5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Dec. 12

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes Cisco's big data move; Lenovo's planned service provider push; big venture funding wins for a big data storage startup and a leading cloud solution provider; a data center solution company's savvy hire of a channel management veteran; and a key acquisition in the cloud data backup market.

Lenovo Set To Make Service Provider Push, Offer Consumption-Based Pricing

With its $2.1 billion acquisition of IBM's x86-based server business in the bag, Lenovo appears ready to step up its channel game in the server market with a new service provider program to help partners capitalize on the vendor's expanded product line.

Lenovo, now the world's third-largest server vendor worldwide, intends to outgrow the market by a double-digit percentage, said Alan Andrade, director of the vendor's North American channel strategy, at The Channel Company's recent NexGen Cloud conference. The service provider program will certainly help by providing cloud and managed service provider partners with new sales and technical support, along with customization and fulfillment services.

Lenovo also is planning a "rent-to-grow," consumption-based acquisition plan to help MSP partners more easily purchase Lenovo products.

DataGravity Raises $50M To Fund Growth Plans

DataGravity, the startup developer of data-aware storage and analysis appliances, raised $50 million in C-round funding this week, bringing its total financing to $92 million. The Nashua, N.H.-based company plans to use the money to develop its field operations and better engage its channel partners as it ramps up sales.

DataGravity exited "stealth mode" earlier this year after a couple of years of development and debuted its much-anticipated Discovery Series that marries flash storage with data search and governance tools, and data visualization capabilities. Channel partners and customers have been giving the technology rave reviews. The additional funding means the company will have more resources to bring those hot products to market.

Cloud Technology Partners Raises $9M In Financing

DataGravity wasn't the only beneficiary of venture capitalists' largesse this week. Cloud Technology Partners closed a $9.1 million round of financing that the solution provider said will allow it to scale its sales, marketing and delivery capabilities.

Cloud Technology Partners is in serious growth mode, having already doubled its head count and completed more than 75 cloud projects in the past year for such enterprise clients as General Electric and other Fortune 500 firms. The last financing, which brings the solution provider's total funding to $14 million, should accelerate that growth.

Curvature Hires Seasoned Veteran To Lead Channel Expansion

Data center solutions and networking equipment vendor Curvature, formerly Network Hardware Resale, has hired Bill Marozas as its new vice president of channel development. Marozas, a 19-year channel management veteran, was most recently in charge of Juniper Networks' Partner Advantage Program. Marozas worked at Cisco Systems before his tour of duty at Juniper.

Curvature is building out a broad converged infrastructure service offering with its NetSure service that competes with Cisco's SmartNet. The company's channel buildup is a critical element of its expansion plans, and brining Marozas on board to lead the channel charge is a savvy move.

Datto Expands Its Data Protection Lineup With Acquisition

Datto, a provider of hybrid cloud backup and disaster-recovery technology, has taken a significant step to supply complete data protection systems with this week's acquisition of Backupify, a developer of cloud-to-cloud data protection technology for Software-as-a-Service applications.

The acquisition brings a dose of SaaS product expertise to Datto, helping the company develop a total data protection product portfolio. And it brings in a whole, new set of customers and channel partners -- the latter thanks to Backupify's recent expansion into up-market opportunities.