5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Jan. 15

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Cisco for its efforts to help partners transform into strategic service providers through the use of new cloud service monitoring technology.

Also making the list this week are a data protection software developer for a significant private equity win; a big data company that launched a new channel partner program; Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, for its support of an object storage technology vendor; and a New England solution provider whose CEO was invited to this week's State of the Union speech.

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.

Cisco Pushes Partners To Become Strategic Service Providers With New Cloud Toolset

To remain competitive today, solution providers must take their business to the next level and evolve into Strategic Service Providers. For some, a little nudge doesn't hurt.

That's why Cisco wins kudos for launching its new Cloud Consumption-as-a-Service offering, sold exclusively through the channel, to encourage its partner community to get on the Strategic Service Provider path.

The new CCaaS tool discovers and continuously monitors all public cloud services a business or organization is using. That makes it easier for solution providers to expand into cloud computing services and offer their customers Software-as-a-Service applications that generate recurring revenue streams.

StorageCraft Snags $187 Million In Financing, Has Ambitious Growth Plans

Data protection software developer StorageCraft said this week that it received a $187 million investment from TA Associates, making the Boston-based private equity firm the company's largest shareholder.

TA Associates, which also sent Matt Medeiros to serve as the Draper, Nev.-based company's CEO, said it sees a massive growth opportunity for the channel-focused company. Medeiros most recently served as CEO of SonicWall.

Medeiros told CRN that TA Associates sees tremendous opportunities with StorageCraft's technology portfolio and intellectual property.

Big Data Company Hortonworks Launches Extensive Partner Program

Many of the big data startups launched in recent years have largely been selling direct as their technology matures. But now some of these companies are crossing the chasm as their customer base expands beyond early adopters. That's where the channel comes into play.

This week Hadoop software developer Hortonworks launched Hortonworks Partnerworks, a comprehensive global partner program that offers the software company's 1,600 reseller, ISV and consulting partners a broad range of training, certification, technical support, and sales and marketing resources.

"Our partners have been instrumental to our success and we are taking our commitment to our ecosystem to the next level," said Chris Sullivan, vice president of global channels and alliances, who joined Santa Clara, Calif.-based Hortonworks in October from VCE, where he was channel chief.

Business analytics software developer Tableau, which held its partner summit this week, also wins applause for outlining plans to expand its channel program.

New England Solution Provider Snags Invite To State Of The Union Speech

The CEO of Atrion, a Warwick, R.I.-based solution provider, won an invitation to this week's State of the Union speech by President Barack Obama, Obama's last before leaving office next year.

The CEO, Tim Hebert, has collaborated with Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin on strengthening the state's cybersecurity and workforce development initiatives. Langevin offered Hebert his one invite to the speech as a way to thank him for his work.

"I didn't realize that regular, ordinary citizens could go to the event," Hebert told CRN from Washington, D.C., before the speech. "I saw people in the gallery, but I always thought they were celebrities."

HPE Invests In Object Storage Technology Developer, Expands Global Relationship

Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week signified its commitment to object storage technology by making an equity investment in Scality and said it will work closely with the data storage software vendor to develop and sell solutions including the Scality Ring software and HPE's Apollo servers.

Object storage is suited for things like unstructured data and video and audio files. HPE's investment demonstrates that it's committed to providing systems based on the technology to its customers.

While HP has had a longtime reseller relationship with Scality, this week's moves demonstrate HPE's intention to continue and even deepen that relationship.