5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending July 25

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes a major cloud win by IBM, a significant strategic alliance in the Hadoop world, a savvy big data move by a leading solution provider, a key acquisition by hot startup Docker, and a promise by Microsoft's CEO to unify Windows.

IBM Scores Major Cloud Contract With California

The competition for major cloud computing service contracts is fierce. So IBM can claim a significant victory this week with the news that it will supply cloud services to state and local agencies and municipalities in the state of California, IBM said Thursday.

IBM will make software and data available through a private cloud service called CalCloud, at a reported price of $400 million, running on the IBM Service Delivery Manager system in IBM data centers in Rancho Cordova and Vacaville, Calif. The win is something of a coup for IBM, which last year lost a $600 million cloud contract from the CIA to Amazon Web Services.

Hortonworks Strikes Strategic Alliance With HP

There's been a lot of technology and equity partnerships established lately between Hadoop distributors such as Cloudera and MapR Technologies, and established IT companies like Intel, Google and Dell.

This week Hortonworks picked up some competitive muscle when it allied itself with Hewlett-Packard. Under the partnership HP will integrate the Hadoop-based Hortonworks Data Platform with its own HAVEn big data software. HP is also investing $50 million in Hortonworks and HP CTO Martin Fink will take a seat on Hortonworks' board.

En Pointe Launches Specialized Data Management Team

Big data is big business. And it's a big opportunity for solution providers like En Pointe Technologies, which this week established a dedicated data management team to help meet the growing demand for data management solutions and services.

En Pointe, No. 42 on CRN's 2014 Solution Provider 500 list, already works with Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Symantec and Veeam on data management initiatives. The latest move signals a strategic focus on data management that will be a major market differentiator going forward.

Microsoft CEO Vows 'One Windows' For All Devices

During Microsoft's fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday CEO Satya Nadella vowed that Microsoft would end its confusing practice of developing multiple versions of Windows for desktops, tablets and smartphones. Microsoft "will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one, single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

While that doesn't mean Windows will look exactly alike for all devices, Nadella said Microsoft would have "one [development] team with a common architecture," a marked change from the approach taken by former CEO Steve Ballmer of having multiple Windows development teams. That led to market confusion when Windows 8 launched in 2012.

Docker Acquires Orchard Laboratories

One of this year's hottest emerging vendors has been Docker, the commercial entity behind the Docker project that provides an open-source platform for developers and system administrators to build, deploy and run distributed applications.

This week Docker raised its profile even higher when it acquired U.K.-based Orchard Laboratories, an early member of the Docker community that builds an orchestration tool called Fig. Orchard's technology will extend Docker's capabilities for developers and extend its reach within enterprise organizations.