5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Jan. 9

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes Intel's dazzling technology demonstrations at the Consumer Electronics Show, Hewlett-Packard and Silver Peak making key channel management hires, a startup in the virtualization space that's snagged significant funding, and a data protection software developer that's aiming to step up its market visibility.

Intel Dazzles CES Audience With Drones, Next-Gen PCs

Some may think of Intel as an aging, maybe even stodgy, technology company. But CEO Brian Krzanich had attendees at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas thinking differently after demonstrating autonomous drones, self-aware computers that can "see" and a new button-sized chip called Curie.

"The rise of new personal computing experiences, intelligent and connected devices, and the wearable revolution are redefining the relationship between consumers and technology," Krzanich said, offering his vision of the future and where Intel's technology will make it happen.

The CEO also demonstrated Intel's RealSense voice- and gesture-control system. A fleet of drones that were flown around the stage incorporates that technology, as does Dell's newest Venue 8 7000 tablet computer.

Unitrends Hires New CEO, Vows Stepped-Up Visibility

Unitrends said it's been way too quiet about its market success, and the developer of data protection software is promising to make some noise in 2015.

This week, Unitrends hired former top McAfee executive Kevin Weiss as its new president and CEO. And Weiss has a mandate to increase the company's channel investment and boost its brand awareness.

Unitrends has enjoyed impressive growth in the U.S. and has annual revenue approaching $100 million. But Weiss told CRN that the company has been too quiet about its success -- something he intends to change. Along with expanding its channel efforts and investing in brand building, Unitrends also is exploring possible acquisitions.

Startup Reddo Preps Partner Program

Unitrends wasn't the only company looking to step up its channel game this week. Reddo Mobility landed $4.25 million in financing and said it's preparing to launch a channel program.

Reddo, based in Cambridge, Mass., develops technology that businesses use to transform Windows desktop applications to run on mobile devices. The company's software works with virtualization technologies from Citrix, VMware and Microsoft. Reddo is preparing a channel program and plans to recruit solution providers that work with those virtualization product vendors.

HP Hires Channel Veteran For Enterprise Group

Hewlett-Packard's Enterprise Group is stepping up its own channel game by hiring David Roberts, a 24-year channel veteran who has held channel management posts at McAfee, Microsoft and CA Technologies.

A source close to HP told CRN that Roberts would play a role in helping the company expand its cloud-computing channel offensive. HP's Enterprise Group reported a 4 percent sales decline in its most recent quarter ended Oct. 31. An HP partner said adding Roberts to its channel management team is evidence of HP's ongoing channel commitment.

Silver Peak Readies Software-Defined WAN Offensive

Silver Peak, a developer of network and data acceleration technology, has hired a new channel chief as part of the company's efforts to ready itself for an expected wave of demand for software-defined WAN acceleration capabilities.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company quietly hired Bob Bruce in November to manage its channel program. Bruce, who has worked as an independent consultant in recent years, was previously the channel chief at Aruba Networks. He's also held channel posts at Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems and 3Com.

Bruce's goal is to bring Silver Peak's partners closer to its channel development processes in preparation for the growing demand for the vendor's software-defined WAN acceleration products and services.