5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 9

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include Hewlett-Packard's OpenStack offensive, AMD's SkyBridge Project, EMC's plans to overhaul its partner program, Dell's channel sales growth and Sophos' plans to become a market disrupter.

HP Steps Up Cloud Offensive Against Red Hat-Cisco Alliance

Hewlett-Packard this week took aim at the Red Hat-Cisco OpenStack-focused alliance with a new line of OpenStack-based products and services dubbed "Helion." The new offerings, in which HP will invest $1 billion over the next two years, include an OpenStack consulting methodology that partners can use to build out their own OpenStack cloud services.

HP CEO Meg Whitman said Helion is proof of the company's commitment to invest in cloud computing -- and in channel partners building cloud businesses. Helion includes HP's own OpenStack distribution and Cloud Foundry-based Platform-as-a-Service.

AMD Strengthens Competitive Stance With Skybridge Project

AMD is giving Intel OEM and ODM partners a reason to consider working with the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chipmaker with its Project Skybridge. The design framework initiative seeks to bridge the gap between x86 and ARM processors by creating a single motherboard that supports either chip architecture and can run Windows, Linux or Android.

AMD competitors like Intel and Qualcomm are focused on specific processors and operating systems. Industry-watchers say AMD's ambidextrous framework makes the company an attractive alternative.

EMC (Finally) Details Its Overhauled Channel Program

EMC has been hinting about its new EMC Business Partner Program for a year now. This week, the company finally outlined details about the program, which will replace the current Velocity program when it goes live in January.

Under the new program, partners will be rewarded for selling solutions that incorporate technologies that span EMC's wide range of products. That's a change from current incentives that focus on specific product lines such as infrastructure, VMware or RSA. The new program also doesn't pigeonhole partners by type, such as solution providers or cloud service providers -- a recognition that such distinctions are increasingly blurred.

Dell Reports 95 Percent Gain In Channel Sales

The newly private Dell saw its partner-related business grow 95 percent in the first quarter of 2014, CEO Michael Dell told attendees this week at the Ingram Micro One event in New Orleans. While not disclosing details, Dell said the company experienced higher growth in the quarter than in any of the five previous quarters.

Dell said the company has 146,000 solution providers in its Partner Direct program, but the channel still accounts for only about one-third of the company's sales. "We think it can go to half, two-thirds, three-quarters. There's tons of upside," Michael Dell said.

Sophos Aims To Disrupt The Network Security Market

Sophos is developing a fully integrated security platform, spanning the endpoint and network security markets, which CEO Kris Hagerman told partners would make Sophos a disruptive market leader against rivals Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky Lab.

Hagerman made his comments this week at Sophos' Americas Partner Connections conference in Las Vegas. Company executives are touting the new platform, combined with a focus on the SMB market, as the company's future. Channel partners, meanwhile, are praising the new 100 percent channel model under worldwide sales Senior Vice President Michael Valentine.