5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 10

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes Dell and Lenovo channel partners who see a competitive opportunity in Hewlett-Packard's plan to split in two; a distributor's ongoing efforts to help solution providers move to the cloud; a leading channel company's latest bid in life sciences; a data center services company's new channel program; and activist investors demanding to be heard.

Dell, Lenovo Partners Plan Aggressive Push During HP Split

It's too soon to say whether Hewlett-Packard's plan to split into two companies will be successful. But the HP news this week brought out the "Type A" solution providers who work with Dell and Lenovo -- HP's competitors -- and sense a business opportunity.

Dell and Lenovo partners told CRN this week they intend to capitalize on the potential uncertainty and try to capture SMB market share as HP reorganizes into two companies. "The challenge, and the opportunity, for Lenovo and its partners will be to use this period of heightened instability in the tech market," said Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Lenovo and IBM partner Xylotek Solutions.

There's a certain irony in that HP and its partners have worked hard to profit from disruptions created by the recent sale of IBM's x86 server business to Lenovo and Dell's effort last year to go private. Now the shoe would seem to be on the other foot.

Tech Data Expands Cloud Training For Solution Providers

Tech Data continues to set the pace among distributors in helping solution providers move into the cloud-computing arena. This week, the company launched a cloud-focused education and enablement program with customized tracks for partners looking to launch, expand and maximize cloud businesses.

The new programs, offered through the distributor's TDCloud Academy, part of the TDCloud business unit, are intended to accelerate adoption of cloud systems by solution providers and help them identify cloud opportunities.

Cognizant Continues Life Sciences Expansion With Acquisition

Cognizant this week acquired Cadient Group, a digital marketing company that provides sales and marketing services to businesses in the life sciences arena. The deal comes less than a month after Cognizant said it is paying $2.7 billion for TriZetto, which provides IT solutions to health-care companies, including patient billing and claims-processing systems.

The global life sciences market is a $1 trillion opportunity and Cognizant, No. 10 on the CRN 2014 Solution Provider 500, is aggressively going after as big a piece of that market as possible.

Vantage Data Centers Launches Partner Program

Vantage Data Centers, a provider of wholesale data center services, is meeting with some success in recruiting solution providers, managed service providers and telecom agents for its recently launched AdVantage Partner Program. In recent weeks, the company has signed 21 partners looking to expand the scope of their data center service portfolios.

Vantage's traditional customers have been large businesses or cloud-computing companies. The new channel program will help it expand its reach to small and midsize customers.

Activist Investors Demand To Be Heard

Money talks, as the saying goes, and there was certainly no shortage of gabbing on Wall Street this week as activist investors took aim at three top technology vendors seeking major changes.

Carl Icahn (pictured) penned an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, claiming that the company's stock should be trading at twice the price it is today. Icahn said the company should increase share valuation by increasing the returns of its "persistently excessive liquidity" of $133 billion in net cash on Apple's balance sheet.

Meanwhile, Elliot Management took aim at EMC and Riverbed Technnology. EMC responded to an open letter from the investment firm that urges the storage giant to sell its VMware stake and engage in merger or acquisition talks with other large IT vendors over the remainder of the company.

Elliot Management also pushed change at Riverbed. In response to mounting pressure from activist investors, Riverbed said Thursday it's restructuring its business, trimming costs and starting to explore other strategic and financial options.