5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 1

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Intel for its new program offering partner incentives to upgrade 600 million aging PCs worldwide.

Also making the list were IBM for its bold acquisition of leading cloud application solution provider Bluewolf, Microsoft for making the Xamarin mobile application development tools et available for free, Arista for its new router and switching platform the company hopes will take market share away from rivals Cisco and Juniper, and Intelisys for taking its master agent sales model to Europe.

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.

Intel And Microsoft Offer Channel Incentives To Upgrade 600 Million Aging PCs

Intel and Microsoft are launching an initiative aimed at helping Intel's Technology Provider partners upgrade the estimated 600 million PCs in use today that are five years old or older to the new Skylake-Windows 10 platform.

Under the new Accelerate Your Business initiative, North American custom system builders selling Skylake-Windows 10 systems will be rewarded with the program through Intel distributors, earning points when they purchase Intel sixth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 components and Windows 10 Pro. The initiative includes training, collateral materials and resource kits for reseller partners.

Intel gets a second round of applause for its announcement of a specialty benefit program for Technology Providers who deploy cloud solutions in the data center.

IBM To Buy Salesforce.com Channel Superstar Bluewolf

IBM struck a deal this week to acquire Bluewolf, a Salesforce.com solution provider that's widely seen as a cloud services superstar and thought leader.

The move is the latest in a series of service company acquisitions IBM has made in recent months including U.K.-based consulting firm Optevia, which specializes in solutions and services around Microsoft Dynamics applications, and Meteorix, a provider of services around Workday's cloud-based human resource management applications.

Good move for IBM. Question is, is this good for the channel? Some solution providers see IBM's acquisition of Bluewolf as a reaffirmation of the value of strategic service providers who help customers derive high-impact business outcomes from cloud computing. But by acquiring strategic service providers like Bluewolf, is IBM on a competitive collision course with channel partners?

Microsoft Bundles Xamarin Mobile App Development Tools For Free In Visual Studio

In a savvy move to attract more Apple iOS and Android developers to the Microsoft ecosystem, Microsoft this week said that core technology from Xamarin, the mobile app development startup it acquired last month, is now available for free in the Visual Studio toolkit.

Xamarin's technology lets developers build native iOS, Android and Windows apps using Microsoft's C# programming language. The ability to use one set of code for multiple platforms helped Xamarin attract some 1.3 million developers and 15,000 customers.

Microsoft is offering Xamarin in the free Visual Studio Community Edition and is also offering a Xamarin Studio Community Edition for Apple OS X. The announcements were made Thursday at Microsoft's Build developer conference in San Francisco.

Arista Targets Rivals Cisco And Juniper With New Switching And Routing Platform.

Red-hot networking startup Arista Networks moved to disrupt the $41 billion switching and router market this week by launching a combined switching and routing platform targeted toward cloud service providers and enterprise data centers.

The new 7500R marks Arista's entrance into the router market and the vendor is positioning the product as an alternative to traditional routers like those sold by competitors Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.

Arista said the 7500R and its "Universal Spine" architecture is designed to make cloud routing as scalable and simple as data center switching.

Intelisys Goes Global, Expands Sales Partner Model Into Europe

Master agent Intelisys is taking its two-tier channel model international, opening a U.K.-based business this week aimed at supporting European-based agent partners. The company is also expanding its supplier portfolio to include both local carriers and technology partners in the U.K., as well as suppliers with international offerings.

The U.S. model of agent partners working with a carrier through a master agent isn't as common overseas as it is in the U.S., so U.S.-based agent partners with international clients often have to work directly with carriers when doing business outside the U.S.

Intelisys' European presence will allow it to replicate its sales model for channel partners there and U.S.-based agents can better support their clients outside the U.S. with local and international telecom, connectivity and cloud offerings.