5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Nov. 6

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Hewlett-Packard, which successful pulled off the mega-split of the giant IT vendor into two companies.

Also making the list this week are X-IO Technologies for its plan to go 100 percent channel, IBM for its Gravitant acquisition that will expand its cloud computing offerings, the Microsoft-Red Hat alliance to bring Red Hat software to Azure, and an acquisition by Microsoft star solution provider New Signature that will accelerate the company's growth.

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.

Hewlett-Packard Split: So Far, So Good

After months of planning, industry giant Hewlett-Packard officially split into two Fortune 50 companies this week: Hewlett Packard Enterprise focused on the enterprise computing market and HP Inc. zeroed in on the printing and personal computer market.

Solution provider partners were bullish on the growth prospects of both companies, saying the split will allow the newly created businesses to focus on what they do best.

Share prices for HP Inc., trading under the original HPQ symbol, started trading on Monday at $12.47 a share and closed Thursday at $14.05. Shares for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, trading under the symbol HPE, started trading Monday at $14.99 per share and closed Thursday at $13.28.

X-IO Technologies Commits To 100 Percent Channel Model

Storage vendor X-IO Technologies said this week that it has committed to an all-channel indirect sales model, saying it wants to leverage its partners' customer relationships to grow sales of its all-flash ISE and Iglu SAN storage systems.

X-IO also unveiled a new channel program, the X-IO eXcellence Partner Program, aimed at simplifying interactions with channel partners. The program's new deal registration system, for example, allows partners to register potential accounts and not just specific deals. The rewards program provides margin protection based on "real-world" street prices.

The shift to an all-channel model is being driven by Sales Vice President Mark Zeller, who joined the company about nine months ago. Indirect sales accounted for about 60 percent of X-IO's revenue when Zeller was hired. Zeller's move has the backing of CEO Bill Miller, who took over that job in July.

IBM Extends Hybrid Cloud Services Lineup With Gravitant Acquisition

IBM this week acquired Gravitant, a privately held cloud brokerage firm, in a move that will extend IBM's presence in the hybrid cloud computing arena.

Gravitant's CloudMatrix platform helps organizations buy and manage cloud software and services from multiple suppliers across hybrid cloud systems. IBM will add the company to its IBM Global Technology Services business unit.

IBM has been on something of a cloud buying spree lately. Last month it revealed a deal to buy Cleversafe, a developer of object storage technology that IBM plans to add to its IBM Cloud business unit where it will work with the company's SoftLayer cloud offering. And just last week it disclosed a plan to buy the Weather Co. and is expected to combine that company's digital assets and data with IBM cloud computing capabilities.

Red Hat, Microsoft Strike Linux-Azure Alliance

Microsoft and Red Hat, once serious data center rivals, struck a deal this week to bring Red Hat's widely used Linux into the Azure cloud. The move removes what had been a significant roadblock for solution providers trying to get their customers to adopt Azure.

Azure partners told CRN that the No. 1 problem they've had in getting businesses to adopt Azure for data centers is the lack of support for Red Hat Linux workloads.

Through the partnership Red Hat will soon make Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), JBoss middleware and RHEL applications available natively for Azure. That is expected to provide a boost for solution providers and ISVs who build, deploy and manage Red Hat software across public and private clouds. The collaboration also will bring Microsoft's .Net development platform to Red Hat software.

New Signature Expands Microsoft Portfolio With Imason Acquisition

New Signature, Microsoft's 2015 Solution Provider of the Year, took its ability to provide solutions across the full Microsoft stack to the next level this week when it acquired Imason, a Toronto-based application developer and Microsoft partner.

Imason has staff and locations across North America and New Signature said the acquisition will help it provide solutions ranging from infrastructure to customized line-of-business products.

New Signature helps businesses migrate to Microsoft's cloud technologies by establishing core infrastructure that’s needed for scale and security. Imason's capabilities will boost the company's ability to build on the New Signature-designed infrastructure with applications and solutions that integrate mobility, Office 365, Azure applications and Dynamics CRM.