5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Sept. 11

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Hewlett-Packard's win over rival Cisco Systems in capturing the market-share lead in the cloud infrastructure equipment arena.

Also making the list is Microsoft's key security technology acquisition, Palo Alto Networks' wrap-up of a stellar growth year, an IT security startup's channel initiative in North America, and some standout winners of this year's CRN Annual Report Card survey.

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 5 Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

HP Takes Lead From Cisco In Cloud Infrastructure Equipment Market

Industry giants Hewlett-Packard and Cisco have been battling for dominance in the cloud infrastructure hardware and software equipment arena in recent years. And until recently Cisco has been on top.

This week a report from industry researcher Synergy Research Group concluded that in the second quarter of 2015 HP led with a 13 percent share of the market -- the same share it held in the first quarter -- while Cisco's share dropped a half-point sequentially between the first and second quarters to 12.5 percent.

Both vendors are seeing strong revenue growth in the cloud infrastructure equipment space, which Synergy put at $16 billion per quarter with 25 percent year-over-year growth. The firm said HP pulled ahead "by achieving much stronger sequential revenue growth." Synergy also said HP has "a clear lead" in the private cloud segment of the market while Cisco "continues to hold a commanding lead in public cloud infrastructure."

Microsoft Acquires Security Startup Adallom

As security breach horror stories proliferate, demands for security IT are on the rise. So Microsoft made a savvy move this week when it acquired Adallom, an Israeli cloud security startup, that brings all-important policy enforcement technology to Microsoft's cloud technology portfolio.

Adallom specifically develops a cloud access security broker, software that ensures cloud applications are accessed in conformance with an organization's security policies. Microsoft plans to use the technology in conjunction with its Microsoft Active Directory and Azure Active Directory to provide customers an added measure of IT security.

Microsoft reportedly paid $320 million for Adallom.

Palo Alto Networks Wraps Up Fiscal Year With Significant Growth

Palo Alto Networks this week reported its fiscal 2015 fourth-quarter and year-end results, wrapping up a year with 55 percent sales growth to $928.1 million in revenue. For the fourth quarter ended July 31, the company reported 59 percent year-over-year sales growth to $283.9 million.

The company reported losses of $46 million and $165 million for the quarter and the year, respectively. But that didn't seem to bother Wall Street analysts, who talked up the vendor's performance following the earnings call.

The most recent quarter saw some big customer wins and CEO Mark McLaughlin said the company added 2,000 new customers. And those gains translated into significant wins for the company's channel partners, including big-name solution providers like CDW.

Security Startup StratoKey Launches North America Partner Program

StratoKey, an Australian security startup that has garnered a lot of attention in the Asia-Pacific market, told CRN this week that it's expanding into North America and will rely heavily on the channel to do that.

StratoKey's cloud data protection technology acts as an encryption gateway to the cloud, intercepting communications between users and Software-as-a-Service applications to encrypt sensitive content.

The company has opened an office in Austin, Texas, and this week CEO Anthony Scotney told CRN that the company is making a concerted effort to expand its market reach, especially in North America, and it will differentiate itself by having a strong channel program.

Sophos Scores High Marks In CRN Annual Report Card Survey

Security technology developer Sophos turned in an impressive performance in the 2015 CRN Annual Report Card survey, logging victories in the highly competitive Client Security Software, Network Security Appliance and Network Security Software categories.

The Annual Report Card surveys solution providers about how their IT vendors in 22 product categories perform in product innovation, support and partnership.

Other vendors that turned in strong ARC performances included IBM in Enterprise Network Storage and Midrange Servers, Oracle in Data and Information Management, and ConnectWise and Comcast, respectively, in the Managed Services and Network Connectivity categories.