5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Dec. 5

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes an IBM-Cisco alliance in the integrated infrastructure space, a key partner recruitment by a small desktop virtualization provider, Microsoft's effort to improve mobile email, a pair of key acquisitions by distributor Ingram Micro , and some wisdom from Amazon's Jeff Bezos on why losing money is a good thing.

IBM Targets VCE With Cisco Alliance And VersaStack

IBM and networking giant Cisco this week targeted storage rival EMC and its VCE Vblocks converged infrastructure systems with VersaStack, a new integrated infrastructure combining IBM's Storwize V7000 storage technology with Cisco's UCS compute system.

The move provides more evidence that Cisco is distancing itself from its role in the VCE alliance. But IBM is the real winner here. VersaStack and the alliance with Cisco give IBM competitive muscle to expand its presence in the fast-growing market for converged infrastructure systems for big data and analytic applications and software-defined systems. And it puts some competitive heat on EMC.

IndependenceIT Wins Major Partner Victory Over Citrix

It wasn't just the big vendors scoring victories this week. IndependenceIT, which provides a Desktop-as-a-Service offering, convinced a star partner of competitor Citrix to switch and sell IndependenceIT's Cloud Workspace Suite.

This week IndependenceIT said NGenx, a cloud application and desktop solution provider, committed to moving its entire business to the vendor's CWS. That adds up to 10,000 seats, plus all new clients. And NGenx will use CWS through its public cloud infrastructure and as the foundation for various solutions.

Recruiting NGenx is a major coup for IndependenceIT: NGenx was recognized as Citrix's Visionary Partner of the Year in January.

Microsoft Looks To Improve Mobile Email With Acompli Acquisition

Let's face it, most mobile email apps out there are pretty clunky. And some observers say Microsoft's Outlook is among the clunkiest. This week Microsoft took a major step toward changing that when it bought mobile email software developer Acompli, reportedly for more than $200 million.

Launched in January 2013, Acompli develops a free email app for iOS and Android that has become popular for its ease of use. While details about Microsoft's plans for Acompli are scarce, the betting among Microsoft's partners is that the Acompli deal will help Microsoft deliver a better Outlook user experience on smartphones and tablets.

Ingram Micro Acquires Two International Firms With Combined Sales Of $600M

Ingram Micro is acquiring two companies that will help the distributor grow geographically and expand its service offerings. Ingram Micro this week revealed a binding offer to acquire Anovo, a Paris-based reverse logistics provider, and the acquisition of a majority interest in Armada, Turkey's largest value-added distributor. The two companies have combined annual sales of nearly $600 million.

The Anovo deal would jump-start Ingram Micro's life-cycle management operations in Europe and Latin America, CEO Alain Monie said, and strengthen the distributor's relationship with global telecoms and OEMs. Europe and Latin America are experiencing rapid growth due to the proliferation of mobile devices, accessories and wearables. The Armada acquisition will boost Ingram Micro's presence in the fast-growing tech market in Turkey and bolster its device life-cycle services portfolio.

Amazon CEO Bezos Brags About Losing Billions Of Dollars On Amazon Failures

"Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan," the old saying goes. No wonder most top executives quickly distance themselves from money-losing company initiatives and projects that bomb.

So it's refreshing to hear at least one executive own up to -- even brag about -- such failures. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in a speech in New York this week, said he's not afraid to take chances on risky projects because even ones that fail can yield valuable lessons. "I've made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com," he said. "Literally billions."

Of course, Bezos can afford to fail every now and then. And Amazon shareholders might not feel quite so cheerful about spending billions for a learning opportunity. (Bezos, for the record, didn't specifically say what he's learned from the Amazon Fire smartphone experience.)