5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 29

This was a big week for acquisitions, as vendors across many segments of the IT industry bought up companies to expand their technology portfolios, grow their market share and gain a competitive advantage.

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes Avago's big-bucks acquisition of a semiconductor rival, Palo Alto Networks' purchase of a cloud software security provider, Lenovo's entrance into the global storage system market, Cisco's new partner certifications in cloud computing and the Internet of Things, and a big funding win by a data protection technology startup.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

Avago Reveals $37 Billion Blowout Acquisition Of Rival Broadcom

The semiconductor industry is undergoing a wave of consolidation. Chipmaker Avago Technologies took a major step this week to make sure it's among the winners.

Avago disclosed a deal to acquire rival Broadcom for a whopping $37 billion, combining Broadcom's engineering prowess with Avago's technology heritage -- the latter including chip technology Avago acquired from Hewlett-Packard, AT&T and LSI Logic.

As demand grows for processors that can handle mobile and Internet-of-Things applications, chipmakers have grappled with the changes rippling through the industry. Broadcom manufactures networking ICs for data, voice and video applications in wireless and broadband communications. Avago's portfolio includes semiconductors for wireless communications, enterprise storage, wired infrastructure and industrial markets. The combined result: Avago becomes a clear powerhouse in the competitive semiconductor arena.

Palo Alto Networks Acquires CirroSecure, Goes On Market Offensive

Avago wasn't the only company that strengthened its competitive position with an acquisition this week. Palo Alto Networks is bolstering its security portfolio by acquiring CirroSecure, a developer of tools for managing and securing Software-as-a-Service applications like Salesforce.com and Office 365.

Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin this week said his company is gaining market share against competitors Cisco Security and Check Point Software Technologies and has notched big wins against those rivals. McLaughlin, for example, said Palo Alto Networks replaced Cisco across a major European retailer's 4,000 stores and replaced Check Point in a large North American financial services company.

Kudos also go to Fortinet for its deal to acquire Meru Networks, a move that strengthens Fortinet's hand in the enterprise secure wireless market.

Lenovo Enters Enterprise Storage Market Without EMC, IBM Help

Lenovo this week debuted two storage arrays, the Lenovo Storage S2200 and S3200, that the company hopes will increase its presence within its corporate customers' data centers.

The debut of the new storage systems is significant on several levels. They are the first products based on the company's own intellectual property, rather than technology from IBM or EMC, as with earlier products. And Lenovo will market the products worldwide, including through North American channel partners, rather than just the local china market.

Once largely know for its laptop computers, Lenovo has been growing its data center presence thanks to its $2.1 billion purchase of IBM's x86 server business last year. The new storage systems debuted this week should add to the company's data center momentum.

Cisco Unleashes Certifications For Partners To Win In IoT and Cloud Markets

Cloud computing is one of the hottest segments of the IT market right now, and the Internet of Things holds great promise. So kudos to Cisco, which this week unveiled a new Cisco Certified Network Associate Industrial IoT certification for channel and industrial partners and two new cloud certifications for solution providers.

The move comes as Chuck Robbins gets set to take over as Cisco's CEO. This week Robbins made his first key appointment by naming Chris Dedicoat as his successor as head of worldwide sales.

Rubrik Lands $41M In Funding, Launches First Data Protection Appliance

Just three months after exiting stealth mode (and getting $10 million in first-round funding), this week startup Rubrik snagged an impressive $41 million in second-round financing -- money the company will use to market its message of simplified data protection.

Rubrik's forte is providing all the components of data backup and recovery in a single, easy-to-install package. This week the company also debuted the Rubrik r300, a hardware appliance that ties together the vendor's data protection software with an industry-standard server. The company is relying on the channel for 100 percent of its sales.