5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending Feb. 12

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is MobileIron and its breakout distribution deal with Arrow Electronics.

Also making the list this week are Rackspace for its give-the-customers-what-they-want move with Red Hat OpenStack, BroadSoft's acquisition of Transera, a trio of innovative security technology startups, and an impressive financing win by a unified communications startup.

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.

MobileIron Strikes Comprehensive Distribution Deal With Arrow Electronics

MobileIron made a big move this week to significantly expand its channel reach by striking a distribution deal with Arrow Electronics to carry MobileIron's entire portfolio of mobile device management software.

The deal with Arrow is MobileIron's first comprehensive North American distribution agreement. While MobileIron has had relationships with other distributors, those were narrow in scope and put in place to service specific regions or specific partners.

MobileIron touted the move as a way to boost the breadth and depth of its channel program, as well as become more efficient in its sales operations.

Rackspace Debuts Red Hat OpenStack For Private Cloud

You can't say Rackspace has a "Not Invented Here" mindset. This week the managed cloud computing company said it would offer customers the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform for deploying private clouds.

Rackspace has been one of the prime movers behind OpenStack and offers customers the cloud operating system technology in its data centers. But many businesses, especially enterprise customers, have committed to using Red Hat's technology stack, including its Linux OS, hypervisor and middleware -- and its brand of OpenStack.

Rackspace recognizes that offering another vendor's version of the open-source technology is a smart move. The hosting company will provide Red Hat's OpenStack for customers and partners who are deploying private clouds either in Rackspace data centers or on their own premises.

BroadSoft Acquisition Drives Margins For Partners

BroadSoft, a unified communications software and service supplier, acquired cloud-based contact center provider Transera in a move that will drive higher margins and improve customer "stickiness" for partners.

Transera offers multitenant Contact Center-as-a-Service applications designed for enterprise customers. The acquisition complements and expands BroadSoft's product portfolio for channel partners.

The acquisition will allow BroadSoft's partners to offer a more end-to-end solution, putting them in a better competitive position and better able to earn higher margins. Throw in the fact that the global market for cloud-based contact center applications is expected to explode from $4.6 billion last year to $14.7 billion by 2020, and BroadSoft's acquisition of Transera looks like a very savvy move.

Trio Of Startups Push the Security Technology Envelope

Who says the security technology arena is too crowded? This week saw three innovative startups in the security IT arena take their opening bows.

Perhaps most intriguing is Arctic Wolf Networks, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of security operations center technology that was founded by Brian NeSmith, the former CEO of Blue Coat Systems. AWN's Cyber-SOC offering pulls together human intelligence and technology into a single "as-a-service" system.

Cato Networks, the newest startup from security investor Shlomo Kramer, launched its Network Security-as-a-Service platform that the company says will shake up the perception that security has to be complicated. The startup is also expected to provide significant opportunities for its channel partners.

And startup Fireglass exited stealth with its enterprise network security system that's designed to isolate Web activity from corporate networks. CEO Guy Guzner started the company after working at security heavyweight Check Point Software Technologies.

Unified Communications Startup Fuze Snags $112 Million In Financing

Fuze, the Cambridge, Mass.-based startup previously known as ThinkingPhones, disclosed this week that it received $112 million in Series E funding, a haul that brings its total financing to an impressive $200 million.

Fuze develops what it calls a Unified Communications-as-a-Service platform that includes a cloud-based video conferencing system that works across multiple types of devices. The system also provides group chat capabilities and collaboration tools.