5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending April 15

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with the launch of its latest entry in the red-hot market for hyper-converged systems.

Also making the list were Tech Data, for positioning itself to capitalize on the Dell-EMC merger; Optiv, for an acquisition that boosts its competitive position in identity and access management security; Black Box Network Services, for an acquisition that expands its virtualization services portfolio; and Blue Coat, for its expanded cloud security ecosystem.

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.

Partners See Recurring Revenue Opportunities With New HPE Hyper-Converged Appliance

Hewlett Packard Enterprise took the wraps off its new ProLiant Easy Connect EC200a hyper-converged hybrid appliance this week, looking to strengthen its competitive hand against rivals such as Cisco and the coming Dell-EMC combined company.

Because the product is being sold through one- and three-year subscription plans starting at less than $10 per user, per month, channel partners hailed the new offering as a way to accelerate their move to a recurring revenue, strategic service provider business model.

HPE lleads the $29 billion worldwide cloud IT infrastructure market, according to a new report from market researcher IDC. But Dell and EMC will leapfrog HPE once they complete their merger this year, the report said, while Cisco is also gaining momentum. The new ProLiant Easy Connect system marks a significant step by HPE to maintain its market mojo.

Tech Data Positions Itself For Dell-EMC-VMware Juggernaut

Tech Data is the only distributor that works with all three major vendors involved in the pending Dell-EMC merger: Dell, EMC and VMware. This week it brought those three businesses under one roof as it positions itself to capitalize on the coming Dell acquisition of EMC and its majority stake in VMware.

Tech Data trumpeted the creation of the Dell Solutions Group, which has a top priority of training solution providers who already carry some of the vendors' products to be able to work with all three. Tech Data also hired a longtime VMware and EMC executive to spearhead the practice.

Tech Data also wins kudos for teaming up with Cisco to offer free security assessments for customers to help channel partners demonstrate the need for higher-value security solutions.

Optiv Security Moves Into Identity And Access Management With Advancive Acquisition

Optiv Security, the security-focused solution provider created through the merger of Accuvant and Fishnet Security, just got a little bigger. This week the company disclosed that it had bought Advancive, a Pasadena, Calif.-based identity and access management services and solutions company.

Identity and access management is already one of Optiv's fastest-growing business practices, with 40 percent to 50 percent annual growth in recent years. The Advancive acquisition, Optiv's first, nearly doubles the size of that practice and adds vendor specialties around Ping Identity and RSA. It also adds managed security service capabilities around identity and access management.

As further evidence of its aggressive growth strategy, Optiv is reportedly on track to pursue an initial public offering sometime this year.

Black Box Buys Virtualization Specialist Cloudium

Solution provider Black Box Network Services stepped up its game in the virtualization arena this week when it acquired Cloudium, a small Irish firm with expertise in developing desktop virtualization hardware and software.

The company, No. 34 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, said the acquisition would strengthen the company's position with high-performance, kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) and KVM-over-IP technologies. Cloudium's expertise is meant to complement the 11 KVM hardware products already in the Black Box portfolio.

Black Box, which has had a rough go of it lately with underperforming sales and the resignation of the company's CEO late last year, looks like it's taking a solid step toward improving its fortunes with the Cloudium acquisition.

Blue Coat Expands Cloud Security Ecosystem With New Technology Partner Program

Blue Coat Systems launched its Cloud Ready Partner Program this week, an initiative that brings more vendor technologies into its security ecosystem for partners. The move is key for Blue Coat's efforts to transform itself into a leading cloud security player.

The new program establishes a framework with other security vendors that integrate their software into the Blue Coat Security Platform. So far those vendors include AirWatch, AlienVault, Box, Centrify, Dropbox, E8 Security, Exabeam, Fortscale, Gemalto, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Seculert, Splunk and Symantec.

The new program offers solution providers a big opportunity to build more extensive solutions for cloud and application security. That's something solution providers are looking for as they tailor their services to meet widely varying customer needs in the fast-evolving cloud computing market.