) a chance to share positive news in his first quarter at the helm. But Nadella also shared some insight on his plans for using detailed self-analysis of Microsoft’s businesses to ensure the company doesn't stray from the "mobile-first, cloud-first" path that he has set.

Nadella also said Microsoft will show "courage in the face of reality," without elaborating. It's not much a leap, though, to say that Nadella isn't going to have much patience for products and services that aren't performing up to snuff. Nadella could face tough decisions ahead on Surface tablets, which saw revenue drop significantly after doing pretty well during the holiday quarter. For now, Nadella has shown that he's got a plan for taking Microsoft to the next level, and Wall Street seems to be impressed with his leadership so far.