5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Oct. 30

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Cisco for a pair of strategic acquisitions that will strengthen the vendor's position in the security and Internet of Things arenas.

Also making the list this week are Oracle's debut of its impressive new M7 microprocessor, SAP's success at making the channel a key part of its go-to-market strategy, F5 Networks' new channel partner opportunities around converged infrastructure, and the Raytheon/Websense acquisition of Intel's enterprise McAfee business.

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.

Cisco Boosts Strategic Security, IoT Efforts With Acquisitions

Cisco this week made not one, but two significant acquisitions that will advance the vendor's efforts to expand beyond its core networking business into the Internet of Things and security markets.

Monday Cisco unveiled a deal to buy privately held ParStream, a developer of a massively parallel processing columnar database that can filter and analyze billions of records faster than mainstream relational databases. ParStream's technology is particularly aimed at IoT analytical applications -- a key emerging market for Cisco.

One day later the networking giant said it planned to buy Lancope, a developer of security threat analysis and protection technology, for more than $450 million. While Cisco already markets the Lancope software under an existing partnership, acquiring the company will strengthen Cisco's "Security Everywhere" initiative.

Oracle Shows Off Sparc M7 Chip's Breakthrough Capabilities

Oracle is, first and foremost, a software company. But during its Oracle OpenWorld show this week the company was showcasing the advanced capabilities of its Sparc M7 microprocessors that implement "software in silicon" through a series of specialized co-processors.

Oracle acquired the Sparc technology when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010. The company said the M7, with 32 internal co-processors, is the fastest microprocessor in the world. On Tuesday CTO Larry Ellison said the chip's built-in security capabilities would have caught in real time the most malicious viruses that have hit the industry of late.

The M7 development work has been the focus of Oracle's hardware team for five years and the company deserves kudos for bringing the finished product to market.

F5 Extends Services Opportunity For The Channel Around Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

F5 Networks is giving its channel partners a new service opportunity around the fast-growing markets of converged and hyper-converged infrastructure through its new strategic partnerships with Nutanix and SimpliVity.

This week the application delivery controller company told CRN that the ability for delivering its software-defined application services (SDAS) through converged and hyper-converged infrastructure represents a new route to market. And F5 said that for channel partners, the ability provides the opportunity to sell more products, attach more services and become a more strategic partner for customers.

Partners can attach F5's Big-IP application delivery platform and virtual solutions to applications being deployed. In addition, by positioning SDAS with integrated systems, partners can deliver implementation, configuration and management services.

SAP Increasingly Looks To Channel Partners For Growth

SAP channel executives provided a status report on the software giant's channel efforts this week and it's impressive just how aggressive the vendor, once known for selling big applications to big companies, has become in pursuing channel opportunities.

Of the 2,000 new customers SAP snagged in the recently completed third quarter, the company's Global Partner Operations was responsible for 1,932, according to channel chief Rodolpho Cardenuto. Also in that quarter the GPO, which has recorded five straight quarters of double-digit growth, accounted for 60 percent of all sales of S/4HANA, the new generation of the vendor's flagship application suite.

Channel executives said they would rely heavily on partners when the company begins offering its Anywhere front-office applications in the U.S. in the first half of next year.

Raytheon/Websense To Acquire McAfee NGFW, Firewall Enterprise Businesses

In a bold move to expand its enterprise security business, Raytheon/Websense struck a deal with Intel Security to acquire the McAfee Next-Generation Firewall and McAfee Firewall Enterprise businesses, CRN learned this week.

Raytheon acquired Websense in June for $1.9 billion and the deal to buy the McAfee division is Raytheon/Websense's first big acquisition.

The acquisition expands the hybrid cloud capabilities of the Raytheon/Websense Triton security platform. Raytheon/Websense also gains some key security talent in the deal, brining some 300 new employees to the company.