5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For The Week Ending Jan. 22

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is SimpliVity, which unveiled an ambitious cloud service provider program and aggressively made the case that running its hyper-converged infrastructure can be cheaper than public cloud systems from Amazon Web Services and other companies.

Also making the list this week are ForeScout's venture funding windfall, IBM's impressive haul of patent awards, SAP's successful efforts to manage the transformation to cloud software supplier, and a Washington, D.C., solution provider that's playing a key role in a major government agency IT project.

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.

SimpliVity Launches Cloud Service Provider Program, Takes Aim At AWS

Hyper-converged infrastructure startup SimpliVity moved aggressively on multiple fronts this week, unveiling a partner program designed to get more service providers to use its hyper-converged software and challenging cloud computing giant AWS' position that public cloud is cheaper than on-premise private clouds.

Under the new PartnerAdvantage Cloud Service Provider program, SimpliVity has assembled a consumption-based pricing model that makes service providers liable for only 50 percent of total infrastructure capacity. That's designed to help VARs transform into cloud service providers and to remove financial barriers for service providers to expand their capacity.

On Wednesday SimpliVity unveiled the results of a study that challenges the notion that public cloud services like those from AWS are more cost-effective than on-premise cloud systems. The research concluded that the total cost of running VMware private clouds powered by SimpliVity's OmniCube hyper-converged technology was between 22 percent and 49 percent less expensive than using a comparable AWS setup over a three-year period.

ForeScout Lands $76M in Funding, Hits Unicorn Status

ForeScout Technologies disclosed this week that it raised $76 million in a Series G round of funding that puts the value of the security technology company at more than $1 billion.

The new funding almost doubles the $80 million ForeScout raised in earlier rounds. The company plans to use the new financing to expand its sales efforts against chief competitor Cisco, build out a technical support organization, and accelerate R&D and third-party integrations to keep pace with the exploding Internet of Things market.

IBM First In Patents For 23rd Consecutive Year

IBM may be struggling to get back on a growth track – this week it reported yet another sales decline for its fourth quarter – but there's no denying the company remains a research and development machine.

IBM was awarded 7,355 patents in 2015, marking the 23rd consecutive year the computing giant has topped the list of patent winners. The company said some of the patents represented "a strong and growing focus" on cognitive solutions, such as its Watson supercomputer, and cloud computing. Altogether in the 23 years IBM has held the top spot the company has received more than 88,000 patents.

Coming in second with 5,072 patents was Samsung, followed by Canon (4,134 patents), Qualcomm (2,900) and Google (2,835). Rounding out the top 10 were Toshiba (2,627 patents), Sony (2,455), LG Electronics (2,242), Intel (2,048) and Microsoft (1,956).

SAP Successfully Navigates The Transition To Cloud Services Supplier (So Far)

SAP released its fourth-quarter and 2015 sales and earnings numbers Friday and the company wins kudos for transforming itself into a leading provider of cloud applications, even as it maintains – and grows – sales of its traditional on-premise products.

During the quarter SAP's revenue from cloud subscriptions and support grew a whopping 81 percent year over year and new cloud bookings rose 75 percent. The company said it's gunning to grow its annual cloud subscription and support revenue to 4 billion Euros (more than U.S. $4.3 billion) by 2017.

Numerous software vendors are transitioning their product lines to cloud-based services -- often at the price of declining sales of on-premise products. But for the fourth quarter SAP said its traditional software licenses and support revenue grew a healthy 13 percent to 4.75 billion Euros (U.S. $5.13 billion).

BlackBerry VAR Leads Deployment In VA Department Contract

Four Points Technology, a Chantilly, Va.-based solution provider, is spearheading the deployment of a networked crisis communications platform to support the Department of Veterans Affairs notification and personnel accountability systems.

The work is being done under a $20 million, multiyear contract between the VA and AtHoc, a division of BlackBerry, under which Four Points Technology is the prime contractor.

It should come as no surprise that the solution provider is committed to the VA project. Four Points Technology President and CEO David Gilchrist, a retired U.S. Navy chief, is himself a service-connected disabled veteran who saw action while on active duty in Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Bosnia. He provided oversight for the instruction and supervision of more than 200 personnel during his last active duty assignment.