5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 15

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include Samsung's push into the Internet-of-Things arena, a key acquisition by a leading managed services provider, a competitive challenge from a key VMware executive in the SDN arena, APC by Schneider Electric's move to step up its channel game, and new alliances established by Mirantis that could shake up the OpenStack world.

Samsung Makes IoT Push With New Artik Platform

Samsung made a bid for a piece of the potentially lucrative Internet-of-Things market this week when it launched its new Artik system-on-a-chip series. Artik is a platform that combines processor chips, circuit boards, memory, software and services the company is targeting for the development of IoT devices.

Samsung has pledged to connect all of its own products and devices, from smartphones to household appliances, by 2020. But more important, the company is working to help its ecosystem of developers and manufacturers get into the IoT game. To that end, the company this week also launched the SmartThings Open Cloud services to help developers create IoT applications.

Mirantis Sets Strategic OpenStack Alliances With Pivotal And Oracle

There's a lot of debate today about whether OpenStack will fulfill its promise to provide a standard framework for cloud computing. But Mirantis, the largest pure-play OpenStack vendor, made some significant moves this week to boost OpenStack's appeal in the IT market.

Earlier in the week, Mirantis inked an IaaS-PaaS partnership with Pivotal under which Mirantis will deliver its distribution of the OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service technology integrated with the Pivotal Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service.

Later in the week Mirantis announced a blockbuster alliance with Oracle that allows Oracle's flagship Oracle 12c database to run on OpenStack-based private clouds.

TekLinks Ups Its Cloud Services Game With Claris Networks Acquisition

Managed services provider TekLinks greatly expanded its cloud service offerings -- and the recurring revenue they bring -- with this week's acquisition of fast-growing cloud services provider Claris Networks.

TekLinks CEO Jim Akerhielm (pictured) touted the acquisition as a strategic win because Claris Networks' hosted managed services are complementary to TekLinks' own offerings. It also immediately boosts recurring revenue for TekLink, which already has a robust managed services business, by 60 percent, to $40 million.

Claris is based in Nashville, Tenn., and TekLinks plans to expand the Claris Total Cloud services across its broader Southeast market.

VMware Rattles Cisco's Cage As Poached Exec Touts NSX

VMware threw down the gauntlet against rival Cisco in the software-defined networking arena this week when Dominick Delfino, the longtime Cisco engineering exec who defected to VMware last September, posted a blog touting VMware's customer success versus its SDN competitors.

"No other vendor can claim more customers that are publicly discussing their investment, adoption or deployment of their SDN solution than VMware," wrote Delfino, now VMware vice president of worldwide systems engineering, who has become a central character in the increasingly acrimonious competition between VMware and Cisco.

Delfino bragged about customer adoption of VMware's NSX systems -- in January, the company said there were 400 paying customers for NSX. In his blog, Delfino said that number has grown, that 70 customers have NSX in production, and more than 50 have spent more than $1 million on NSX.

APC Boosts Partner Program, Readies Push Into Managed Services Channel

APC by Schneider Electric is readying a push into the managed services channel with new software services that will drive recurring revenue for the company's partners. This week the company detailed plans to help partners add data center power and cooling services to their offerings, going beyond APC's traditional power protection and management technology.

Managed services aside, APC this week also revved up its channel game by unveiling new investments in its partner support and profitability initiatives. That includes nearly tripling the size of the pre- and post-sales partner enablement team and improving the deal registration process.