5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Nov. 7

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes some ambitious moves by Dell on both the channel and the product fronts; a merger of two solution providers that creates a security heavyweight in the channel; Microsoft's latest moves to make Office available on non-Windows mobile devices; a savvy hire by a solution provider that's focused on the federal government; and new partner specializations from Cisco in the emerging Internet of Things arena.

Dell Pumps Up Channel Efforts, Launches Wave Of New Products

Dell held its Dell World 2014 conference this week, so you'd expect the company to be playing offense. But Dell pulled out all the stops, making very aggressive moves on both the channel side and with its product portfolio.

The week started with Channel Chief Cheryl Cook pledging $125 million in partner incentives for 2015 to help grow the company's storage, data center and PC sales. Dell executives said the channel is the front line of the company's growth and accounts for 40 percent of its global revenue.

On the technology side, the company unleashed a steady stream of new products through the week, including the PowerEdge FX2 modular server architecture, the SC4020 all-flash storage array for SMBs and the Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series tablet.

Accuvant And FishNet Merger To Create Security Channel Powerhouse

Once competing solution providers, Accuvant and FishNet Security this week announced a deal to merge, creating a roughly $1.5 billion information security giant with solutions covering nearly every aspect of cyberdefense.

The new company, which has yet to be named, will be primarily owned by the Blackstone Group, the private equity firm that acquired a majority stake in Accuvant in March. Accuvant and FishNet have both enjoyed robust growth in recent years, especially in managed security services. But the combined companies still will hold only about 3 percent of the $60 billion to $70 billion IT security market, leaving lots of room for this new channel heavyweight to grow.

Cisco Debuts Partner Specializations For The Internet Of Things

Cisco executives have said the nascent "Internet of Everything" market is a potential $19 trillion opportunity for IT vendors and the channel. This week, the company took a significant step to help its channel partners capture a slice of that market by introducing three new partner specializations focused on the Internet of Things (IoT).

The specializations include Advanced IoT Connected Safety and Security, Advanced IoT Manufacturing and Advanced IoT Industry Expert. Cisco executives said the specializations would help solution providers expand their knowledge of IoT operational technology and IoT in specific vertical markets.

IoT is expected to be a major technology disrupter in the networking industry in the next few years. Prepping its channel partners to be ready for that wave is a win for both Cisco and for solution providers.

Microsoft To Offer Free Office Apps For Non-Windows Mobile Devices

Microsoft provided more proof this week that under CEO Satya Nadella it's thinking outside of the Windows box. Thursday the company said it would loosen restrictions on what people can do with its free Office apps on iPads, iPhones and Android tablets. The company also updated its iPad Office applications, unveiled Office apps specifically designed for the iPhone, and is previewing a version of Office apps for Android tablets.

While iPad users have been able to read Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, they had to buy an Office 365 subscription to create and edit documents. Now iPad, iPhone and Android tablet users can create and edit Office files for free.

Leidos Hires U.S. Counterterrorism Director As New Business Development Exec

Reston, Va.-based Leidos made a savvy hire this week, adding Michael Leiter, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to its leadership team.

Leidos is a $5.7 billion solution provider that was formed last year from the split of SAIC. The company has a significant federal government business and recently won a $14 million contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and a $25 million contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs. With Leiter serving as Leidos' executive vice president for business development and strategy, you can expect the company to land more deals like those.