5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 10

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include first-quarter market-share gainers in the PC industry, a significant venture capital win by a cloud software startup, a potentially ground-breaking technology in the big-data arena, a savvy move into transformational services by a leading solution provider, and the winner of CRN's first annual Channel Madness voting.

Lenovo, HP Gain PC Market Share In Q1

International Data Corp. reported PC sales numbers for the first quarter of 2015 this week, and the results were decidedly mixed. But Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard were the clear winners.

Lenovo recorded PC sales of 13.4 million units in the quarter, up 3.4 percent year-over-year, boosting the company's market share by 2 points to 19.6 percent. HP grew its PC sales 3.3 percent to just shy of 13 million units, putting its market share at an even 19 percent (up from 17.1 percent one year earlier).

But the news wasn't all good. The overall PC market was down 6.7 percent with unit sales at 68.5 million units -- the lowest recorded sales volume since the first quarter of 2009. And Dell's PC sales dropped 6.3 percent to 9.2 million units (although that was still good enough to add 0.1 points to its overall market share to 13.5 percent).

Cloud Management Startup CliQr Nabs $20 Million In Funding

CliQr, the startup developer of tools for managing clouds and migrating workloads between them, said it had raised $20 million in financing – money the company said it would use to fuel overseas growth.

The successful Series C round, which brings CliQr's total funding to $38 million, is further evidence that the hybrid cloud computing market is red-hot. That growth pace has even surprised the VMware veterans who started CliQr in 2010.

Solution Provider GreenPages Launches Transformation Services Group

With the accelerating pace of IT evolution, a business can easily lose its competitive edge when its information technology fails to keep up. To help its customers avoid that fate, solution provider GreenPages has established a new Transformation Services Group to help customers make the jump to cloud-based systems and other innovative technologies.

The new business unit will operate alongside the Kittery, Maine-based solution provider's systems integration and cloud services operation. CEO Ron Dupler (pictured) told CRN that the practice is focusing on people and processes, as well as technology.

GreenPages wins kudos for both recognizing a new business opportunity and for understanding that some customers could be at risk of being hobbled by their legacy IT.

Startup AtScale Aims To Disrupt The Hadoop Analytics Arena

CliQr wasn't the only startup making noise this week. AtScale came out of stealth mode, formally debuting its software technology that allows commonly used business intelligence tools to access data stored in Hadoop.

While many businesses have been collecting and storing data in Hadoop, most reporting and data visualization software used by information workers are unable to easily access that data. That has proved to be a big stumbling block for many big-data projects. If AtScale's technology works as advertised, it could be a big-data game-changer.

Sophos Exec Wins CRN's Channel Madness Voting

After five rounds of voting and more than 125,000 ballots cast during the last three weeks, Sophos channel executive Mike Valentine was named the industry's most influential channel chief in the first-ever CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs. Valentine won the final championship round despite tough competition from Verizon channel executive Adam Famularo.

Valentine's fans credited him with reinvigorating Sophos' dedication to, and focus on, an interactive relationship with the security software company's channel partners.

While Valentine won the final round to nab the championship, he wasn't the biggest vote-getter in earlier rounds. The top 10 vote-getters overall included APC By Schneider Electric's Shannon Bar, VMware's Frank Rauch and IBM's Marc Dupaquier.