5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 2

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Barracuda Networks' savvy acquisition of Intronis, a move that will boost the vendor's presence in the managed services provider arena.

Also making the list is Hewlett-Packard's moves to strengthen its finances before it splits into two companies, Microsoft's debut of a suite of services for Internet-of-Things applications, a cloud security startup's partner program launch, and Cisco's key acquisition of a security consulting services company.

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.

Barracuda Networks To Acquire Intronis To Build Out MSP Business

Security and storage systems developer Barracuda Networks took a major step this week to increase its presence in the managed services provider business when it struck a deal to buy Intronis, a provider of data protection services through a network of nearly 2,000 MSPs.

The acquisition of Intronis and its cloud backup services significantly expand Barracuda's data protection offerings. Intronis' channel operations also provide a major new outlet for Barracuda's own products and services.

HP Moves To Retire Debt Before Company Splits In Two

Hewlett-Packard took steps this week to retire up to $8.85 billion in corporate debt and sell new senior notes to help manage its finances as it prepares to split into two companies Nov. 1.

HP made two cash tender offers to purchase debt and securities totaling $8.85 billion. HP has also raised $14.6 billion in the bond market to redeem the debt, according to Bloomberg.

While these steps might sound like standard financial blocking and tackling, they are evidence that HP is tending to the nitty-gritty details to ensure that Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc., the two companies that will exist after the split, will be financially strong. One goal, for example, is to leave HP Inc. financially capable of weathering a downturn in the PC industry.

Cloud Security Startup Palerra Launches Partner Program

Making good on a promise earlier this year to invest big in the channel, Palerra this week rolled out a new partner program and outlined plans to grow its channel business.

Startup Palerra develops LORIC, a security platform that automates threat detection processes, incident response and analytics around cloud and Software-as-a-Service applications.

While the company previously had a partner program in place with fixed margins, the new two-tiered Palerra Channel Program offers more, including additional margin for registered deals. The company is recruiting additional partners and hopes the channel will account for 30 percent of its business by next year.

Microsoft Makes Internet-of-Things Play With New Azure Suite

Microsoft moved to stake its turf in the nascent Internet-of-Things market this week when it began to sell the Azure IoT Suite, a set of pre-configured services for connecting sensor-equipped devices to the Azure cloud, capturing generated data, and managing and analyzing that data.

The suite includes Microsoft's Azure Machine Learning service, Azure HDInsight Hadoop service, Azure Event Hubs and the PowerBI tool for visualizing and analyzing IoT data.

Just about every major IT vendor has made noise about being an IoT player. With this week's announcement, Microsoft is moving beyond bluster and fielding real products and services in the IoT space.

Cisco Continues Security Push With Acquisition

Barracuda Networks isn't the only company that made a significant acquisition this week. Cisco Systems announced a deal to acquire U.K.-based security consulting firm Portcullis Computer Security, a move that will help the networking technology giant expand its security services more quickly, especially outside North America.

Earlier this year, Cisco acquired security specialist Neohapsis, and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins has said that investing in an expansion of Cisco's security options is one of his priorities. Partners said the Portcullis acquisition makes good on that plan and adds consulting services and expertise to the vendor's security and threat protection products.