5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 16

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is, of course, Dell's blockbuster $67 billion deal to buy EMC -- the biggest acquisition in the history of the IT industry

Also making the list this week are HP Inc.'s plans for an SMB market offensive with its PCs and printers, SAP's entry into the SaaS business analytics market, solution provider NWN's sale of a majority stake to a private equity firm , and Symantec's re-commitment to its channel-first model.

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.

Dell Offers $67 Billion To Buy EMC

In a bold move that will remake the information technology industry, Dell on Monday disclosed a deal to acquire data storage system giant EMC for a whopping $67 billion, the biggest acquisition in the industry's history.

It's also the biggest step yet in CEO Michael Dell's ongoing efforts to transform his company from its roots as a PC company to an end-to-end supplier of data center hardware and software for enterprise customers.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about this move and IT industry history is rife with cases of big-deal acquisitions that failed. But Dell wins kudos this week for thinking big.

HP Inc. Readies SMB Channel Offensive

HP Inc., the PC and printer company that will emerge from the split of Hewlett-Packard into two companies, is revving up for a major push into the SMB market and taking aim at rival Dell.

HP Inc. Americas president Christoph Schell, speaking at the Channel Company's Best of Breed conference in Orlando this week, said his company is set to hire 80 additional representatives whose job will be hunting for new SMB business for the company's 100 percent channel-led model.

Schell and Stephanie Dismore (pictured), HP Inc.'s vice president and general manager of U.S. channels, said the SMB campaign is driven in part by a desire to pull market share from Dell while it goes through its acquisition of EMC. HP Inc. is specifically targeting 4,000 SMB accounts.

SAP Launches First SaaS-Only Business Analytics Software

SAP, which has been transforming itself into a provider of cloud applications, took a major step in that evolution this week when it launched SAP Cloud for Analytics. The new offering is the vendor's first cloud-only product in the business intelligence arena.

SAP is a leader in the business intelligence space, with its Business Objects tools and Lumira data visualization app. But those products are largely for on-premise deployments and until now the vendor's cloud BI efforts had been lagging – especially with Amazon Web Services and Google aggressively moving into cloud BI.

SAP Cloud for Analytics now offers planning capabilities with business intelligence tools to be added this year, followed by predictive analytics and GRC apps in 2016.

NWN Positions Itself For Growth, Sells Majority Stake To Private Investor

Leading solution provider NWN, already growing at a double-digit clip, is setting its sights on becoming a $1 billion cloud services power after the company disclosed this week that it has sold a majority stake to private equity firm New State Capital Partners.

NWN CEO Mont Phelps told CRN the deal would provide the solution provider, No. 72 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, with the financial resources it needs to achieve its goal of becoming a $1 billion cloud services company, including fueling the growth of its NCloud hosted VoIP service. The investment also opens the door to possible strategic acquisitions.

Symantec Execs Pledge 'Partner-First' Approach

Symantec executives, fresh off the company's split from its Veritas storage management business, vowed at the company's Partner Engage event this week to bring back Symantec's "security swagger" and re-dedicated the company to its partner-led business model.

"We want to be the most focused cybersecurity company on the planet," Executive Vice President of Sales Adrian Jones said to the more than 240 partner executives in attendance. "We believe that focus has to be around growth and it has to be around growth with you."

A new partner program is in the works and new enterprise security products are on the way, executives told the partners.